Jack Nicklaus, aka the Golden Bear, is golden in the eyes of a Charleston-based industry trade group with a big stake in the golfing business.

So much so that the organization is honoring the legendary player and prolific course designer at its annual convention this week.

The National Golf Course Owners Association is giving Nicklaus its 2014 Award of Merit for his "unparalleled impact on the game" during its annual conference that starts today in Orlando. He's set to hoist the honor Wednesday at the Rosen Centre Hotel.

"While his incredible playing career has set a standard for generations, his accomplishments as a course designer, businessman, philanthropist and NGCOA member truly make him deserving of our highest honor." said Mike Hughes, CEO of the Daniel Island-based trade association

Nicklaus won 120 professional tournaments, including a record 18 majors, over his five-decade playing career. His Nicklaus Design has created 380 courses in 36 countries.

He also has business ties to Charleston off the course. He and son Gary are investors in DeSano Pizza Bakery, which opened a location on the upper peninsula in September. The elder Nicklaus even stopped in during the Charleston restaurant's opening.

Ship to shore

A local group that's pushing cruise ships to turn off their engines and switch to shoreside power while they're tied up in downtown Charleston is looking for a surge of support over the next few weeks.

Charleston Communities for Cruise Control has designated February as "Shore Power Now" month.

The group says there's mounting evidence that the use of shoreside power would reduce pollution from cruise ships.

The move comes as state Reps. Jim Merrill and Leon Stavrinakis plan to authorize up to $5 million to install the necessary equipment at the State Ports Authority's Union Pier Terminal.

The SPA has not endorsed the kind of shorepower the lawmakers are proposing to fund, but it has said there are other technologies that could be used at a new passenger facility it plans to build to the north of its existing structure.

Staying power

Charleston is ranking high on top tourism lists again for some of its places to stay.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the Wentworth Mansion No. 14 on a newly published list of the 169 best hotels in the United States. The Palmetto State was well-represented in the ranking. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, French Quarter Inn, Planters Inn and The Restoration on King also made the cut.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton near Hilton Head Island notched the No. 2 spot, behind The Lodge at Sea Island in Sea Island, Ga.

In a breakdown of the top 10 hotels in the state, U.S. News cited eight Charleston lodgings, including all of the previously mentioned properties. They were joined by Charleston Place, the Market Pavilion Hotel and the John Rutledge House Inn.

Market driven

The historic Charleston City Market is in the market for foodies and artistic types.

The big pedestrian tourist draw is now accepting applications from vendors interested in participating in its "Evenings in the Market" series.

The weekly event, designed to showcase local artists, food vendors and designers, is from 6:30-10:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday from March through December.

Local artists are also encouraged to submit artwork to be featured on the event's promotional poster. The winner of the contest will receive 50 posters and the rights to print and sell additional copies. Entries are due Feb. 27.

Go to www.thecharleston citymarket.com for more details.

On the stands

Magazine readers across the country soon will be able to see what's in style in the Lowcountry.

Local publication Charleston Style & Design will be distributed nationally starting with its spring issue, which will be sold in more than 400 Barnes & Noble stores across the country. The News Group, a national publication distributor, also picked up the local magazine to sell on grocery store stands.

The national distribution could also draw extra attention to Charleston's wedding industry. Charleston Style & Design recently added a bridal section, which will span over 128 pages in the spring issue.