Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

Supporting, advocating, and promoting our local business-members in the heart of the Florida Keys!

Author: Erika (page 1 of 10)

Aqua Leisure Boat Tours

Welcome to The Marathon Chamber

New Member: Aqua Leisure Boat Tours

Boat Tours, Boat Charters, Sunset Cruises, Boat Rentals in Marathon Florida

Our Boat

Nice, roomy, comfortable, 23 foot,  AquaSport, walk around, cuddy cabin boat with stereo and bimini top. Boat powered with 200 Horse Power Johnson motor. Operated by your very own local Captain Dean Corey. Licensed USCG 100 Ton Master

Island Girl Charters

Welcome, New Member

Island Girl Charters

Fishing the Florida Keys

Get hooked on lobster, fishing, snorkeling, sunset cruises with Island Girl Charters, Marathon.

ABOUT US: HOW I GOT HERE

I have always loved the water as I grew up in Biloxi, Ms. and Ft Walton Beach, Florida. I started fishing with my brother n law when I was 6 years old. We started out on a pier then advanced to offshore on our own boat.

I have been visiting the Florida Keys since I was a teenager and it quickly became my favorite place. About 15 years ago I decided I wanted to try something new. LOBSTERING.  I began looking at YOUTUBE videos and I knew I had to try this so I booked a trip. I had my boat, my GPS, my net, and my tickle stick and my first mate Kevin. NOW, WHAT? Many locals gave us advice such as “go about 3 miles out and you can’t miss them” or “pull Kevin behind the boat with a ski rope while snorkeling, you will find them” So I pulled Kevin behind the boat at 3 knots for HOURS and HOURS for 5 days straight. We didn’t find them. On the 6th day, we found our first hole. We named it Rex Hole (after my dog) we caught a few lobsters there and even speared a grouper.

I soon began planning my next trip

Kevin and I stayed on a small rocky Island known as Pretty Joe Rock. I snorkeled around and around the island trying to catch lobster. I caught a few. We finally decided to take a charter and that was the game changer. Suddenly we were looking at holes full of lobster and also learned how to find the spots ourselves.

The next trip was a fantastic month, we caught lots of lobster. Since then we have acquired 3000 GPS locations for fish and lobster.

Loving to lobster so much, I wanted to share the experience with whoever would join us. I just love it when a friend or relative would surface with a huge smile catching their first lobster. I decided I wanted to do this even more so I got my captains license and masters and opened Island Girl Charters LLC.  

Island Girl Charters commerce Corner

Continue to Website Click Here

Chamber of Commerce Tip

Membership Tip of the week

The Mission of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce is to Promote, Advocate, and Inform the Business Community.

Marathon boasts a rich history alive with fish stories and entrepreneurial spirit; both of which still thrive today.

The Chamber was founded in 1939 when William A. Parrish, fish house operator, Marathon’s first real estate broker, and former deputy sheriff, suggested the formation of a Chamber of Commerce to a group of local businessmen. By the end of that year, there were 80 merchants and also residents in the membership. Out of a population of 300!!!

Today

The Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce represents over 570 Keys businesses. We are proud to support educational seminars, community outreach programs, job fairs, affordable housing, and candidate forums.  Every year, the Chamber donates to many local non-for-profits and charities such as Grace Jones Daycare, KAIR, FIRM, Habitat For Humanity; and provides local youth and also non-profit groups opportunities to raise money at the annual Marathon Seafood Festival.

We also are the official County representative to Enterprise Florida, the state of Florida’s official Economic Development agency.  We work with the Governor and his staff to ensure Marathon and the Middle Keys are able to continue to be a top destination and place to live and work here in the Florida Keys.

May Ceo Letter

Scholarships, Grants, and Training for YOU

Now that we are past tax season (unless you filed an extension of course), therefore we can focus on our spring and summer seasons. Speaking of our high-season, the numbers look very strong and positive as we are hitting pre-Irma figures in many categories which is very encouraging. While there is still work to be done your Marathon Chamber will continue to monitor, assess, and assist as needed.

Back to the topic, or title at-hand. We are very excited to again open up the following annual programs that are designed to help, support, and benefit you, our workforce, and also local students:

Programs

1) Currently, we are accepting applications for our annual Continuing Education Scholarships, where the Chamber Board of Directors will award up to $1,000.00/ business- a member who wishes to further their skills, abilities, and education; which in turn will allow their business to further improve and thrive. Applications went out almost a month ago and are due May 10th (see application inside newsletter). Our total budget for this is again $10,000, I hope you are able to apply.

2) We are also accepting scholarship applications from Marathon High School seniors; of which the Board will award seven (7), one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships. The deadline is also May 10th so please be sure to have your students send their applications in on time.

3) Our Business Beautification Grant program will shift gears this year. We have been awarding these since 2010. This year the Board wants to focus/dedicate these funds to focus more on landscaping our US1 corridor and streets in Marathon. Please stay tuned for more info on how your business can potentially apply for funding.

4) Lastly, Best Practices Business Breakfast, on May 14th at 8 am; we will focus on Social Media Marketing Tips, Strategies & Best Practices for our guests. Please join us for a great and educational experience.

Creating opportunities

We are proud to offer these great programs to you, our valued business-member. By improving business-members (and staff’s) abilities through educational opportunities, and by improving the appearance of our businesses; your Marathon Chamber aims to raise the status, appeal, and performance of your business so all our businesses can reach new heights!

Have a great May everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, and also any advice/help you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

August

Most Respectfully, Daniel Samess, M.S.

CEO Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

Irma Recovery Update

Hurricane Irma Recovery Status Update

Greetings Recovery Stakeholders below is a Hurricane Irma Recovery Status Update.

Recovery Update Highlights:

  • Rebuild Florida registration REOPENS!
  • Invitation to Bid for Contractors Announced (Deadline May 9, 2019)
  • Upcoming Business and Tourism Recovery Workshop (June 3, 2019)
  • Business Recovery Survey available now to all Business Owners: Business Recovery Survey (Deadline May 27, 2019)

Hope to see you all at the June 3, 2019 Business and also Tourism Meeting in Marathon.

Sea Turtle Release

Timmy’s Sea Turtle Release

Timmy, a juvenile green sea turtle was released back to his ocean home today Wednesday, May 1st on Sombrero Beach in Marathon. Timmy was rescued in January 2018 in Islamorada, hence Timmy was treated at the Turtle Hospital for Fibropapillomatosis. Treatment at the Turtle Hospital included 6 tumor removal surgeries, IV nutrition, broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluid therapy, vitamins, and also a healthy diet. Timmy is now healthy and has gained over 20 pounds since arriving at the Turtle Hospital!

 

 

OUR MISSION

The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. We are a fully functioning veterinary hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. We rescue, rehab, and also release sea turtles in the Florida Keys.

 

OUR FACILITY

On the grounds of the old Hidden Harbor Motel, the Turtle Hospital can rehabilitate multiple sea turtles of varying sizes and illnesses/trauma. The old motel rooms serve as living quarters for our rehab staff and storage.

 

OUR GOALS

1) Rescue, rehab, and release sick and injured sea turtles. 2) Educate the public through outreach events and local schools. 3) Conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles. 4) Work toward legislation making the beaches and also water safe and clean

Turtle Hospital Website Click Here

ADA Expertise

Our Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

April 16th, 2019

Location: Key Colony Inn 

700 W Ocean Dr, Key Colony Beach, FL 33051

Phone: (305) 743-0100

Located in the “Gem of the Florida Keys”. The Key Colony Inn is a local and tourist favorite while serving only the finest Florida Keys seafood. Their menu is seasoned with delicious French and Italian favorites. From succulent lobster and shrimp over angel hair pasta to steak au poivre, veal cutlets, and also fresh yellowtail snapper.

As a result, the family-owned Key Colony Inn has been voted Best Restaurant for 15 years in a row!

Feast in their intimate main dining room or spacious patio, or enjoy live, nightly entertainment in their romantic lounge, while sipping on a vintage wine, frozen libation, or their famous “Espresso Martini”.

Most noteworthy they are proud to offer the largest brunch in the islands, featuring dishes like stuffed shells, yellowtail in a lemon dill sauce, eggs benedict, pancakes and also custom omelets.

Therefore you should stop in for dinner or lunch, they will be expecting you!

Speaker: Marc Dubin owner of ADA Expertise 

Founded by Marc Dubin, Esq. who was responsible for nationwide enforcement of the law on behalf of the United States. As a Senior Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, we draw on our expertise in the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and also the Fair Housing Act. Marc was one of the first 10 attorneys hired by the Justice Department to enforce the ADA, in 1992, the year the ADA took effect.

Has Your Property Been Sued For An ADA Violation?
We can help your attorney and your architect, serve as your ADA expert, negotiate a settlement, and also assist you in coming into compliance.

Certainly contact us for information about ADA training, and also reduce your risk of litigation or a Justice Department investigation.

Call 305-896-3000 or email at mdubin@ADAexpertise.com.

 

Seafood Festival Program

March 9 & 10, 2019

Marathon Seafood Festival Program will be coming in the mail soon!

The Marathon Seafood Festival is the 2nd largest FL Keys event with over 20,000 attendees & growing every year.

The Marathon Seafood Festival is the premier event for great/fresh seafood and entertainment in the Florida Keys. Bring the whole family for two days and also enjoy great cuisine, entertainment, and fun!

We have our Official Program ready! Check it out!

Festival Program

Click Here

43rd Annual Marathon Seafood Festival

Original Marathon Seafood Festival logo Mahi fish

About the event

We hope you, your family, and friends will join us in this 43-year tradition we call the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. March 9-10, 2019 at Marathon Community Park here in the Islands of Marathon!

Event Hours are as follows: 2019 Event Dates/Times

Saturday, March 9th: 10:00AM – 9:00PM

Sunday, March 10th: 11:00AM – 5:00PM  

SF pic 3 SF pic 4

The Original Marathon Seafood Festival is truly a family-friendly event; featuring fresh-caught local keys seafood at amazing prices, cold beverages for adults and kids, live entertainment the entire weekend, over 220+ vendors to satisfy all your shopping needs, as well as an expanded boat show, and plenty of rides and games for children.

Admission is only $5/person and kids under 12 are free! (We anticipate having handicapped parking available inside the park)

A Little History:

The Original Marathon Seafood Festival began in 1976 as a way for local Marathon and Middle Keys commercial fishermen and their families to “kick-back” and also enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The inaugural seafood festival humbly began in the parking lot where Publix Supermarket now resides in the center of Marathon. Fresh fish was fried and prepared as well as delicious Florida lobster, oysters, stone crab, and many other locally caught seafood products were served. To date, the festival has grown into the Florida Keys 2nd largest annual event. Boasting over 20,000 hungry and also thirsty guests each year. The event is still co-organized by the Organized Fishermen of Florida (Marathon Chapter) as well as the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce.  Collectively, both non-profit organizations put over $75,000 in event proceeds back into our community via charitable contributions, donations, and scholarships for local Middle keys students.

***If you would like to be an important part of this great event, consider volunteering to work a booth. You will receive a FREE t-shirt and also FREE admission the day you volunteer! Contact Erika at  (305) 743-5417 / Erika@FloridaKeysMarathon.com.

We hope to see you, your family, and friends at our 2019 Original Marathon Seafood Festival March 9-10! Sea you soon at the Seafood Fest!

CONTACT US for more information!

CEO November Letter

November

AWARDS BANQUET, GOOD DEEDS & TURKEY TALK

November CEO Newsletter

November is here! Believe or not we are approaching the holiday season and New Year’s! We also recently held our annual Awards Banquet and I am glad to say that we sold out with over 320 members in attendance! We had a wonderful time, some laughs, danced, gave out awards, and said goodbye and hello to Board members. I am honored to announce your newly elected Marathon Chamber of Commerce Board Directors for 2018: Steve Hurley (Chairman), Mike Kiraly (Chair-Elect), Sara Mathis (Secretary), Patrick Stevens, Greg Konrath, Jeff Smith, and Yunior Rodriguez. I would also like to recognize and thank Hawks Cay Resort for hosting us, my amazing staff (Jeanine and Erika), chamber ambassadors, and the chamber awards committee who all played a pivotal role in our banquet’s success.

BIG Raffle Contest

As it relates to our banquet, we hold our annual BIG Raffle Contest that culminates at the event. This year’s winner was Ron Snyder, whose family used to own Herbies for many years (recently sold it about five years ago). When I called Ron to inform him of the great news, he was happy but insisted on having his prize go to helping the Chamber and our community. So rather than choosing one of the vacations or the $2,000 cash option, Ron said to keep the $2,000 cash option and put it to something good. After getting direction from my Board Executive Committee, we decided to add $2,000 to our annual Marathon High School Scholarships. On top of the $5,000 we typically contribute/ award, in 2019 that amount will now be $7,000! Ron also asked that these extra scholarships be in his mother’s name, Gay Neth Snyder. I really am honored to share this story and good news with you all. Really goes to show that even our former Marathon Chamber members and business owners are still contributing and wanting Marathon to be its best.

New Board Members

Lastly, I want to acknowledge and thank three of our Board members who termed off the Board this year. They truly made a positive difference for your Marathon Chamber and personally for me in their direction and leadership: TJ Patterson (Past Chair), Sheila Cook (Past Secretary), and also Matt Lawrence (Director). Thank you TJ, Sheila, and Matt for your time and dedication; it was truly an honor to work for and with each of you!

Please always know your Marathon Chamber Board of Directors, staff, and I are all committed to working for and with you and also your business. Please be sure to get involved in our beneficial programs; ask questions, and put your Marathon Chamber to work for you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday later this month; be safe in your travels! Be sure to wait at least 3-4 hours to drive after eating all that turkey and stuffing!

Happy November!

Most Respectfully, Daniel Samess, M.S.

 CEO Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417 ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

Marathon Chamber Website

Relocate to the Keys

Marathon Seafood Festival

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