Iconic artist and environmentalist to open a new ‘Outpost’ at the Tradewinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach
As I was preparing for my time at the Miami International Boat Show, I was constantly receiving press releases about this person named Guy Harvey. I am told that he is one of the most recognizable names among anglers, divers, conservationist and boaters. A quick search told me that he is an artist whose passion for the sea has driven him to be one of the leading conservationists and advocates for the protection of our marine environment. So why have I never heard of the guy? My intrigue put me dead center at the recent press conference announcing the newest Guy Harvey Outpost.
Sitting behind a table in the middle of the room was Guy Harvey himself, with fans waiting to have their shirts, books or artwork signed. As I wandered around the room I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the beauty of his art. His passion for the sea is vividly captured in each one of his pieces. I still questioned what all the hoopla was about, but based on the number of people in that room this was certainly a big deal. Mark Ellert, president of Guy Harvey Outposts, lead off the press conference announcing their partnership with TradeWinds Sandpiper Suites, in St. Pete Beach, Florida, as its third Outpost resort. He went on to say, “The Tampa / St. Pete area is already ‘Guy Harvey Country’ so this was a natural selection to continue the Outpost brand.”
As speakers began to take the microphone, I began piecing together that this was more than just another place to stay in Florida and that there was more to Guy Harvey than just beautiful artwork and a large apparel line. My curiosity peaked when Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resort, talked about the resort’s innovative method of retrofit their existing beach lighting with eco-friendly solutions so that newly hatched sea turtles would not be drawn off course on their way out to sea. That simple act has allowed 85 baby sea turtles to make their way to the Gulf. As a reporter, I wanted to learn more about what this partnership really meant not only to TradeWinds but to the Guy Harvey Outpost brand.
Over the years Harvey has supported catch and release initiatives, the creation and protection of fishing estuaries and most recently his dedication to the conservation of sharks. The Guy Harvey Research Institute was established in 1999 to provide the scientific information necessary to focus on the marine ecosystem. In 2008 the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation was created to help fund leading scientists to become stewards of the marine environment (ed. note: see SE News this issue). As this was going on within the Guy Harvey organization, TradeWinds Resorts were making a name for themselves as an environmentally conscious hotelier.
The resort was the first to receive the coveted ‘Two Palm Florida Green Lodge’ designation for their ongoing conservation initiatives, and is often cited by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as an example of how hoteliers can minimize their impact on the environment. Currently they are working with the University of South Florida to explore better ways to cap off inactive oil wells in the Gulf to help create the greatest amount of fishing estuaries. Mr. Overton is proud of what his resort has already accomplished and is excited about their future with Guy Harvey Outposts. “We are already committed to providing a unique experience for our customers based on conservation, education and recreation,” Overton explained. “Teaming up with Guy and his Outpost hotel brand allows us to build on what we have already begun while exposing us to a larger audience.”
Mr. Overton says the physical transformation of the resort to a Guy Harvey Outpost will be completed in three phases. In the next few months, Guy Harvey’s acclaimed artwork will begin appearing around the property. Next, the 211 guest rooms and suites will undergo a remodel to incorporate Harvey’s inspired decor and will include new carpet, flat screen TV’s, new bedding, paint and of course that artwork. By the end of 2013 the resort should be complete with a new marine-themed restaurant with lounge and private dining and a new retail store. A large fiberglass pool will also be installed at the front of the facility, which will allow guests to swim with rays and dolphins.
“Where do you see The Guy Harvey Outpost project in five years?” I asked Mr. Overton before our conversation finished. There was no hesitation to his answer. “This is a long-term relationship built on a solid base with room to grow, develop and explore. It will only get better from here,” he assured me.
ABOUT GUY HARVEY OUTPOST
Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort, is located on the white sands of St. Pete Beach, with fishing, diving and water sport adventures on the warm waters of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico. Guy Harvey Outpost offers casual dining and the popular Sand Bar, two swimming pools, whirlpool, hammocks along the beach, and the Guy Harvey Outfitter Shop.
The iconic artwork of Guy Harvey graces the lobby and public areas, and guests can experience every adventure imaginable in this water paradise … or simply explore the shore or escape to the serenity of a beachside hammock.
Experience Florida fishing at its finest with inshore, offshore, fly and chartered deep sea fishing. Scuba dive to sunken ships or book a snorkeling trip. Guy Harvey Outpost inspires endless family adventures where you can experience the life, science, and love for the sea that is Guy Harvey. Children also have a place in the adventure at Guy Harvey Outpost with tailored activities just for kids; all you have to do is enjoy the journey. You pack your things – we’ll pack your stay!
In addition to the great hotel amenities and services at Guy Harvey Outpost, you’ll have access to a wealth of facilities and programs at TradeWinds Island Grand, just down the beach. There you can explore the grounds of the largest resort on St. Pete Beach, enjoy more casual, fine dining and beach bars, and then retreat back to the intimacy of the Outpost.