Keeping the Spirit of Innovation Alive

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Take a moment and look back in time. A time where deadlines didn’t matter and day-long meetings were completely unbeknownst to you. Empty spaces could easily be filled with wild wonderlands of mystical creatures and faraway lands simply by using your mind.

Imagination – do we lose our ability to daydream as we get older? Maybe that little filament loses its spark and dims as we age, but does it have to fizzle and fade away? Perhaps we can light a fire that burns from endless embers, ready to burst into flame with a flash of light from a metaphorical bulb hovering above your head. Poof! An idea is born.

cademuseumMarch’s Holiday Inn Gives Back Charity is the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, where children learn to explore the ambitions that lead to great inventions. We’ll be donating a portion of group sales proceeds this month towards this organization, because great ideas don’t spring from stagnant minds.

Like the best museums, the Cade Museum provides great experiences with interactive learning, programs, and opportunities to grow into creative potential. Their classes, programs, and exhibits are designed to engage visitors in “purposeful creativity,” the kind that leads to great inventions, new businesses and things that change the world.

Programs include their Creativity Lab, which focuses on the “who,” not just the “what” and “why” of technology and new concepts. In the Lab, students learn to think creatively like inventors by using their own imaginations, with a combination of human history and the arts. They also offer a variety of special programs and camps to get the gears of ingenuity turning.

Keep the spirit of creativity alive!

When you book a room block and/or any of our meeting space during the month of March 2016, a portion of our proceeds will be donated to the Cade Museum.

Contact Sales Today
352-376-1661

5 Ways You Know Springtime is Coming in Gainesville

Not that winter is all that harsh in the Sunshine State, but there’s something about the slight increase in temps during the day and those few extra minutes of sunlight in the evening that tell us that spring is on the way.  Here’s 5 more ways we know springtime is coming, as portrayed by a few local events and more.

 

spring garden festival resizedKanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Festival
You’ve been analyzing the layout of your flower bed in preparation for all the plant life that’s about to take root there. You even made space for a family of garden gnomes. Breathe in the fresh scent of spring’s first flowers, live plants, and kick back with the live entertainment, children’s activities and live auctions. The event’s 175 booths offer plants, landscape displays, garden accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits and, of course, food.
WHEN:  March 19 (9am – 5pm) & 20 (10am – 5pm),  2016
photo credit: kanapha.org

 

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Gators Baseball Season Has Begun

You can smell the scent of ballpark franks on the grill, fresh-popped popcorn and hear the crack of the bat as our team smacks one out of the park! First game of the season is today, February 19th!
Gators Baseball Schedule
photo credit: floridagators.com

 

46th Annual April 11 - 12, 2015Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival
You’re already clearing out space in your house for some new artwork you know you’re going to snag at this much anticipated arts event. Set amid picturesque turn-of-the-century homes in the Northeast Gainesville Historic District, the 47th annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival on Sat.-Sun., April 2-3, offers fun and inspiration for the whole family.  This festival is one of the largest in Gainesville and is known for its abundance of high-quality and unique artwork. It’s an event not to miss!
WHEN: Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. to 5pm and  Sunday, April 3, noon to 5pm
WHERE: NE 1st St, Gainesville, FL 32601
photo/facts credit: The Santa Fe College Foundation
 

Woman with allergy symptom blowing nosePOLLEN
Your car is yellow, no matter what color the paint actually is. Florida is known for being green pretty much year round and with that comes a price – POLLEN. You’ve also stocked up on anti-histamines, extra car wash liquid and terry cloths to keep your vehicle clean.

 

Love Bugs Everywhere
This isn’t just for Gainesville, but really the whole state of Florida! What is it with nature attacking our cars in this state? If it’s not pollen, it’s the strange, yet oftentimes abhorred little critter known as the love bug that wreaks havoc on our cars’ paint jobs in droves. Small, fragile and odd creatures are the love bugs, but it wouldn’t be Florida without them. Time to buy even more car detailer and terry cloths.
photo credit: tampabay.com

 

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education

 

tsicSpringtime is fast approaching and that means students are looking forward to spring and summer break, and some are on the brink of graduation – ready to take on college and essentially, the world. However, some students struggle. Some need an extra push, a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on. This is where the organization we’ve selected for February’s “Holiday Inn Gives Back” comes into play.

Who is Take Stock in Children?
‘The Education Foundation of Alachua County’s Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is a scholarship and mentoring program that helps low-income, at-risk students break the cycle of poverty by graduating from high school and receiving a college degree.

Local middle and high public school students are invited to apply for TSIC, provided that they qualify for free or reduced lunch, have at least a 2.5 GPA. Once selected for TSIC, the students sign a contract stating that they will maintain their grades, adhere to school attendance and behavior standards, and stay drug and crime-free throughout middle and high school. The students also receive a volunteer mentor with whom they are required to meet at their school on a weekly basis. TSIC works with the guidance counselors at each middle and high school to monitor the students, and currently employs three Student Advocates whose sole job is to follow-up with and form relationships with the students. Upon high school graduation, if the student has fulfilled the points of the TSIC contract, they receive a 2-year college scholarship.’
credit: The Education Foundation
How to become a mentor

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How You Can Help us Help TSIC!
With the Holiday Inn Gives Back Program, we donate a portion of our proceeds from group and meeting bookings at our hotel made during the month of February. Whether your group reserves a room block or meeting space, (or both even!), these are both ways to contribute. The future starts with today’s children.

Request Information Now 

Or call us at (352) 376-1661 and ask to speak to a Group Sales Coordinator about booking your room block or meeting space today

5 Romantic Things to Do in Gainesville for Valentine’s Day

With a rich history and breathtaking scenery, Gainesville boasts plenty of romantic ways to spend this lover’s holiday together. Whether you love to dine and savor wine, or prefer to take in the scenery outdoors, this little college town has enough charm to win your heart.

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Picnic Lunch at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
With 62 acres of natural beauty to explore, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a top choice for a romantic afternoon with your love. Get some fresh air, or bring a picnic lunch to share. Kanapaha is also pet friendly, so bring your furry sweetheart, too. Discover a variety of plant life while exploring the water gardens, the herb garden, the hummingbird garden and even a ginger garden.
photo credit: kanapaha.org

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Stroll Down Cholokka Boulevard in Historic Micanopy

Sometimes known as “the little town that time forgot” historic Micanopy (pronounced mick-ah-NO-pee) is thought to be one of Florida’s first inland towns. “Dedicated on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, Cholokka Boulevard, once an Indian trading route,  is Micanopy’s main street,  and the Town’s primary tourist destination famous for its antique shops.” Micanopy was also voted as one of “The Cutest Small Towns in America” by Huffington Post and is located only 20 minutes to the south of Gainesville.
photo and facts credit: micanopytown.com

 

Swamp-Head-The-Wetlands-Taps-1200x493Sample Craft Beers and Tour Swamp Head Brewery
If you’ve been living under a rock, you probably still know craft beers are greatly displacing “mainstream” national beers by storm. Are hops and barley your thing? Then an afternoon tasting some of Gainesville’s unique brews is for you. Tours are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis on Tuesdays at 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm as well as Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. They get pretty creative with their concoctions, too. At the time this article was written, there was a “Coconut Curry Stump Knocker” Pale Ale in the tasting room. Swamp Head is a must-visit for the craft beer lover in Gainesville.
photo credit: swamphead.com

 

kittyValentine’s Day Couples Tour at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation
If you want to take a walk on the wild side, Carson Springs is offering a wildlife tour package this Valentine’s Day. They are primarily a conservation and educational facility, rescuing exotic animals in need. This Saturday and Sunday (Feb 13 & 14) Carson Springs is offering a tour featuring complimentary drinks, warthog races (what!!?), feeding demonstrations and a special gift for only $65.00 per couple. LEARN MORE!
photo credit: carsonspringswildlife.org

 

Piesanos-Dinner-Shot-2-cmykweb
And Last But Not Least, a Romantic Dinner for Two at Piesanos
Gainesville’s favorite Italian food and pizza is right here adjacent to the Holiday Inn UF. Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza Pints and Pies features your favorite pies and Italian delicacies, but also features over 40 taps, pouring a variety of local craft beers and national brews, plus a wine selection that will win your heart. No Valentine’s Day is complete without good food. Especially good Italian food!
photo credit: piesanostogo.com

 

Please Pardon Our Dust…

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Dear Guest(s):

 

Thank you so very much for the opportunity to host you.  Whether here for business, pleasure, or the University, we’re delighted to have you as our guest(s)!

Presently we are in the process of a significant upgrade to our roof.  There will be construction workers visible throughout the day for the next three to four weeks.  As there will be materials being transported to the rooftop, you may encounter some of these workers on the guest elevators as well as in the parking lot.  In most instances, those workers will be accompanied by someone from the hotel team-  i.e. a bellperson or someone from our management team.

Unfortunately there will be some level of sound that maybe unpleasant however, we will control the actual start time of the project so that it commences after 9:00 am and end at sun down.  Secondly, we will attempt to minimize that sound as much as possible and respond to any concern.

If for any reason, there is any level of discomfort on your part, please do not hesitate in speaking with any member of my team.  Thank you so very much for the opportunity to serve you.  Have a wonderful day and in case I miss chatting with you personally, have a wonderful holiday season…

Warmest regards,

 

Odyssey Leach, CHA

General Manager

Holiday Inn Gainesville University Center

Holiday Inn Gives Back to Boys and Girls Club!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to Give Back!

                As we all know, the holiday season has already arrived; Thanksgiving has come and gone, and there are just over 3 weeks left until Christmas! This year Holiday Inn University wants to kick off our “Holiday Inn Gives Back” program for the upcoming 2016 year. In collaboration with Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, we are proud to announce that we will be a drop-off site for their annual toy drive, benefitting underprivileged children this holiday season!

A Little History

Since 1949, the Club has provided positive educational, recreational, leadership, and sports programming for youth via quality after-school programs, a summer camp, and additional afternoon programming during the summer for all members. These programs and services are designed to build character and strengthen life skills, resulting in a healthy and safer community. The Clubs are staffed by paid, highly trained youth development professionals. Through a system of informal guidance, Club staff form strong bonds with young people and help them make smart choices in life. For many Club members and parents, Club staff members are the most influential positive adult role models in their lives. The Club’s programs foster a sense of belonging, and competence that builds self-confidence and self-esteem.

Following guidance from the Boys & Girls Club Movement, the Club implements programs in five core areas: The Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation; Character and Leadership Development; Health and Life Skills; and Education and Career Development, all in the hopes to fulfill their mission to inspire and empower the youth of Alachua County to realize their full potential to become responsible, healthy, productive and successful citizens.

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(from the official website of Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County)

How to “Give Back”

                This year, you can help make a difference for a child during the holidays. Holiday Inn University Center will be displaying a drop-off box—along with our festive holiday décor—in the lobby of our hotel. All you have to do is bring in new, unwrapped toys, books, clothing, or gift cards for children of all ages, and every week from now through the end of December we will drop off the goods at the BGC local office. Donations are welcome all month long from anyone wanting to help a child in need!

Want to give back some more?!

Book any group or meeting during the month of December and we’ll also donate a portion of the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County!

**All donations and proceeds are eligible for charitable deduction on your income tax returns. Please donate M-F between 9am-5pm to receive your form**

For more information on donating, please visit www.theuniversityhotel.com/GivesBack or www.myboysandgirlsclub.com or click on the PDF link below!

>> Holiday Inn Gift Drive <<

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Sporting Blue and Green for Organ Donation Awareness Plus, Our New Charity Program

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Giving back to the community has always been an important part of corporate responsibility and we at the Holiday Inn Gainesville couldn’t be more happy to announce the launch of our new “Holiday Inn Gives Back” program. With this program, we’ll be championing a different charity each month. When groups or organizations book room blocks and/or meeting space at our hotel, we’ll donate a portion of our proceeds to the current month’s charity in the booking organization or group’s name. Piesanos Pints and Pies, located adjacent to our hotel and a Gainesville favorite for pizza, is also joining in on the charity fun by volunteering to donate a portion of their proceeds on select days(s). Together, we can make an impact.

April’s selected charity is LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services. LifeQuest encourages everyone to join the Florida Organ Donor Registry at www.donatelifeflorida.org. Their mission is to save lives through the commitment of other individuals to the belief in organ and tissue donation.

Today is also National Donate Life Blue and Green Day, so we gathered together for a group photo wearing the colors of the cause with Coral Denton, representative for LifeQuest.