The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is always looking for ways to bring people to Manatee County, and why not through a sweepstakes?
So far eight sweepstakes are planned in 2014, and the CVB talked to area businesses Tuesday morning at an Ad Buy event to sign up as partners for the contests. Each of the sweepstakes is expected to include a five-day, four-night stay, lunch or dinner, attraction admission, spa or unique experience component.
The best one out of the bunch has to be the Radical Sabbatical, a one-month vacation here in the area, said Debbie Meihls, executive manager of the CVB. Unlike Europeans, most of us in North America can't take a solid month off from work, so the prize can be broken up throughout the year allowing the winner to come back, she said. The contest is expected to be launched in summer 2014 to push fall tourism.
The experience includes one week on Anna Maria Island, one week on Longboat Key, one week in Bradenton and one week in Lakewood Ranch.
They're working on providing attraction tickets, restaurant gift certificates, eco tours, Segway tours, kayak and paddle boarding adventures and spa packages.
Here are the other top sweepstakes pegged for 2014:
Guys Spring Training/Gulf Coast Getaway | Launch: Winter 2014
Bring the Budweiser and the buddies for this contest. The contest will promote a spring training getaway at McKechnie Field, golf game, fishing, bars and cigars.
Dog Days of Summer | Launch: Spring 2014
One lucky dog will win a chance to win a vacation for the family. The contest designed to promote the pet-friendly travel in the area by featuring pet-friendly accommodations and restaurants, dog parks, beaches and more. Includes a four-night stay at a pet-friendly hotel, meals, tickets, tours and more.
Fitness and More magazines with Huffy Bikes | Launch: Summer 2014
These two magazines are working on a giveaway that will include 10 Huffy bikes as prizes when the winners arrive in Manatee County to use to explore the various nature and bike trails in scenic Manatee.
SPF 50 (Solar Powered Fun) | Launch: Winter 2014
SPF 50 will offer 50 great things to do for the best Florida vacation ever. One lucky winner will score their choice getaway from 50 featured activities including accommodations, dining and more. Contest is designed to keep visitors online to lean more about the area and to start making their plans.
Legally, these contests are usually open to U.S. residents 18, sometimes 21, and older. So while locals could enter in these sweepstakes, ideally someone new will win to discover the treasured beaches on Anna Maria Island or have a ball at McKechnie Field.
Keep an eye out for these contests next year and encourage your friends and family to enter so they can win a nice trip and visit you. That way you can be the tour guide and host without taking care of the bills.