Monthly Archives: August 2009

Nicholas Sparks book signing September 13th at Books-A-Million

Acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks will be signing his latest book, The Last Song. Sparks actually wrote the screenplay before the book. MILEY CYRUS stars in the movie, which just wrapped on Tybee Island, Georgia.

The book signing begins at 2 pm on September 13th, 2009.  Books-A-Million is located at 8108 Abercorn Street in Savannah.

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Looking for a Vacation Rental on Craig’s List Savannah – Beware of the Scammers!

While many of us in the vacation rental business have become accustomed to the multiple requests we receive in fractured English from a “British Doctor” or an “American Military Officer” serving in Iraq from a Craig's List Ad. Typically they are looking to book a vacation rental for a “two week honeymoon” for his or her Godchild and bride to be as a "wedding gift". Newly emerging scams are becoming harder to discern. Just yesterday on Craig’s List Savannah, I found one of our own upscale lofts being offered for $100 per night from what I thought must be the absentee owners who had never before accepted that nominal a nightly rate for their well appointed urban loft. After asking questions, come to find out it was completely bogus. The images of this property had been lifted from other public online directories and recycled as an ad on Craig’s List by someone else posing as "the owner." Unfortunately these attempts of walking away with deposits and advance rental payments on vacations that never take place have become lucrative for the perpetrators in spite of their being arrested after the fact. As San Francisco consumer advocate Michael Finney reports below:

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Vacation home rentals are a good deal right now. Because of the stalled economy there are fewer vacationers and more properties available. Craigs List is packed with rental offers, and some of them are scams. A Miami man was just arrested for renting out luxury homes in South Florida and Cape Cod that he did not own. Rental scams are becoming more common and this is just a new twist on the swindle. So before sending out a deposit ask a lot of questions and consider going through a reputable rental bureau or real estate office.

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Folks there are plenty of good deals out there if you are coming to coastal Georgia for a quick vacation weekend. It’s the American thing to do to shop your competition and Craig’s List Savannah is as good a place to shop while seeking a deal in the Historic District as any. Just make sure that you are dealing with a reputable vacation rental management company that actually owns some of the properties on their roster of vacation rentals. Keeps reservation services honest if they have a stake in maintaining a stellar online reputation. Read independent reviews of other renters (posted reviews that are not verified by independent parties can be bogus), find out where it is they actually are located within the historic district. In short ask enough questions until you reach a comfort level before booking a reservation. Single vacation rental property owners may or may not be whom they represent themselves to be. Finding out other wise upon your arrival can be a disheartening experience. Why risk not being able to gain access to your luxury accommodation when a little common sense can mean the difference between a fondly remembered weekend getaway versus the weekend from hell? This Craig’s List Public Service announcement is bought to you by:

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Savannah Vacation News –  All the Vacation News That’s Fit to Print

Oh for those Inquiring minds among you, the wedding gift scam quickly unravels when the Godparent asks to have "their change" picked up by courier from the check made out for more than the rental amount for one reason or another. And of course the check was never good to begin with.

Savannah Film Festival, bigger than ever in 2009

On October 31st through November 7th, the Savannah College of Art and Design will roll out the 2009 edition of their annual Savannah Film Festival. This Popular Historic District hosted Festival grows larger every year due in part to “their full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers” according to Film Festival World. As the SCAD Festival website says in part below:

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“The Savannah Film Festival regularly screens award-winning films before their national release dates at the beautifully restored Trustees Theater, a 1946 cinema house, and the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, a former Vaudeville venue. Savannah becomes a film lover's paradise during this weeklong event, which also features workshops, panel discussions and presentations by well-known artists and filmmakers. Films screened at the festival have come from Scotland, the UK, Vietnam, Australia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Israel, China, Germany, Canada, the United States and Ecuador, and special guests in attendance have included Malcolm McDowell, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Peter O'Toole, Kathleen Turner, Danny Glover, Milos Forman, Bruce Dern, Alec Baldwin, Sydney Pollack, Alan Cumming, Roger Ebert, Jane Fonda, John Waters, Danny Glover, Natasha Richardson and Ellen Burstyn.”

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So come to the historic district later this fall for our Savannah Film Festival. Rub elbows with the stars in Savannah’s “Theatre District”. Stay informed on who is coming to this year’s festival by checking in from time to time at the SCAD website above to plan your own screenings, work shop participation or just to be in attendance at the after parties (by invitation only if you are lucky enough to receive one).

Savannah Vacation Rental News

Wild Georgia Shrimp – Taste the Difference over Farm Raised

ShrimpCooked3 With the advent of the fall travel season almost upon us, discriminating palates start salivating in a Pavlovian fashion in anticipation of some mouth watering seafood delights freshly plucked from our coastal waters. What a concept, harvested from Coastal Georgia waters and served fresh in Coastal Georgia Eateries and Seafood Festival venues along the Southern Passages Corridor. While Savannah’s 28th annual Seafood Festival is still close to three months out, there are some other festivals scheduled just after Labor Day Weekend all along the Georgia Coast. Take your pick from the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, the Shrimp and Grits Festival, and the Rock Shrimp Festival to name three of these events. Fresh seafood is always available seasonally in our Savannah area restaurants but the seafood festival venues are even more important if fresh seafood is what you are after.

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Do we see a pattern emerging with the upcoming Shrimp Festivals, er I mean seafood festivals? As knowledgeable connoisseurs of our delectable homegrown crustaceans will vouch for, “all shrimp are not created the same”. And that is particularly true of our succulent Wild Georgia Shrimp. So if you can’t catch your own like our adroit cast net flinging locals can, at least make sure that you are sitting down to some honest to goodness FRESH Wild Georgia Shrimp at any of our participating local restaurants. Seek out the real deal in your shrimp and grits offerings, harvested fresh daily in season and served just in time at all the participating Savannah and Tybee Island Seafood Restaurants. You’ll be glad you did! 

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Savannah Seafood Festival News

Be Smart with your search for a Vacation Rental Investment in Destination Savannah

So the second home vacation rental real estate bubble has burst according to most experts and the family vacation is going through a metamorphosis according to some, right? Not necessarily folks. While economic indicators are falling in virtually every sector of our economy, here’s a news flash for you. The Hospitality Industry if not exactly thriving in Destination Savannah is certainly sustaining most of the old timer vacation businesses thanks to the 6 to 7 million travelers coming to the Hostess City year after year. There is a reason that Savannah’s Landmark Historic District currently is and has consistently been named a Top Ten Vacation Destination amongst Travel Industry leaders year after year, Conde Nast and Travel and Leisure.

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When it comes to making well informed vacation rental purchase decisions in a due diligence methodology, it is easy to recognize whom the savvy investors are and whom they are not. Separating fact from fiction even in a market as robust as Savannah’s 2.5 square mile “location, location, location on training wheels” destination requires some degree of sophistication in implementing a big picture cash flow strategy. It is easy to get caught up in the happy talk of the so called “experts” who are identifiable as being more interested in getting you to list your proposed real estate purchase within the vacation rental directory they represent. Not so fast there pilgrim, how do you propose to get separation amongst a galaxy of other absentee vacation rental rookies and players?

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No Virginia, conventional wisdom vacation rental marketing tactics
will not likely create an investment model that will allow you to operate in the black annually amidst falling real estate values and tanking nightly room rates. There are a lot of factors to consider if you ever do hit the bulls eye of this long range target. But why share our successful Savannah Vacation Rental methodology honed over the past ten years to the investors we serve or our competitors alike in this open forum? Send me an E-mail and will spend a few minutes with you one on one for free conveying what I have told many, many more historic district property investors over the years like we did with these folks that purchased one of our own private properties several years ago.

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Savannah Vacation Rental Investor News

Savannah Jazz Festival coming to Forsyth Park in September

 2009SJFPosterlogo Since 1983 the Coastal Jazz Association and the City of Savannah have sponsored a festival every year in Forsyth Park with the exception of 1996 due to the Olympic Games that were held in Atlanta. The Savannah Jazz festival is considered to be one of the best free Jazz festivals in the country with a reputation of providing an outstanding venue for internationally known Jazz artists to be heard in. Many legendary performers show up to perform every year.

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This year is no different as many artists will be featured in this seven day long event scheduled to run from Sunday September 20th through Sunday September 27th featuring such artists as saxophonist Grace Kelly, The Ben Riley Trio, and the Eric Culberson Blues Band (view Directors Cut on You Tube below) among others. Check out the seven day line up for 2009.

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Official kick-off event is slated to be held on Sunday, September 20th at Blowing Smoke at 514 Martin Luther King Boulevard. This year’s opening jam session at this great BBQ eatery will doubtless launch another memorable week of outstanding music. As usual, don’t wait until the last minute to stake out your accommodations in the back of the district in and around Forsyth Park for both mid week and weekends in one of the top musical weeks of the season, Savannah Jazz Fest!

Savannah Vacation News Channel – All the News thats Fit to print for the Bed and Breakfast Fan