Casa Ybel Resort

Sanibel Island, Florida

Bailey-Matthews shell collection crosses into new territory

July 3, 2014
by CRAIG GARRETT ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Fifty-eight thousand. That’s the magic figure for the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

Museum volunteers in the last week crossed the barrier of recording and cataloging 58,000 lots of shells, or roughly 275,000 individual shells collected or donated to the museum in the last 20 years. It represents thousands of species of the critters and creatures occupying shells. Some date to the 1800s.

The museum got serious about tracking its huge collection in the last few years, funding two staffers and attracting another two dozen or so volunteers. The figure represents less than half of the shells donated to the Sanibel museum, which this year has added the word “national” to its name. The figure also includes 3,000 wet specimens stored in grain alcohol for DNA research, and a treasure trove donated from the Redfern collection, shells mostly gathered from the Bahamas. Colin Redfern is a rock star in shelling, a noted guidebook author on shelling. His collection dates to the early 1970s. It is considered a coup in the world of malacology, the term zoologists use for the study of mollusks.

Bailey-Matthews Shell Collection

“It’s a world-class collection,” said Tom Risher, a Bailey-Matthews volunteer, shell cataloger and hobbyist. “Probably the best.”

The shell museum sits on eight acres donated by one of Sanibel’s founding merchant families. The intent was for an information and reference repository for those interested in studying shells. It has evolved into a popular spot for visitors and residents alike, with exhibits, lectures, films, a gift shop. The museum is also a haven for serious collectors and researchers.

And what better place than the Gulf of Mexico, considered a shelling capital of the world. The museum also got an extra boost with actor Raymond Burr lending the weight of his fame and passion for shelling to the effort in the mid 1990s.

Ultimately, the museum is centered on its collection. Volunteers like Risher and Ann Moeder sit in a private room, meticulously and tediously cataloguing thousands of shells in collection boxes. Much of the collection is available online, giving the world a peek behind the curtain, Risher said.

Shells, he said, “are a snapshot in history,” relating that shells of the same genetics are found on both sides of Florida, providing researchers foundations for the study of geographic and human affairs.

And nothing goes to waste. The museum’s huge collection, which could top a million shells, is sorted for duplicates and those of lesser value. Hundreds of boxes have been bequeathed over the years. Shells are given as souvenirs to children visiting the museum, to crafters, even to Sanibel/Captiva artists erecting shell art.

“No shell is dumped in a bin,” Risher said. “Each will benefit someone.”

Pam Rambo, the Sanibel shell collector and author of the popular ILoveShelling blog, said islanders are fortunate to have the museum in their midst.

“Shellers around the world know Sanibel and Captiva and the Bailey-Matthews,” Rambo said. “It is a premier museum, and a very cool place.”





— First-Ever Wedding Industry Hall of Fame Pronounces Preeminent Vendors Across the U.S. –

Casa Ybel Resort honored!


NEW YORK (October 1, 2013) – Whether they’re trying to find the wedding dress salon with the best service in Philadelphia, the most creative wedding photographers in Los Angeles, New York’s top cake bakers or Miami’s hottest reception sites, engaged couples across the country want the inside scoop from real brides. The Knot Wedding Network (NYSE: XOXO), which is composed of the top two wedding websites, and, today announces the first-of-its-kind wedding industry Hall of Fame for the all-time best wedding vendors across the United States.


Comprised of winners of the annual Best of Weddings, a by-brides-for-brides guide to the top wedding vendors in 80-plus cities across the U.S., the Hall of Fame inducts wedding vendors who have won four or more Best of Weddings awards. This honorable list of 331 inductees includes less than 2 percent of wedding professionals.


Included in this list is Casa Ybel Resort, one of a select few in Florida and only one for Sanibel Island.  Casa Ybel Resort specializes in Destination Beach Weddings and Receptions.


Casa Ybel Resort  is thrilled to have been named as a Hall of Fame honoree. “We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on The Knot Wedding Network; it means so much to us and our business to have received such tremendous feedback over four years. We are dedicated to providing excellent service to all of our clients and look forward to helping future brides plan their perfect day.”


“For the past seven years, our reviews have been the definitive resource for our brides, providing them with unparalleled vendor recommendations directly from the tried-and-true experiences of fellow brides,” said Carley Roney, cofounder of “We’re beyond thrilled to induct our first-ever Hall of Fame, crowning the best of the best across the country, based on more than 725,000 reviews from real brides.”


About XO Group Inc.
XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include, The Nest, The Bump, and XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media – from the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video – and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing. The company is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (XOXO) and is headquartered in New York City. Follow XO Group on Twitter @xogroupinc.


CONTACT: Stephanie Fraiman

Public Relations Manager

The Knot Wedding Network


Karen and Jonathan’s September 2013 Casa Ybel Resort Wedding


We believe that where ever you are, whether or not you are ready, true love will find you.  So it was with Jonathan and Karen.  One evening, before they knew each other they both happened to be attending an event at their church.  As soon as Jonathan saw Karen he knew he wanted to get to know her.  He told a friend he would like to date ‘that girl’, but his friend said he thought she was already dating someone and so the matter was dropped.

A few months later Karen’s relationship ended.  Jonathan had not forgotten her and saw his chance. He asked her out on a date, but Karen wasn’t ready.  Jonathan knew Karen was special and would check in from time to time.  Eventually Jonathan decided to take a step back to give Karen some space.   Believe it or not, Karen missed Jonathan and realized there was more to him than she originally thought.  Karen told her friends to tell Jonathan’s friends if he asked her out again she would agree.  This was just what Jonathan was waiting for, they arranged a date and well… they’ve been together ever since.

They both love the beach and decided Casa Ybel Resort was the perfect setting for their destination wedding.  Family and friends joined them in the sunshine to pray with them and attest to their covenant of marriage.  Nautilus Photopraphy photographed them during and after the ceremony  as they walked and talked on the beach.

The DJ announced the new couple as they danced to Train’s Marry Me.  Later Karen danced with her dad and her sister said a few words as they cut their beautiful cake.  The food was blessed and everyone enjoyed a sumptuous Brunch Buffet at the resort’s Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant.  This wonderful couple enjoyed their special day with  family and friends outdoors on the  Flagstone Veranda to the tune of steel drums in the background.  We are all honored to be a part of this celebration.

Beachfront Ceremony at Casa Ybel Resort

Beachfront Ceremony at Casa Ybel Resort

Reception on the Flagstone Veranda of the Thistle Lodge Restaurant

Reception on the Flagstone Veranda of the Thistle Lodge Restaurant

Lubner Group Completes Thistle Lodge Veranda at Casa Ybel Resort

Thistle Lodge Flagstone Veranda

Naples, FL (June 5, 2013) — Lubner Group (, the hospitality division of Clive Daniel Home,, the Naples, Florida fine furnishings retailer, has recently completed a “makeover” of the Thistle Lodge flagstone veranda at the iconic Casa Ybel Resort CasaYbelResort on Sanibel Island, Florida.

Commented General Manager, Frolian Ramirez, Jr., “We asked Lubner Group to revitalize the space with an updated and relaxing look that would be appealing for social gatherings. They did such a great job that the outside deck has now become a popular gathering spot for resort guests, with many taking photos of the area. They are delighted with the transformation of the area since it provides an intimate, and cozy atmosphere ideal for private and group gatherings.”

According to Nancy Woodhouse, IDS, of Lubner Group and interior designer for the project, “We reinvented the space and made it more inviting by installing comfy seating with cushions in hues of vibrant, happy and eye-popping citrus colors, giving it a welcoming ‘wow’ factor. This helped to transform the area into a highly popular place to gather for cocktails overlooking the resort’s beautiful grounds.”

In 2012, Lubner Group also completed the resort’s front desk reception area as well as the total renovation of the 40 individually owned one-bedroom beachfront condominiums at the resort. There are also 74-two-bedroom timeshare villas on the 23-acre Gulf-front property, a massive pool area, six tennis courts and legendary Thistle Lodge restaurant. The condominiums are managed by Casa Hospitality Services, a division of Casa Ybel Resort Partnership. The fixed-week timeshare units are managed by Hilton Grand Vacations, under the leadership of Chris Cain.

The Lubner Group is internationally respected for its hospitality and commercial design work, providing purchasing and design services for commercial and shared-use properties plus developers of high-rise condominiums and single-family communities in North America and abroad. Daniel Lubner can be reached at 239-292-3717.

For additional information, contact
Dan Lubner at 239-292-3717

Media Contact:

Sanibel Island earns TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands Award


Sanibel Island has earned the 2013 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands award based entirely on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Sanibel landed in the top 10 favorite island destinations among more than 100 winning islands across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S. TripAdvisor described Sanibel’s winning style: “Most vacation spots are either relaxing (Tahiti) or family-friendly (Orlando). Sanibel Island, however, is that rare place which is both. Spend a quiet afternoon shell-collecting, or find a hotel with a kids’ program so you can enjoy a trip to the spa or a round of golf.”

See for yourself, visit us at or call us directly at 800-276.4753.