bed tax collections

Bed taxes show robust growth trend

Bed taxes show robust growth trend

In a fiscal year of high numbers for bed-tax collections, January saw a 41 percent increase in these fees paid by overnight visitors to Santa Rosa County. Bed-tax revenues for January, the most recent month available, were $133,265. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Bed-tax surge points to strong tourism trend

Bed-tax surge points to strong tourism trend

Shortly after announcing its first $3 million year, the county Tourist Development Office reported Dec. 2 that October’s bed-tax collections blew past the previous October by 51.61 percent. The county brought in $268,125.73 in bed taxes during the month. Read the full article in the Dec. 13 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for […]

Airbnb-style rentals prove hard to track

Airbnb-style rentals prove hard to track

For visitors wanting to get the full experience of living in another place in the way a local would, websites like Airbnb and VRBO offer a unique chance to try out the living quarters of a different community for the day. A quick search of these sites for an August weekend near Navarre Beach turns […]

Tourist Development Council cancels county tour

Tourist Development Council cancels county tour

Santa Rosa County’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) has canceled its planned countywide field trip, citing concerns about legal liability and potential violation of the Sunshine Law. The group, which makes recommendations about the expenditure of county bed taxes, was scheduled to get a firsthand look at tourism assets throughout the county July 2 in a […]

Holley calls for revisiting of long-term plan for Navarre projects

Holley calls for revisiting of long-term plan for Navarre projects

It took the Tourist Development Council seven hours of debate in October over how to pay for a $7 million renovation of Navarre Park to finally come to a consensus. In a meeting filled with differing perspectives, by the end of the Oct. 5, 2017, meeting all those sitting on the board agreed on a plan […]

Tourist Development Council to hit the road

Tourist Development Council to hit the road

As the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council (TDC) continues to push toward prioritizing funding of physical tourism assets, some members of the council admitted a lack of firsthand knowledge of some existing tourism facilities. “I think if we could go back in time a little bit and actually tour some of those areas, see […]

Santa Rosa tourists here for friends, stay for events

Santa Rosa tourists here for friends, stay for events

County Commissioners and Tourist Development Council (TDC) members gained insight into the impact of tourism in the county last week as the University of West Florida Haas Center unveiled the Tourism Market Economic Impact Study. This yearlong effort examined many aspects of tourism including spending by visitors, where visitors were coming from and how this […]

Tourism competitor casts wide net

Tourism competitor casts wide net

Ads that promote vacations on beautiful Gulf Coast beaches are running on the University of West Florida’s radio station—but those leisure destinations aren’t around here. Instead, Visit St. Petersburg-Clearwater is a player on the university’s National Public Radio airwaves with a strategy that Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan said she can’t afford. […]

Warrior run to receive $15,000 in tourism funds

Warrior run to receive $15,000 in tourism funds

Emerald Coast Warrior Run has been approved for a $15,000 Tourism Development Event Marketing Grant to bring a 5k obstacle course run to the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds in April. This is the first year for the event put on by the Okaloosa County-based Emerald Coast Warriors. Event lead Chandler Robbins said his group hopes to […]

Sunshine scrutiny of tourist panel lingers

Sunshine scrutiny of tourist panel lingers

Even the most seemingly innocent phone call between two members of a volunteer group such as the Tourist Development Council can cause suspicion and trigger legal questions that last for months. Such a phone call in August from council member Jack Sanborn to panel colleague Kyle Holley apparently prompted a complaint from an undisclosed source […]

Panel creates funding plan for park upgrades

Panel creates funding plan for park upgrades

After seven hours of argument and compromise, members of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) were able to reach a funding agreement for millions of dollars in Navarre Park improvements. The initial phase of funding would cover roughly $3.6 million for playground equipment, a new splash pad, new east-end restrooms, stormwater improvements and removal of the […]

Update: Park funding sources change

Update: Park funding sources change

Update 9/24 Since Sept. 14, when District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson revealed his master plan for Navarre Park and his recommended funding plan for Phase 1, his funding sources have changed significantly according to the agenda for the Board of County Commissioners meeting slated for Monday.  Williamson’s former funding plan for the first phase was […]

Beaches to Woodlands returns early this year

Beaches to Woodlands returns early this year

Labor Day weekend marks the end of the traditional tourism peak season, and that can mean months of fewer visitors and lower profits known as the shoulder season. Bed tax collections, the money paid to the county by visitors for temporary lodging, tend to be lower. Despite July posting 32 percent bed tax growth, many […]

Absenteeism hampers work of tourism council

Absenteeism hampers work of tourism council

While bed tax collections are up for another month, the board responsible for making recommendations on how to spend that money is shrinking. Attendance at Tourist Development Council board and committee meetings has been spotty. Nearly half the board is absent at any given time, and Commissioner Rob Williamson, who serves on the board, has […]

Does spring break boost beach profits?

Does spring break boost beach profits?

Do spring break crowds translate to higher bed tax collections? The simple answer is yes … and no. “We are busy. The lobby is full every time I am here,” remarked Liz Horton of Wyndham by Resort Quest, who chairs the Tourism Development Committee Board. Read the full article in the March 30 issue of […]

State Attorney rejects tourist-tax allegations against Gulf Breeze

State Attorney rejects tourist-tax allegations against Gulf Breeze

The falling out between Santa Rosa County and the City of Gulf Breeze over sharing tourism tax money worsened into a criminal complaint filed by Clerk of the Court Don Spencer in December. Read the full article in the Feb. 25 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 per […]

Grant request may inflate Tough Mudder’s benefit

Grant request may inflate Tough Mudder’s benefit

Every hotel and motel room in Santa Rosa County would have to be filled for an entire week in April by Tough Mudder enthusiasts to achieve the economic impact of the two-day event as estimated in a request for state funding filed by the Tourist Development Office. That’s because while there are 695 such rooms […]

Proposal on sharing tourist tax meets resistance

Proposal on sharing tourist tax meets resistance

Wresting control of some local tourist tax dollars to use for statewide leisure industry promotion and fund law enforcement may sound like a good idea in Tallahassee, but it’s getting mixed reviews hereabout. State Rep. Matthew Gaetz, chairman of the House Tax and Finance Committee, recently proposed legislation allowing up to 10 percent of bed […]