economic impact

Whiting plays critical role in local economy

Whiting plays critical role in local economy

Federal, state and local government officials came together Monday for a comprehensive update of the impact NAS Whiting Field has on the area economy and a discussion of strategies to protect the base’s mission. The Congressional Field Hearing was hosted by U.S Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District. Read the full article […]

Juana’s helps make poker run a success once again

Juana’s helps make poker run a success once again

Kevin Rudzki, owner of Juana’s Pagodas on Navarre Beach, has been involved with the Emerald Coast Poker Run since day one and has watched the event grow every year. This year’s event, which took place Saturday after nearly a week of events building up to the poker run, was the biggest yet. “It’s our biggest […]

Tough Mudder economic impact below expectations

Tough Mudder economic impact below expectations

The economic impact of April’s two-day Tough Mudder event, while significant, was far less than the $6 million that the company claimed at its one-day military-style obstacle course in March 2015, according to a new Haas Center study. Santa Rosa County’s share of this year’s estimated $2.75 million impact on the region was about $1.45 […]

Tough Mudder misses contract deadline

Tough Mudder misses contract deadline

The deadline passed weeks ago for Tough Mudder Inc. to file an economic impact study that documents how Santa Rosa County benefited from its April 9-10 event in Milton. Although submission of the study is required before the county gives the company $80,000 in support money, Tough Mudder nevertheless sent an invoice to Tourist Office […]

Tough Mudder fails to boost bed taxes

Tough Mudder fails to boost bed taxes

Disappointing bed-tax revenue in April, when Tough Mudder Inc.’s two-day event near Milton was expected to give the Santa Rosa County numbers a bump, is prompting tourism industry leaders to reconsider the financial incentives promised to the New York company. County commissioners voted last November to pay Tough Mudder $110,000, including $80,000 from bed taxes, […]

Navarre Beach Development

Navarre Beach Development

To Whom It May Concern: I am one of the Developers proposing to construct a 134 unit condominium at Navarre Beach.  This land is privately owned and is zoned for 134 condo units and 15 stories.  The lease, which was drawn over 50 years ago, allows for a marina.  We have instead chosen to construct […]

Pace of tourism growth slows

Pace of tourism growth slows

The rate of Santa Rosa County tourism tax collections, while still on the rise from recent years, has slowed a bit during the past four months and caught the eye of area leisure industry leaders. Although the county’s share of lodging receipts, the so-called bed tax, totaled about $93,000 in February, the latest figures available, […]

Scientific efforts key to controlling lionfish problem

Scientific efforts key to controlling lionfish problem

Lionfish are here to stay. That is the message NOAA Research Fisheries Biologist Tom Jackson delivers when discussing the invasive species that has been present in the Gulf of Mexico since 2010. “The cat is already out of the bag,” Jackson said. “You can’t ever get rid of them. Anyone who tells me otherwise, I […]

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 […]

Tough Mudder’s grant money reduced

Tough Mudder’s grant money reduced

The state grant funding sought by Santa Rosa County to promote Tough Mudder Inc.’s military-style endurance event in April will be limited to about one-third of the requested $30,000. “It’s based on the state funds we have available this year through Enterprise Florida and the other grant requests that we have,” said Lisa Osteen, director […]

Tourism leaders spar with Rob Williamson

Tourism leaders spar with Rob Williamson

The discord between District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson and some hospitality industry veterans has surfaced for the fourth time since November and made him a sometimes churlish minority of one on the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Council. Williamson, appointed to the council last year by his fellow commissioners, has broken with most the […]

Tourism leaders seek delay in beach dredging

Tourism leaders seek delay in beach dredging

The cheapest price isn’t the best deal on the $15 million dredging project to renourish Navarre Beach this spring, area tourism leaders assert. They estimate the economic damage to the area’s leisure industry at $10 million, far more than Santa Rosa County Commissioners will save by recently accepting the lowest bid from Weeks Marine Inc., […]

Tough Mudder eases lodging demands

Tough Mudder eases lodging demands

Tough Mudder Inc. blinked. Under questioning from a prospective lodging “partner” about the company’s recent financial demands in return for promoting Santa Rosa County overnight stays at its event scheduled here next April, a company executive now says its fees are negotiable. A month after sending out controversial contracts to area hotels and condominium managers […]

Commissioner raises concerns with Tough Mudder

Commissioner raises concerns with Tough Mudder

Following doubts expressed by area tourism leaders on the value of the Tough Mudder Inc. military-style endurance event scheduled for next April, District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson is stepping in before Santa Rosa County signs a contract with the New York company. In a Dec. 3 email to Kate Fitzpatrick, a Tough Mudder senior director, […]

Navarre Beach Restoration to begin in March

Navarre Beach Restoration to begin in March

Weeks Marine won the bid for the Navarre Beach restoration project and operations are expected to commence in March with completion in mid-June. Weeks Marine is the same company that performed the Navarre Beach restoration in 2006 and was the low bidder coming in at $14,920,300 – $3 million less than the original estimate. The […]

The military fortifies area economy

The military fortifies area economy

  Providing more than 13,000 jobs for uniformed and civilian workers who consume nearly a $1.5 billion in goods and service annually, the military represents an economic security blanket for Santa Rosa County, a new study shows. “Just like tourism or any other major category, armed forces-related jobs and spending are important economic drivers that […]