Sandwiched between the season’s kick-off event, the Miami Boat Show Poker Run, and the always-popular Tampa Bay Poker Run in mid-April, Stu Jones wasn’t expecting a big turnout for the Florida Powerboat Club’s return to Fort Myers coming up in a couple of weeks (March 22-24). But the club’s founder and president has been quite pleased with the registration to date and advises anyone who plans to attend to register ASAP as the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina is 95 percent booked for the weekend.
Of course, there are other hotels in town, but the recently renovated marina at the legendary Pink Shell is the main reason for the club’s return. Jones cited the venue’s all-new floating docks and top-notch amenities—as well as the quality and service of the resort—as the key ingredients to pulling off a successful event.
“Obviously the water around the southwest Florida area is absolutely beautiful,” said Jones. “There are great places to visit and there is a lot of protected water in case the wind picks up out on the Gulf. What’s interesting about the event dates is that it’s the beginning of Spring Break for many families. So I’m inviting members to consider bringing their kids especially because Pink Shell is very family friendly. I’m bringing my kids. This event is ideal for someone who wants to have a little fun powerboating and at the same time spend some quality time with the family.”
Jones, who doesn’t expect to have much more than 30 boats at the event, said he has a great mix of boats signed up, including Lady Lisa, the stunning 80-footer from Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats. He added that there are some high-horsepower cats and V-bottoms in the mix, but that a large amount of registrations are for sportboats, mainly center consoles from the likes of Cigarette Racing, Deep Impact Boats, Nor-Tech, Statement Marine and more.
The Fort Myers Poker Run has a fun run on the schedule Friday, followed by a captain’s meeting that night. On Saturday, the poker run departs at 10 a.m. with a lunch stop in Punta Gorda.