Anna Maria Island Fishing with Captain Mike’s Fishing Charters

Anna Maria Island Fishing with Captain Mike’s Fishing Charters

Guests of Dans Florida Condos often ask where they can get some GREAT fishing in while visiting the island.  When it comes to fishing the pristine inshore or offshore waters of Florida’s Gulf Coast including Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, we recommend you fish with Captain Mike’s Fishing Charters, our first choice for a professional Florida fishing guide charter and Anna Maria Island fishing.

Anna Maria Island - Captain Mikes Fishing Charters

 

Fish Anna Maria for Tarpon, Permit, Snook, Redfish and more…

Captain Mike Greig has spent 35 years fishing the local Florida waters of Anna Maria Island, Tampa Bay and Sarasota. He knows the waters, the fish and where to find them. When you’re looking for an exciting full day of offshore fishing, or a full- or half-day trip inshore, Captain Mike can hook you up to –

  • Cobia                                   Tarpon 
  • Permit                                 Trout
  • Shark                                   Snook
  • Kingfish                               Flounder
  • Snapper                              Redfish
  • Grouper

Fish Anna Maria Island with Capt. Mike from 5 p.m. to dark during his special “Beat The Heat” excursion.

Reserve Captain Mike.  He knows where and when they’re biting and what it takes to catch them. Early bookings are recommended.


Captain Mike’s Fishing Charters

The Anna Maria Island fishing waters are very shallow.  For this reason, Captain Mike’s Charters uses a specialized flats boat to access the flats and back country waters where tarpon and other game fish frequent. Captain Mike’s Fishing Charters runs the “Sally D” out of Holmes Beach, Florida. The “Sally D” is a 2001 24-foot, Robin outboard custom flats boat with a wide nine-foot beam that provides a smooth, stable ride and plenty of space for four anglers, all powered by a Yamaha 150 four-stroke outboard motor. There’s a bimini for shade in the summer and a spray dodger to beat back the wind in winter. The “SallyD” is a center console that makes her the perfect choice for Florida flats fishing or heading offshore in search of a trophy catch.

Capt Mike Greig is a full-time, experienced and licensed, fully insured captain and Florida fishing guide, and the “Sally D” meets or exceeds all United States Coast Guard licensing and safety requirements. His light tackle is top-of-the-line and the “Sally D” is immaculately maintained.

Anna Maria Fishing

Capt. Mike’s specialty is light tackle fishing using live and artificial bait, depending on the fish you’re after and the conditions. He follows sound catch and release fish conservation practices but will be pleased to clean and filet the night’s dinner to your specifications.

Florida fishing license, ice, bait and tackle are provided. Children are welcome so contact Captain Mike today or call 941-778-1404 to book your next Florida fishing adventure.

For more exciting activities and events to partake in during your next visit to Anna Maria Island, please visit the Dans Florida Condos Blog Page.

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

Anna Maria Island Pier Progress – Pier Decking Selected!

Anna Maria Island Pier Progress – Pier Decking Selected!

Many past guests of Dans Florida Condos have inquired about the Anna Maria City Pier, which suffered season ending closure due to last years hurricane season. We are happy to announce things are starting to move forward! Rod and Reel pier will soon have her sister back and functioning, now that decking material has been selected and models are being finalized.


Anna Maria Commissioner Carol Carter holds a sample of Kebony, an enhanced wood product, chosen March 6 for the decking in the rebuild of the city pier.

Another step is concreted for the future Anna Maria City Pier.

After weighing their options, Anna Maria commissioners directed Ayres Associates, the firm hired to engineer and carry out rebuilding the Anna Maria City Pier, to use Kebony as the decking material.

Touted as a sustainable alternative to hardwood, Kebony is created with pine and modified to perform like mahogany or teak, longer-lasting tropical hardwoods.

The Kebony material, at $3.24 per linear foot, comes with a 30-year warranty and a 50-75-year life span.

Commissioners voted 4-1 for Kebony after failing to take up a motion from Commissioner Brian Seymour to select IPE, a Brazilian hardwood that costs $3.91 per linear foot.

Commissioner Dale Woodland voted against the Kebony.

Azek, a material made of a plastic composite, was rejected because it would retain heat, making it a hazard for barefoot visitors.

Commissioners voted to select spun-concrete for the piling material at a Feb. 14 meeting with Ayres Associates.

Architects present pier design

The pier will look “pretty much the same,” said Barron Schimberg, owner of the Sarasota-based Schimberg Group, the architectural firm selected by Ayres to design the new pier.


A model of the city pier design by Schimberg Group depicts the proposed addition of extended roofing and a trellis facing Tampa Bay at the T-end of the Anna Maria City Pier. Islander Graphic: Courtesy Schimberg Group

Schimberg presented commissioners March 6 with floor plans, models and renderings of the redesign, highlighting what has changed and what has stayed the same.

The most notable differences would be a change to the shape of the roof, the layout of the bathrooms and the addition of a trellis at the back of the restaurant.

Schimberg proposed extending the portion of the roof connecting the bait shop to the restaurant over the walkway to the front and back of the pier.

He also proposed relocating the pier bathrooms to make them more accessible at the back of the pier.

In addition, Schimberg proposed the trellis to resemble scattered fishing poles. The trellis would provide partial shade for the area behind the bait shop.

Other proposed changes include adding sliding-glass doors to the restaurant, moving the garbage containers to the east side of the pier and removing a door from the bait shop.

Schimberg said sliding-glass doors at the side and back of the restaurant would open up the space, allow air to flow and enable waiters to serve outside customers more readily. Other changes would clean up the facade, he said.

Mayor Dan Murphy asked Schimberg to send commissioners copies of the floor plan and models for review.

Although Schimberg’s model included solar panels, he said that would need to be arranged between the tenant and the city, not the architect.

Woodland told Schimberg after his presentation: “There’s one thing you can’t do with architecture and design and that’s called character…. You can’t build character, that comes with time.”

Woodland told Schimberg he would continue to vote “no” throughout the process, as he now has his mind set on repairing the pier.

During public comments, Anna Maria resident Dennis Ellsworth expressed concern that the model appeared to show the majority of the T-end of the pier as a restaurant.

Schimberg said the design was not set, and the tables were only included in the model for illustrative purposes. He also noted the area around the perimeter of the building for fishing is unchanged.

Mike Deal, a regular at the pier before it was closed in September, also commented on the amount of dining tables in the design. He said 30-40 people would congregate in the open area of the pier deck and adding chairs and tables would take that space away.

The bait shop served beverages on the open deck and often a musician entertained there.

Deal added that he approved of the trellis to create plenty of shade.

Murphy said commissioners should come back with comments on the design at the next meeting with Ayres Associates.

In addition, the mayor said he would attempt to arrange a meeting with pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder, who he expects to be visiting Anna Maria from his home in Germany through May.

The next meeting with Ayres will take place in the next three weeks, Murphy said.

To read more articles highlighting Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, FL and Dans Florida Condos please visit the “Our Blog” section of our booking-free website: http://www.dansfloridacondos.com/blog/

– Content courtesy of the Islander

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

Easter Holiday Events, Anna Maria Island, FL

Easter Holiday Events, Anna Maria Island, FL

There’s no shortage of fun around the Easter holiday on Anna Maria Island and Dans Florida Condos! Choose from events at the Sandbar Restaurant, Pine Avenue or Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant to celebrate with your family and friends, which are all a short ride or walk from the complex!

The Sandbar Restaurant and Pine Avenue Restoration are pleased to announce the exciting events that will take place this Easter in the City of Anna Maria. The 32nd Annual Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt starts sharply at 9:00 am., on Saturday, March 31st with refreshments served in the Pavilion next to the restaurant starting at 8:30 am. The Pavilion will not be accessible until 8:30 am. The hunt will take place on the beach directly next to the restaurant with sections set up for children aged 0-2, 3-6 and 7-10. Each child is responsible for bringing their own basket to collect eggs. Parking is available in the restaurant lot, across the street and at city hall. We encourage folks to take the free island trolley or monkey bus.

After the Sandbar fun, the Easter Bunny will lead a walking parade down Pine Avenue where the 9th Annual Easter Egg Roll and Easter Bonnet Contest will take place. There will be plenty of fun for the whole family with games, face painting, egg rolling and coloring. Complimentary mimosas, sausage biscuits and frittatas will be provided by the Sandbar Restaurant along with cupcakes from Hometown Desserts. Take home an Easter keepsake – a framed picture with the Easter Bunny with pictures taken by Dara Caudill of IslandPhotography.org. Music will be provided by Chuck Caudill. A fabulous gift basket will be raffled off to one lucky winner. The egg roll and bonnet contest event is also sponsored by the Sandbar Restaurant, PAR and the Anna Maria Sun Newspaper. The roll will take place 9:30am-12:00pm.

Prizes for the best bonnet include a two night stay at the Anna Maria Guest Houses for first prize. There will also be prizes for second and third place. First prize for the best kid’s bonnet is a Sandbar lunch for the winner and three of their BFF’s complete with hot fudge sundaes. There will also be prizes for second and third place. This is the 16th year the Sun Newspaper has been a sponsor for the Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt. For more information on the Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt and Pine Avenue Easter Egg Roll contact Tina Chiles at 941-778-8710 or tchiles@chilesgroup.com.

If you are on the south end of the island or Longboat Key, the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant is a great place to spend your Easter morning. The 30th Annual Mar Vista Easter Egg Hunt will take place on Saturday, March 31st at 10:00 am sharp. Bring your basket and meet the Easter Bunny. Light refreshments will be served. For more info on the Mar Vista Easter Egg Hunt call 941-383-2391.

– Content courtesy of the  News for the Sandbar,
Beach House & Mar Vista Restaurants

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

27th Annual Heritage Days Festival

27th Annual Heritage Days Festival

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society will host its 27th Annual Heritage Days Festival at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society’s Historical Park, 402 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria. The event will be held Saturday, March 3rd from 9:00am-2:00pm.

This event is free to the public. Attendees can explore the Island’s history through self-guided tours of the museum, the Belle Haven Cracker Cottage, and the world renowned City Jail. Activities include a local folk band featuring Will Coor and Rusty Moore, craft making demonstrations, local crafts for sale, an antique market, fresh produce and baked goods including the delicious homemade Settler’s Bread. The Privateers will make a special appearance. Chance drawings for items like island excursions, spa services, dining certificates and gift baskets will be taking place throughout the day.

Proceeds benefit the museum and support scholarships for island youth. The museum is a registered 501 c3 nonprofit. For more information or press inquiries contact Caryn Hodge at 941-713-3105 or carynvhodge@gmail.com. Parking is available at the city pier park area, CrossPointe Fellowship church with a short ride on the island trolley or throughout the city of Anna Maria.

– Content courtesy of the Islander

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

 

36th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

36th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

Except for one major uncontrollable detail, all is ready for the 36th annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, according to chair Rose Lipke.

“We’re in the two-week window,” Lipke said. “We just need good weather.”

Lipke, in her fourth year as event chair, said Mother Nature will go a long way toward determining if the Feb. 17-18 festival generates crowds in excess of 20,000. Lipke projected more than 25,000 will attend over the two-day festival this year — if the weather cooperates The festival is the sole fundraiser for the nonprofit Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, which is dedicated to protecting the environment and preserving the fishing village and commercial fishery.

CHECK OUT THIS SHORT VIDEOS FROM LAST YEARS EVENT!

All proceeds go to the expansion and restoration of the 95-acre FISH Preserve, which includes environmentally sensitive wetlands along Sarasota Bay on the east side of the village. The festival cause earned the endorsement of ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, founder of the Ocean Futures Society, according to FISH member John Stevely. “It’s economic value cannot be judged in terms of dollars alone,” Stevely said Cousteau wrote to FISH. “Your project is an important reminder of the vital connection between nature and humanity.”

More than 200 volunteers contribute to the festival, according to Stevely. Lipke said the festival will have as many as 60 art vendors and more than 30 food vendors.

The festival entertainment schedule includes:

  • Saturday, Feb. 17:
    • 10-11 a.m. Shanty Singers
    • 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Doug Deming
    • 12:45-1:30 p.m. awards and introductions
    • 2-4 p.m. Eric Von Band
    • 4:30-6 p.m. Jason Haram.
  • Sunday, Feb. 18:
    • 10:30 a.m.-noon Soupy Davis and his Band
    • 12.30-2 p.m. Manatee River BlueGrass
    • 2:30-4 p.m. Soul R Coaster
    • 4:30-6 p.m. Koko Ray
    • 1-5 p.m. Eric Von on the Bratton store porch.

Admission is $4. Children under 12 get in free.

For more information, go to cortez-fish.org or call 941-245-4972.

-Content Courtesy of The Islander

 

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training in Bradenton

Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training in Bradenton

The Pittsburgh Pirates, the city of Bradenton, Manatee County and the Manatee County Public Library System recently announced plans to celebrate the 50th year of Pirates baseball in Bradenton.

Bradenton has hosted the team for spring training since 1969 and the Pirates maintain a year-round presence in the area.  Many snowbirds to Anna Maria Island, and guests of Dans Florida Condos (Anna Maria Island) make the quick 20 minute drive to catch a game while enjoying the island life.

Plans include creating a traveling exhibit, “Baseball in Manatee County: 50 Years of Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training.”

The exhibit will include baseball history as far back as the 1920s, with the primary focus being the half-century the Pirates have trained in Bradenton.

Community members with memorabilia relating to the long history of baseball in Bradenton, especially the Pirates, are encouraged to submit items to the libraries for temporary display.

People can contact David Breakfield at david.breakfield@mymanatee.org about their photos and memorabilia.

The traveling display will be at the Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, in May, The first showing, in February, will be at the Central Library in downtown Bradenton.

Additionally, the Pirates are assembling a pop-up museum exhibit inside LECOM Park. The exhibit will include multimedia displays to highlight the roots the Pirates have in Bradenton and Manatee County. Access to the pop-up museum will require a game ticket to Pirates spring training and Bradenton Marauders games.

The annual Pirates Pep Rally on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton will be 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, and feature live music by The Yesterdayze and autograph sessions with Pirates.

LECOM Park will host 16 Pirates spring training games, starting with a visit from the New York Yankees at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.

The Bradenton Marauders will play 70 home games at LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, April through August.

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

AMI in running for Happiest Seaside Town in USA

AMI in running for Happiest Seaside Town in USA

Will Anna Maria be declared the happiest seaside town in the United States? Fans of the city will have to wait a few months to find out.

A poll run by Coastal Living magazine named Anna Maria in its 2018 top 10 list of America’s happiest seaside coastal living towns in January.

Voting closed 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, but results won’t be published until Tuesday, June 12.

In the week leading up to the poll’s closing, Anna Maria hovered in the fourth-place spot. However, Coastal Living hid its rankings Jan. 3, before the poll closed.

Anna Maria commissioners debated Jan. 25 whether to encourage people to vote for the city and push for the No. 1 spot before arriving at a consensus to sit out the competition.

The other Florida finalist is Vero Beach.

Other cities named include Bellport, New York; Bluffton, South Carolina; Cambria, California; Cannon Beach, Oregon; Cape Charles, Virginia; Hampton, New Hampshire; Ocean City, New Jersey; and Traverse City, Michigan.

The final results will be revealed online at www.coastalliving.com.

– Courtesy of the Islander

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

There’s a New Market on AMI!

There’s a New Market on AMI!

There’s a New Market in Town!

Gamble Creek Farm has opened a brand new farm stand selling fresh picked fruits and vegetables, just baked bread, fresh, eggs, locally made jams, jellies and honey as well as flowers and much, much more. The farm is located in Parrish off of Golf Course Road just about 2 miles from Ft. Hammer Road- not far from the new bridge.

Gamble Creek is operated by Eric Geraldson and his son, Ryan Geraldson. The Geraldson family has a history in agriculture that goes back several generations in Manatee County.

Gamble Creek Farm is a 26 acre farm combining hydroponic, certified organic and conventional row crops and supplies much of the produce for the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Restaurants. The Geraldson Farm Market at Gamble Creek Farm is currently open Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Teddy Louloudes makes fresh bread and pies. Bread day is Saturday and pies are available every day. There is plenty of parking and fun for the whole family with farm tours and wide open spaces.

The farm is located at 14950 Golf Course Rd., Parrish, FL. For more information call Ryan Geraldson at 941-447-7287 or visit the farms Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GambleCreekFarm/. Look for the addition of more fresh, locally sourced and sustainable items including seafood and proteins. Consider having Gamble Creek and the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Restaurants cater your next event with farm to fork produce and gulf to table seafood. Stay tuned for more updates as we grow our market!

– Content courtesy of the Islander

*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

Hurricane Irma, No Test for Anna Maria Island

Hurricane Irma, No Test for Anna Maria Island

Firstly, we would like to thank you for the out pouring of prayers, best wishes and kind emails that we have received during Irma Hurricane.
Many good wishes came in from our past, future guests as well as on our social media platform Facebook – Dans Florida Condos.  We thank you so very much!!!!

We feel truly blessed to have so many people from all over the world who love and appreciate our little island and Dans Florida Condos, at the beautiful Runaway Bay resort (Anna Maria Island).

Its been almost a week since  Category 5 Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida.  Reports leading up to the storm had its eye tracking towards the eastern coast.  At a last minute turn of events, Irma continued west which resulted in a direct Western coast eye touchdown between Naples and Sarasota.

THE ISLAND

Considering the island was battered with winds at over 100 mph, overall we feel very blessed that most of the restaurants, piers and properties escaped the hurricane relatively unscathed.

The City Pier lost a portion of it’s roof and a portion of planks on its deck (below). Rod n Reel Pier had no damage. The Gulf Drive Cafe experienced some loss of thatching on its roof. The Sandbar Restaurant had an abundance of sand to sweep off the exterior terrace. Most businesses had to remove plant debris due to the high winds. Minor repairs were reported to homes such as screens ripped from porches, fences down, some siding ripped away, etc…

THE BEACHES

There has been some erosion on the Tampa Bay side next to the piers. The Gulf Beaches have remained realtively untouched. There is some seaweed that has washed up from the wind and storm surge but overall the beaches are as beautiful as ever.

LOSS OF POWER

There were several large trees downed on the island that have been problematic in getting the power and electricity restored to the entire island. Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach have been mostly restored. Dans Florida Condos have electricity and the complex is up and running!

FLOODING

Although the island received a mandatory evacuation in anticipation of a huge storm surge we consider ourselves lucky that the island experienced only a 2 foot storm surge. Therefore there was minimal flooding in certain pockets on the island. Our streets where our condos are situated were unaffected.

RESTAURANTS

Restaurants and local businesses are opening their doors as fast as they can. At the time of publishing, many businesses in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach have reopened.

AIRPORTS

As of Tuesday, Sept. 14th, International Airports such as Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Fort Myers, St. Petersburg have reopened and are working towards a full schedule. Check your flight status before departure and arrival.

(Hurricane Hanks was prepared, and luckily like other establishments experienced minimal damage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are all very thankful for the prayers and well wishes throughout this scary storm.  Lets now all please focus our attention on the less fortunate areas of Florida and Caribbean Islands.

 


*Please note – Dans Florida Condos posts blogs of local
establishments and events periodically, for the intended benefit
of our guests and visitors of Anna Maria Island. We do not
receive advertisement commissions or other compensation from
these posts. These recommendations are either experienced
firsthand by us, or via reputable friends and partners on the
Island. This ensures we are informing our guests of the “best of
the best” that the Anna Maria Island and the surrounding areas
have to offer.

*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared
without the written consent of Dans Florida Condos.

How to Avoid Hidden Booking Fees that Big Box Sites Charge

How to Avoid Hidden Booking Fees that Big Box Sites Charge

For the past seven years I have used VRBO/Homeaway as my advertising venue for the rental of Dans Florida Condos. I have two immaculate 2br and 1br units located on Anna Maria Island (Central Gulf Coast, in Bradenton Beach, FL). Last year VRBO/Homeaway was purchased by Expedia and immediately began changing their business profile. The first thing was to add a “Service Fee” of 7-13% to our rates all of which was passed on to you the renter. At the same time, we could see no benefit to you for that fee.

VRBO/Homeaway began acting like any other rental Property Management Company and has continually harassed us to accept their “BIN” (Book It Now) feature, whereby they control the entire transaction, communication, etc. removing the “personal touch” of booking directly through an owner.

Additionally, they removed the option to contact us directly (phone/personal email) in order to address any questions about the unit or the Island and accommodation. Thus VRBO/Homeaway is no longer an advertising or networking venue, rather a booking site which only priority is to drive the profits for shareholders.

To combat this, by the end of this year I am discontinuing my listings from “big box” listing sites, and returning to a business model which allows open communication between guests and owners, and more importantly allows guests to avoid booking fees!

I am excited to announce, my new “booking fee free” website which just went live. Check out Dans Florida Condos (like at bottom of this email) to take advantage of a Booking fee free experience. You’ll also find additional information on Anna Maria Island, FL along with pictures, guest testimonials, and an updated Blog of events happening on Anna Maria Island and Dans Florida Condos.

Three ways to Save $ By Booking Direct:

  1. Try and book direct with the owner or property manager. If you want to book one of our properties, please visit our website, call/text 773-598-9717, or email me at dan@dansfloridacondos.com.
  2. Search on Facebook for the name and location to see if some of your favorite properties have a website or a Facebook page. From there you can contact the owner/manager directly. You can like my page by doing a quick Facebook Search “Dans Florida Condos” or visiting www.facebook.com/dansfloridacondos
  3. Search for your perfect vacation rental on any of the big box listing sites. Identify your top choices, noting the property’s name and location. Use your search engine (i.e. Google) to search for the property name and city and possibly the owner’s name to find their booking free website.

These steps can save you hundreds of dollars in booking fees from the listing websites (and you won’t be bombarded by their continual spam after you inquire on a property).

If you have any questions about the changing Rental By Owner market, you are welcome to reach out to me. Please also take the time to “Like” our facebook page at www.facebook.com/dansfloridacondos. I will be soon setting up a regional Facebook Site and website, so you will have an even greater pool of “Booking Fee Free” owners/units to choose from on Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach, FL.

Here’s to starting a new adventure together, declaring independence from greedy profit hungry Big Box listing sites, and returning to a more personal Vacation Rental By Owner experience for us all.

Your Host,

Dan