Ashley Svarney, a Wellington resident and director of public relations at Discover the Palm Beaches, was the keynote speaker at the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon Wednesday, June 29 at the Wanderers Club.
“At Discover the Palm Beaches, our goal is to bring tourists to the Palm Beaches,” Svarney said. “That is all 39 cities here within the destination. We are America’s first resort destination. The Palm Beaches were essentially founded to be a place for the uber-elite to travel down and enjoy themselves on the island of Palm Beach.”
The sentiment of hospitality has expanded throughout the county, making Palm Beach County special for travelers who are looking for the best of everything, she explained.
For locals, however, everything is within a short distance. Discover the Palm Beaches has created incentive programs at www.palmbeachsummer.com, which offers special resident rates and programs for locals and visitors.
The site shows where to stay and things to do, Svarney said. “Our goal is to bring visitors from out of the county into the county — to bring tourists to the destination,” she said.
Some of the promotions include exclusive specials at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, the Boca Beach Club, the Boca Raton Resort & Club, the Breakers Palm Beach, the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, PGA National Resort & Spa and more.
Some of the special events taking place this summer include Summer in Paradise, Shakespeare by the Sea, the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest, the Craft Beer Bash and more. At Carlin Park in Jupiter, the Shakespeare group will present The Taming of the Shrew under the stars by the ocean.
“We’re so lucky to live here in this beautiful destination,” she said. “Why not enjoy some of this, too?”
The Palm Beaches are home to 12 craft breweries, Svarney noted.
There is also something for visitors called the Discover Pass, which is a bundle program giving access to a multitude of programs, Svarney said. Passes begin at $20 per person, allowing visits to attractions such as the Palm Beach Zoo, Fun Depot and the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium. The brew pass, for $15, provides a pint at five breweries. The golf pass features two golf courses and three rounds of play for $88.
“It gives you the option to experience different parts of the county,” she said. “Because we are the largest east of the Mississippi River, there is a lot of ground to cover; there is a lot to do here.”
At www.palmbeachfl.com/golf, golf lovers can find testimonials from some of golf’s best players about why they love the Palm Beaches. What’s interesting about the videos, featuring Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Camilio Villegas, Ernie Els, Daniel Berger and Rory McIlroy, is that Discover the Palm Beaches did not pay them to participate; they wanted to come and talk about their passion for the area, she said.
There is a feature on the web site where visitors can create their own itinerary for special trips.
“The No. 2 reason why people visit the Palm Beaches is to visit friends and family. We rely on local residents to be our ambassadors,” she said.
Tourism is the No. 2 economic driver in the Palm Beaches, supporting almost 70,000 jobs, Svarney said, and there are more than 50 artificial reefs off the coast.
In October, there will be a spa and wellness month launch in the Palm Beaches, she said. Details will be announced on July 12.
For more information, and to connect with Discover the Palm Beaches on social media, visit www.palmbeachfl.com.
In other business:
• Blanca Greenstein and Tiffany Rodriguez were inducted into the chamber’s President’s Circle, while Erin and Meghan Williams received Volunteer of the Year awards.
• The chamber will hold a golf tournament on Oct. 22, and WinterFest has been scheduled for Dec. 3. Next year’s ColorFest will take place on Feb. 19.
• The next chamber luncheon will be Wednesday, July 27. For more info., visit www.wellingtonchamber.com.
ABOVE: Ashley Svarney from Discover the Palm Beaches at Wednesday’s chamber luncheon.