Beach Bar Bums Focus – Bruce Inskeep and beachbars.co

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Beach Bar Bums Focus - Bruce Inskeep and beachbars.co

Bruce Inskeep loves beach bars. The man behind http://www.beachbars.co has dedicated what free time he has to promoting, talking about and helping others learn about beach bars. He has created an online repository of information on beach bars in the Caribbean that includes his website, facebook page, twitter feed and youtube channel among others. I’ve been privileged to get to know Bruce on a personal level outside of our roles as facebook page admins and look forward to finally getting to meet him in person at a beach bar somewhere in central Indiana this year. OK, maybe not an actual beach bar but a bar with a beach theme.

With the renovation of his website recently completed, it seemed like as good a time as any to highlight Bruce’s work as part of my “Whenever I Have Time To Do It” feature. It was a decision reinforced by the enthusiasm exhibited in his responses to my questions.

I can remember vividly the moment I realized I loved beach bars. Bruce had a similar epiphany. “I was at a Beach Bar at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. I was with my wife’s uncle and nephew. We had just settled in to a front row seat of sand, surf and a few Goombay Smashes. We met several people from all around the world representing different cultures, beliefs and opinions. The one thing we all had in common was the positive affect of a beach bar. A Beach Bar has a way of neutralizing life and allows people to meet new friends and make new memories. It was at that point that I decided I was going to do something Beach Bar related.”

Creating a personal website and getting the word out online and especially in social media takes a lot of time and effort. Bruce’s experience was no different. “Back then social media wasn’t around so I spent a few years visiting Beach Bars and kept thinking to myself “I can’t be the only one who enjoys this.” Luckily, social media was invented and I decided since I don’t have the money to buy a Beach Bar, I’ll dedicate a website to them.”

“Building a website of Beach Bars is easier said than done. I’m not a technical person so trying to convey my vision to a website developer was somewhat of a challenge. I went through several revisions of the site and finally found a web developer who understood what I wanted.”

The Caribbean is famous for its beach bars and the sheer number of them in operation. How could you possibly catalog all of them? Even if you were able to create a viable online archive, what kind of information would be available? “The next step was research…lots and lots of research. What I try to do is give visitors to the site every angle of the Beach Bars. We provide a Beach Bars website link, facebook link, twitter link, and trip advisor link if they have any/all of those links. In addition, I created a flickr page and youtube channel and researched for months looking for related pics and videos so visitors to the site can see shots taken from people who have actually been to the beach bars. What I ultimately try to do is give you every piece of information that is available about a particular beach bar in one website. Adding a Beach Bar used to take hours, now it takes less time since a lot of the ground work has been established. I also had to take a lesson in geography and learn about the Caribbean Islands so I could accurately label where the Beach Bars are located. Some Bars on the site don’t have a website or a Facebook page, so indirectly, we’ve become their alternative website!”

Have you been able to visit many of the beach bars for “research” purposes? What about the ones you haven’t visited? “Of course in order to do a site about Beach Bars you have to do a little R&D. I have not been to all the Beach Bars on the site, but the long term goal is to visit each island in the Caribbean and visit as many of the Beach Bars as I can. In the meantime, I use the internet and “Crowd Sourcing.” Crowd Sourcing is reaching out to those who have been to the bars and are willing to share their experiences. This would include blogs, Travel or Tour Operators and fans of the website. I would much rather have a fan or someone who knows the Beach Bar to describe it and give them credit for doing so.”
“The fans of the site have come up with some great ideas for the site. We’re going to be adding a Google component to the site so you can see where the bars are located and we’ll be adding more content about the bars from 3rd party media sources. And of course, we welcome any pics or stories from our fans so we can add that to the site as well.”

Have you ever been to a bad one? “I’ve been to Beach Bars in the BVI, USVI, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Grand Cayman & Barbados. I have never been in a bad Beach Bar!”

You can’t talk about beach bars without discussing the drinks that made some of them famous. For me, it was the mudslides at the Shiggidy Shack and a vodka Ting anywhere they served them. For Bruce, it was unsurprisingly located in the BVI. “I will tell you, my first “Pain Killer” was at Pusser’s Marina Cay in the BVI. I would suggest if you are trying your first painkiller, you have a designated boat or car driver!”

Thank you, Bruce, for not only taking the time to respond to my questions but for sharing your love of beach bars with the rest of us. Here’s to our first “Beach Bars Summit” which I envision will include a lot of Pain Killers, vodka Tings and someone else driving us home. Cheers!

Author: Tom W.

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