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The Flight Deck

The Official Blog of Holiday Inn St. Petersburg North / Clearwater

Holiday Inn Spreads Kindness with The Kind Mouse Food Drive

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The holidays are definitely in full swing and we’re only about 3 weeks away from Christmas. With the season comes lots of gifts, parties, time with family and big meals with those close to us, but not everyone may have the ability to spend all the money it takes to throw those parties or have that big meal with family on Christmas Day. That is where the GIFT of charity comes in to play.

The Holiday Inn St. Pete Clearwater’s Director of Sales Lydia Eyles, has teamed up once again with The Kind Mouse Productions for their annual Holiday Office Food Drive, running from December 1-15. Participation and donating is easy! Just come by our hotel, located at 3535 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater and drop off your non-perishable food items into the bins provided to us by The Kind Mouse. The bins will be collected on December 15, so if you are in the area and wish to help families and children in need, please stop by.

About The Kind Mouse and How They Make an Impact on the Community
The mission of The Kind Mouse is to assist families in transition and their chronically hungry children. No hardworking individual should ever feel despair due to economic hardships beyond their control. Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes, and no one should ever go hungry.

The charity helps people that have experienced career loss to restore their dignity and reestablish their lives. These are the unemployed long term career workers, displaced professionals and stalled entrepreneurs affected most by the economy. The Kind Mouse has served over 100 families confidentially while they are re-establishing themselves.  Through their 90 day program, they offer food, housewares, pet food and career coaching to qualified applicants.

Through their “Mouse Nibbles” program,  they deliver to the schools non-perishable foods in backpacks each and every week. The children receive one Mouse Nibbles bag each weekend of the year with an additional bag for Thanksgiving and Spring break and two Mouse Nibbles Bags over the Christmas vacation.  We also send home Christmas gifts (small goodies). During the 2014 summer school bridge, The Kind Mouse fed 400 children each weekend. In addition to food, they also provide school supplies twice a year to the students.

View more of all the great things they do at www.thekindmouse.org

Suggested Donation Items List
kind mouse 2015 suggested donations

Scary Good Talent at the Holiday Inn

It’s that spooky, scary time of year and we’ve put our creative hats on once again for our annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Which one do you think should be this year’s winner? Let us know in a comment, or share on social media with your vote.

  1. Food and Beverage’s “Bubbakin” (this looks like a gourd we’d like to get to know LOL)Bar Punkin

2. Front Desk Ghoul – by the Front Desk team – American Horror Story Hotel, anyone?Front desk 3

3. “Mopkin” – by HousekeepingHSKG Punkin

4. Team Kitchen’s PumpkinKitchen Punkin

5.  Maintenance and Engineering Team “Spiderkin” and “Cubskin”Maintenace & Banquet Punkin

6. And finally, the Sales Team’s Pac-Pumpkin!Sales punkin

Give Kids the World Week

GKTWWe put the “fun” in fundraising last week at the Clearwater Holiday Inn. Our sister hotel in St. Augustine Beach FL, the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort, is preparing to host their 18th Annual Give Kids the World Village Fundraiser on August 29th, 2015 and we joined in on the support wagon with our Give Kids the World Week. Our staff at the Holiday Inn and Aviators Sports Pub joined forces to benefit this wonderful children’s charity with themed costume days every day last week. Each employee wishing to participate made a $5 donation. Our themed costume days included:

Arrgghh Matey Monday: Dress and talk like a pirate

Team Spirit Tuesday: Wear your favorite team jersey or shirt

Wacky Wednesday: Crazy mismatched colors and clothing

Pony-Up Thursday: Your best cowboy/cowgirl attire

Happy 63rd Birthday Holiday Inn Friday: Dress like it’s the 1950’s (Holiday Inn was founded in 1952)

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View Full Flyer

Take a look at some of our photos from this whole week of fundraising fun. Overall, we raised over $250 to donate to the charity, to go along with the hotel stay we’ve donated for the event (available as a raffle prize).

You can help support this children’s charity as well, as sponsorships are available. If you wish to donate, please contact the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort at 904-471-2555 x101 or visit the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort’s Events Page for more information.

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Department of the Army Presents Holiday Inn with Certificate of Appreciation

cert of app from army

This June, our staff was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Department of the Army, as well as a standing ovation, personal recognition for their service and support this June by the 345th CSH.

The certificate of appreciation states:

“Department of the Army
Certificate of Appreciation
This is to certify that HOLIDAY INN CLEARWATER
For exceptional service and support to the 345th CSH FOB Beach Mission held from 1 June 2015 to 14 June 2015, St. Petersburg, Florida. Your contributions serve as a sterling example for all and are in keeping with the finest military traditions. Your distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon your organization, bravo company, 345th CSH, and the United States Army”

Kimberly Cason, General Manager was proud to give equal commendation to her team. ”The Service Culture we live by is by far outstanding to all of our guests and our service scores and recognition is a reflection of that. Team, your departments have exceeded my expectations and has made me proud to work along side such an amazing team! THANK YOU.”

It is our utmost pleasure to have had the honor of serving the 345th CSH. We truly believe our team upholds the highest standards of professionalism and customer service. Thank you for letting us share it with you.

Holiday Inn St. Pete/Clearwater Wins 2015 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

holiday inn st pete clearwater tripadvisor certificate of excellence

This May, our hotel located on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater was notified by Tripadvisor of earning our latest award from the travel website, the 2015 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. This award is earned by continually receiving great reviews from guests.

With an outstanding amount of “excellent” rated reviews, we were more than ecstatic to learn that we’d gained this title yet again. In 2012, we earned the award with a 4 (out of 5) star overall rating, putting us at #32 out of 97 hotels in the Clearwater area. However, in 2015, we’ve continued to hold a consistent 4 (out of 5) star overall rating, but now rank even higher, at #28 out of 98 hotels in the area.

Travelers rated our Location, Service, Cleanliness, Sleep Quality, Rooms, and Value no less than 4 stars (out of 5), with Service and Cleanliness totaling even higher, at 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Our team’s dedication to exceptional customer service, attention to detail and personable experiences that travelers have so graciously lauded through their reviews on Tripadvisor allow us to look forward to many more remarkable achievements from our amazing staff here at the Holiday Inn!

The Craft Beer Movement

If you’ve been living under a rock, you probably still noticed that folks are shifting away from large quantity, mass-produced beers from giant corporations and expressing a fascination, almost obsession, with locally made craft beers. Instead of drinking for the sake of drinking, patrons are choosing to savor a variety of beers, analyze complex flavors and even plan vacations or day trips based around visiting microbreweries – near and far.

Aviators Sports Pub and staff have jumped on the wagon and plans on dedicating themselves to serving mostly local craft beers on tap, as opposed to large-scale national brews. They’ll still keep some national big-brand options available in cans, but the bar wants to provide a truly “Tampa Bay” experience for their visitors. With their location adjacent to the Holiday Inn St. Pete/Clearwater, the choice to “go local” was intrinsic. Hotel guests can get a true idea of what inspires beer-makers here in Florida, and take the memory of that experience home with them  – and maybe even visit the breweries themselves. It’s a win-win for both Aviators and the micro-brewers, especially with a new law coming in the near future that will allow the sale of the coveted 64 oz “growler” size to the public.

Hand in hand with Aviators’ shift in the craft beer direction goes their new “Keep the Pint” Nights. The bar and restaurant has teamed up with a local distributor, and once a month, they plan to host this microbrew-centric event in which patrons, when purchasing a pint of any local brew on tap, they get to keep the pint glass and take it home with them. Plus, brewery swag will be available for sale during the events. The first Keep the Pint Night at is May 27, followed by the next one on June 17. Future dates are TBA.

Currently, Aviators Sports Pub has St. Petersburg’s 3 Daughter’s Brewing Company, Tampa’s Florida Avenue Brewing Company and Tampa favorite, Cigar City Brewing beers on tap. As time goes on and the bar builds relationships with distributors, they plan to have an even wider variety of unique libations ready for patrons to try.

Our Favorite Gulf Beaches for Sunsets

The weather’s warming up – practically getting ready for our “perpetual summer” here in Florida. That means hot days and warm nights. We love watching the sunset from our many beautiful beaches, but each of our favorites on this list offers a little something different.

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1) Clearwater Beach
– Of course this is number one on our list! The closest beach to our hotel, Clearwater Beach features nightly celebration of the sunset at Pier 60 with vendors, music and even movies. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy while watching the sun go down in Clearwater. With all the countless shops and restaurants, you’ll get your dose of nature and retail therapy at the same time.

ilove the burg sunset
2) St. Pete Beach
– Just a bit further south, we have St. Pete Beach. We love the eclectic and laid-back vibe of this particular beach, with equally beautiful views as all our other favorites.

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3) Honeymoon Island State Park
– We are huge fans of this particular beach, about 40 minutes from our hotel. This particular spot offers crystal clear blue waters, a dog-friendly beach and plenty of parking. Plus, if you get there early, you can explore the walking trails on the island as well. If you look closely enough, you can see Clearwater Beach to the south!

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4) Lido Key/Siesta Key
– Lido Key is near Sarasota, but it is worth the drive (about 1 hour and 10 minutes from our hotel). We can’t get enough of the wide stretches of the whitest, most powdery sand. Watch the sun set over the waters of the Gulf and if you arrive early enough, check out all the shops and restaurants in Siesta Key, just a bit to the south!

Image Sources: Sunsets at Pier 60, I Love The Burg, Florida State Parks, Siesta Key Beach photo credit: Paulina Mażewska

Kim Cason Nominated for Business Person of the Year


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Congratulations to Kim Cason, General Manager of the Holiday Inn St. Petersburg North/Clearwater on her nomination! She is in the Top 5 nominees for Inaugural Business Person of the Year. The Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will hold its first-ever Diamond Award Ceremony on January 17th which will be held at the Holiday Inn on Ulmerton Road. The organization, formerly known as the Tampa Bay Business Guild, will honor Tampa Bay community and business leaders with this awards ceremony. Kim is not only in the top 5, but is also the only ally (non-LGBT) nominee for this award.

Austin Dyess, Director of Sales at the Holiday Inn St. Pete Clearwater, previously held a board member position on the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, but was nominated and unanimously elected Vice President of the organization.

Congratulations on your nomination, and good luck Kim Cason on winning Inaguaral Business Person of the Year!

The Original article can be viewed below on Watermark Magazine’s website:
http://www.watermarkonline.com/2014/12/17/chamber-set-recognize-business-leaders-diamond-gala/

Doing Our Part – The Kind Mouse Food Drive

kindmouse

This week, we set up a donation drop-off location for The Kind Mouse of St. Petersburg charity that benefits LOCAL displaced professionals and their families as they work to re-establish themselves and get back on their feet. We are competing with other hotels in our area to collect the most donations and your greatly appreciated help can aid us in achieving our goal.

We ask that you kindly donate non-perishable food items, cash and/or gift cards and drop them off at our drop-off location located within the lobby of our hotel on Ulmerton Road.

Your donations can be dropped off at our hotel, located at:
3535 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Donations will be accepted from
November 17 – December 16, 2014

king mouse1Where Do Your Donations Go?
The Kind Mouse serves hard-working long-term displaced career people and their hungry children who were affected by the economy. They provide the qualifying families with food, housewares and career coaching while they are reestablishing themselves.  The Kind Mouse currently provides weekend food to the “Hungriest of Hungry” children in the Tampa Bay Area Elementary Schools. They provide this service at their cost to them of only $7 per child per weekend. The Kind Mouse feeds approximately 200 children each weekend during school, then 400 over summer school. Both programs are free to the children and their families.

Suggested Donation Items
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