The story of our family business begins in the 1970s when "Dave the Wave" decided a degree in engineering wasn't for him. Against his parent's will, he packed up his belongings and drove from Rhode Island to Miami Beach to pursue a career as a water ski instructor.
One hot summer day, two sisters on vacation from New York decided they wanted to learn to ski and Dave, the "handsome beach boy" just happened to be their instructor. That is when Dave met the woman of his dreams, Andrea. One year later, Andrea moved from the Bronx to be with him in Florida.
Epcot had just opened along with the Orlando International Airport, so the couple decided to take a risk & move from Miami to Orlando. After years of teaching skiing out of the back of hotels in the Orlando & Kissimmee area, they bought a property on Lake Bryan in 1991.
Developing the property wasn't easy! Permits had to be obtained from Disney and Orange County. They had to hire engineers, architects, and environmental protection agents, as well as builders for the dock, canal, seawall, main structure and so on... but finally, Dave's Ski School opened in 1993! Dave and Andrea were a team. Andrea would handle the reps that would book the skiers as well as the register & accounting, while Dave would arrange transportation, make the phone calls, and instruct. The only requirements: The skier must have 1 arm, 1 leg and 50 bucks... and sure enough, that man showed up and skiied!
Dave became the face of water skiing in Orlando and was renowned in the UK. Over 100 guests per day would learn to ski on Lake Bryan with Dave by their side. Tourists in "Dave's Ski School" shirts were seen everywhere! In 2012, we brought back these retro shirts so make sure you pick one up on your visit!
After 9/11, all international business was over. The industry had changed and Dave's Ski School was suffering. As almost a last resort, Andrea had the idea to put an ad online for weddings. With Dave's creativity and vision along with Andrea's marketing, they were able to diversify their business. Due to the immediate success, the event planning company named 'Paradise Cove' was born. In 2013, Paradise Cove was voted the 'Best Wedding Venue' in Orange County, Florida.
A Journey to Paradise...
Dave & Andrea also raised three daughters (poor Dave!). Kayli now manages the weddings & events, Courtney handles water sports marketing, and Ashley helps with accounting while also being a full time nurse and mother.
So Where are Dave & Andrea now?
Well... they were finally able to buy a personal boat. You can find them either cruising the coasts of Florida, floating in Lake George, or sailing the British Virgin Islands...