FAM Follies

OJ ON LOCATION: Ft. Myers FAM Sheds Light On The Lives of Edison & Ford

It’s not only Canadian snowbirds that flock to Fort Myers during the winter. 

American inventors and businessmen Thomas Edison (father of the phonograph and lightbulb) and Henry Ford (owner of the Ford Motor Company) also fled south out of the cold and bought land in the small Gulf Coast community.

Canadian travel advisors on a FAM exploring Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva paid a call to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, which feature a 21-acre botanical garden, historical museum, laboratory, and the homes of Edison & Ford.

The FAM group – and Mr. Edison -- in front of one of the largest banyan trees in the world. Thomas Edison planted it in 1928 as a test to see if it could be used in rubber production.

Agents also saw a different side of what the region has to offer with two site inspections on Fort Myers Beach: DiamondHead Beach Resort & Spa and Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina

Agents and Jeanette Faria, Sales Director with the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, in front of DiamondHead.

Unlike the quaint accommodations, out-of-the-way location and shell-strewn beaches on Sanibel Island, the beachfront resorts on Fort Myers are set on white sugar sand and stand many storeys high. They are located a short bus or tram ride to the shopping, nightlife and restaurants of downtown Fort Myers. 

Just in time to catch the pre-dinner sunset on the Fort Myers Beach Pier.

“Know who you’re selling to,” advised Linda Tanfield with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Sanibel, she said, is better suited to clients who want to truly disconnect and ‘get away from it all,’  while Fort Myers, with its walkability and nearby downtown bustle, would be preferred by adventurous urbanites.

Stephanie Zinke, International Tourism Sales Manager and Charm Evans, Tourism Sales Coordinator, joined the FAM group for dinner at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. L-R: OJ’s Anna Kroupina, Evans, Faria and Zinke.

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