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Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 appropriate information can be conveyed to the public. Otherwise, he said, people will look to venues other than Siesta Key for beach weddings in 2015. Page 37 While the eastern end of the park is "typically more active in nature and louder in nature," Brown noted, weddings could take place in that area. She added that a new public concession probably would be open or nearly ready to open by January 2015, and volleyball tournaments are common on that end of the park. However, Brown said, county staff would be happy to work with wedding planners for events there. Neiman pointed out that she already had directed Chamber volunteers to begin "calling all the accommodations that are members of the Siesta Key Chamber" in an effort to compile a list of private residences or other locations on the island where weddings could be held. During the SKVA meeting, members also menBrown explained to the News Leader that tioned the fact that weddings take place at with the western end of the park seeing con- some of the beach accesses, especially closer struction start in early 2015, people would to Siesta Village. However, Brown explained, have to walk a much longer distance to reach "We have not done special event permits … the area of beach where weddings normally for the beach access points." are held. They also would be faced with heavy One reason, she continued, is that the paths equipment near the site, she added. Moreover, generally are narrow. If wedding party "There's going to be mud. There's going to be members took up most of a path, she said, dirt." beach-goers would have to maneuver around She added, "We would be happy to rent it … them, leading to the possibility that people but getting to it is going to be very tricky." would walk on private property or environmentally sensitive areas of the beach. Additionally, Brown said, "We would hate to have someone disappointed with their Additionally, Brown noted, the access points surroundings." tend to have limited parking. If the county She noted that the north end of the beach, were to provide permits for weddings at where vows typically are said, "is more beaches, those events could make it impossisecluded, more subdued." But with the con- ble for other members of the public to use the struction, she cautioned, "It may not be quite accesses at the same time. as quiet as one would hope or anticipate a At the conclusion of the SKVA discussion, wedding to be. … One of the things about Matthes and board member Mark Smith of weddings is that people want to know … that Smith Architects both indicated they planned their special day is going to be really, really to contact Brown, so they could assist the special." Chamber staff with obtaining the most accuBrown also pointed out that that area of rate information. A search is still under way Siesta's famous sand is not the only one avail- for a new executive director of the Chamber, able to the public for weddings. "The beach with Kevin Cooper, the most recent person is huge," she said — a comment SKVA Vice to hold that job, having taken a new posiPresident Kay Kouvatsos also mentioned tion with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of during the meeting. Commerce in early December. %

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