News and Events

FORT MYERS BEACH CHAMBER ROLLS OUT NEW MOBILE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER

: June 10, 2013 4:37 pm : News

DSC_6870The Fort Myer Beach Chamber of Commerce has launched its new mobile visitor information center, a 1960’s-era classic Airstream aluminum-and-rivets travel trailer whose design dates to the 1930’s. This Airstream has been specially converted for the purpose of providing visitor information to Fort Myers Beach visitors. At just 17 feet in length, the Airstream “Caravel” model is among the smallest ever made by the iconic travel trailer manufacturer.

The beach chamber had actively sought donations for a year to raise the $30,000 needed to purchase the used trailer. and the trailer stripped of all travel trailer components, including kitchen, bath and sleeping areas. Two side windows were replaced with an aluminum hinged opening, much like a food truck customer walk-up window. The interior was remade into a small office with brochure racks.

“We chose an Airstream because it represents the Great American Vacation, and because they have a reputation for being built to last,” said chamber president Bud Nocera. “Then to give it an even more unique and fun look, we asked local artist Dave Drotleff to create a vehicle wrap design for the exterior. “We gave Dave a list of Fort Myers Beach landmarks, events and animals and he created a design that exceeded our wildest expectations.”

At its roll-out party, the mobile visitor center was dedicated and named in the memory of long-time Fort Myers Beach hotelier and businesswoman, Roxie Smith. “Roxie” will be rotated between locations at both north and south ends of Fort Myers Beach. One location will be on Old San Carlos Blvd, near Time Square on the North end. The other will be in Santini Marina Plaza on the South end.

The visitor center will be staffed by volunteers and the chamber is currently recruiting volunteers who can serve at least one four-hour shift per week.

“This mobile visitor information center will be a great benefit to both our visitors and our beach businesses,” said chamber board chair Norma Pevey. “Our goal is to eventually have two of these units, one at each end of the beach.”

For more information, contact Bud Nocera at the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, 239-454-7500.

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Welcome centers on wheels to roll onto Fort Myers Beach

: January 5, 2013 5:36 pm : News

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Business leaders hope two small converted campers will make a big impact on Fort Myers beach.

The Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce launched a fundraising campaign for the purchase of two 16′ Airstream “Bambi” travel trailers and the costs associated with making them mobile visitor information centers.

“We came up with the idea of brining visitor information right on the beach, right where the visitors are walking.  Right now our visitor’s information is about two miles off the beach,” Chamber President Bud Nocera said.

The conversion entails removing the trailer’s interior, adding a vendor wagon opening with a walk-up counter, and mounting a flatscreen TV to display messages for visitors.

According to Nocera, the budget for each unit is $30,000 including purchase and costs of converting it.  The chamber purchased the first one for $15,000, but the conversion and bus wrap will cost $13,500, of which the chamber has raised $8500.  An additional $5,000 is needed to complete the first unit to be situated on Old San Carlos near Times Square.

Nocera hopes to have the money raised by the end of the month to have the center operational in time for peak season.

A second mobile visitor center is anticipated for Santini Plaza on the south end of the island.

To make a donation towards the purchase of a “bambi,” click here.

Story Courtesy of WINK News.

To watch the TV spot please go to http://bit.ly/UBbogL

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Beach Community Asked to Dine Out for Bambi’s Sake at Bayfront Bistro and Nervous Nellie’s!

: December 1, 2012 6:40 pm : News

Beach restaurants have been stepping up to help the Greater Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce raise funds for mobile tourist information centers. Bayfront Bistro will be hosting the next Bambi fundraiser Monday, December 10, 2012.  Ten percent of all dinner sales will go towards the purchase of two Airstream Bambi travel trailers which will be converted into mobile visitor information centers. These mobile chambers will enable the chamber to assist visitors in discovering our local restaurants, attractions, and accommodations.“Bambi” is the name of a 16 foot long classic Airstream travel trailer. The Bambi Trailers will be painted with scenes of Fort Myers Beach to make them fun and attract attention.

Nervous Nellie’s Crazy Waterfront Eatery will be hosting their own Bambi fundraiser on Tuesday, December 11th. Ten percent of food and beverage sales between 11am and 3pm will be donated to the Buy a Bambi program.

Members of the community are invited to come out in support of program. “We are very close to being able to get our first mobile visitor information center in place’, said Chamber President Bud Nocera. “We invite everyone on the beach to join us for lunch at Nervous Nellie’s to get us over the top.”

You can also support the Buy a Bambi campaign by making an online donation at http://buyabambi.com/.

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Chamber purchases first trailer

: October 24, 2012 9:30 pm : News

By BOB PETCHER,rpetcher@breezenewspapers.com , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

“Run around Sue” is one stride closer to Fort Myers Beach.

Beach Chamber President Bud Nocera announced the “Buy a Bambi” fundraising campaign reached a high point recently when a large contribution was made to allow chamber officials to purchase their first used classic Airstream travel trailer (which was dubbed “Run Around Sue” when it was built many years ago) to convert into a mobile visitor information center.

The $12,000 “gift” from Dan Baggot from Southwest Florida Distributing & Publishing in Fort Myers (who has pledged $12,000 a year for five years) coupled with more than $3,000 in local donations allowed Nocera to buy the future kiosk-style service structure located in Charlotte, N.C. He now seeks extra funds to outfit it. The endeavor to get visitor information back on the Beach began in mid-June during a presentation at new Beach Chamber president’s first monthly luncheon.

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