We had the good fortune of connecting with Timothy Schwartzman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Timothy, what do you attribute your success to?
Our brand is our family. We are fortunate to have so many relatives and close friends who work alongside us each daily to help introduce visitors to the Florida Everglades. Our quality and service is a direct reflection of our hard work as a family to provide the very best experience for our customers. We can adapt daily to adjust and modify our business model based on responses and feedback to be constantly improving our attraction and our park. We are not beholden to a corporate structure or a board room, or willingness to grow and evolve is only limited by our imaginations. Our humanitarian side is allowed to shine at the helm of owning an attraction. We can host low income students for free, we adopt and rescue injured or abused wildlife, we can utilize our food truck to feed the hungry or host Make A Wish to grant the dream of flying over the sawgrass on an airboat before it’s too late. Our park is a gift to our family and in turn we always want to reach out to our local community to thank them and give back for making our dream possible. We are grateful for the chance to work daily within the boundaries of one of the world’s greatest wonders and we hope it shows in the experience we provide.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our brand is our family. We are not a corporation and our success is directly attributed to our staff who work so hard to provide a great experience for our guests. We are lucky to have a product that can showcase a natural wonder in the world and that we are able to work in such a beautiful environment daily. Running a small business is anything but easy, we commit ourselves 24 hours a day and 363 days a year to making sure every detail is attended to and we get 2 days off a year. We had to overcome hurricanes that wiped out our park twice, a pandemic etc over the years which made the day to day challenging and left us tired but it is the price you pay for being able to support others and create jobs and for that opportunity we are grateful.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Fort Lauderdale is incredible and has so much to offer from the Everglades to the beaches and the intercostal or Venice of Florida in between. I would recommend they stay at the Riverside Hotel or Margaritaville to take in the waterway views of our city. They could eat at one of the hundreds of waterfront restaurants like S3, Casablanca Cafe, Bubba Gumps and more. They would have to take a segway or jetski tour with Fort Lauderdale Segway, see the butterflies at Butterfly World and take a ride through the gardens on the tram at Flamingo Gardens. The Water Taxi is the best way to get around the intercostal waterways and to see the sights from the water. Las Olas is a beautiful area to stroll and the shopping at Sawgrass Mills is second to none.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are several organizations that really help us achieve our goals and help us to care for our staff. The first is FAA or the Florida Attractions Association! These individuals work hard to run the top attractions, museums, aquariums, zoo’s, and more in our state and their support, guidance, advice and input helps guide so many of our business decisions and makes us a stronger organization. We also have to thank Visit Florida for their hard work and efforts to market our state and support businesses of all sizes achieve domestic and international visibility while working with limited budgets. The individuals at VF care for each company here in the state that relies on tourism to keep their staff employed and we are grateful. We also have to thank NFIB for helping us as a small business navigate the ever changing landscape of insurance, licensing, permitting, regulations etc to ensure we are running a top quality business and doing the best we possibly can for our staff to help them grow too.