'Amish Las Vegas' Today show story wins tourism award for Pinecraft

November 26, 2013 

SARASOTA -- A prestigious hospitality marketing award gives a nod to what happens in Pinecraft, stays in Pinecraft.

Visit Sarasota County was named the winner of the Gold Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International for marketing Sarasota's Amish and Mennonite community. Visit Sarasota touted the local Amish scene as Las Vegas for the Amish on the Today show's website after garnering more than eight million viewers.

Today's Sara Haines featured Pinecraft on Today and on the NBC show's website in April after a pitch by Visit Sarasota County and its public relations firm MMGY Global to feature a unique aspect of the Florida beach community. The "Amish Las Vegas" story is still available online, featuring notable Pinecraft residents Katie Troyer and cookbook author Sherry Gore.

"We are honored to be recognized with this award," said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. "The Amish community is a special part of Sarasota. We are fortunate to have been able to work with individuals in that community to gain positive national exposure of their culture and what they have to offer visitors coming to Sarasota County."

Pinecraft is a small yet bustling snowbird paradise along Bahia Vista Street for Amish and Mennonite residents. The warmer climate provides more flexibility in the Amish church here where the bishop allows cell phone use, bicycles and other form of transportation because it's too difficult to keep a horse and buggy here. The village has also been featured on reality-based shows "Breaking Amish" on TLC and "Amish Mafia" on Discovery.

The Adrian Awards honor the best in travel marketing and public relations as determined by a panel of judges from the travel sales and marketing industry. The awards will presented on Feb. 24, 2014 at the Adrian Awards Gala in New York City.

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