Julie Morgan

Volleyball goes on despite unresolved shorebird issues

Volleyball goes on despite unresolved shorebird issues

Bulldog Beach Volleyball held its inaugural tournament Sunday for new volleyball courts built alongside the Springhill Suites on Navarre Beach. The successful beach volleyball program is an arm of Navarre Beach Sports and Recreation LLC, owned by volleyball professional Judd Smith and Kim Larson. Read the full article in the Dec. 6 issue of Navarre […]

TDC fed up with two of everything

TDC fed up with two of everything

Two plunges is too many. That was the position taken by Tourist Development Council (TDC) member Liz Horton, a bed tax collector from the south end. She said she is tired of two of everything in Navarre from chamber of commerce breakfasts to events like New Year’s Day plunges. Read the full article in the […]

Tourist Development Council critical of north, south inequity

Tourist Development Council critical of north, south inequity

In the past 10 years, three times as many tourist development dollars were spent in Milton than in Navarre for infrastructure improvements. In contrast, the beach alone accounts for more than half of the dollars generated.               Read the full article in the Oct. 11 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Gulf Boulevard landscaping plan gains momentum

Gulf Boulevard landscaping plan gains momentum

For years, the multiuse path along Navarre Beach has gone without landscaping. The dry sands, mixed with intense heat for much of the year, have made it difficult to plant anything more than a few palm trees along Gulf Boulevard. Read the full article in the Sept. 20 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Tourist development project list takes shape

Tourist development project list takes shape

A revisit of the strategic plan resulted in a checklist of projects for the Tourist Development Council (TDC) Sept. 6 as the council weighed where their best investments would be to increase quality of place. Under the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for the Santa Rosa County TDC, the group charged with oversight of bed taxes collected […]

Tourism strong despite brush with Gordon

Tourism strong despite brush with Gordon

Hoteliers in Navarre continued to see high numbers of visitors over Labor Day weekend despite an impending tropical storm. Hampton Inn and Suites Navarre General Manager Andy Peterson said the hotel was busy with families ready to hit the beach. Read the full article in the Sept. 13 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Tourism council balks at Milton Riverwalk fund request

Tourism council balks at Milton Riverwalk fund request

Milton officials faced harsh questioning by members of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) Aug. 2 over whether to commit funds toward the continuing Milton Riverwalk project. Milton City Manager Randy Jorgenson came to the TDC requesting funding for construction of additional Riverwalk pathway along 210 feet of shoreline in downtown Milton next to the Blackwater […]

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 […]

Infrastructure grants off the table

Infrastructure grants off the table

Despite taking a hardline approach in May, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) flip-flopped Tuesday, voting to fund several out of cycle Local Event Marketing Grants just weeks before the TDC’s final budget proposal is due to the county. In doing so they gutted a plan to offer two $10,000 grants for the encouragement of budding […]

Visitor Center conference room open to non-profits

Visitor Center conference room open to non-profits

Santa Rosa County has formalized a policy to allow select groups to utilize the Santa Rosa County Visitor Information Center’s conference room. Under the new policy, the conference room will be available to all governmental entities, non-profits and Santa Rosa County Departments for official meetings, functions and events.

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 […]

Sanborn supporters lament his exit from TDC

Sanborn supporters lament his exit from TDC

Jack Sanborn’s forced resignation from the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council last week came so suddenly that some of his supporters missed their chance to send letters backing him. “I was preparing a letter but he resigned before I could send it,” said Milton City Councilman Alan Lowery, who also sits on the volunteer […]

Pier progress praised

Pier progress praised

It has been roughly six months since the previous operators of “the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico” walked out early on their contract with Santa Rosa County, leaving the 2017 bid winner, Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises (GSRE), to jump in early. In those first few weeks, the operators faced quite a few challenges […]

Project underway to spruce up State Road 87

Project underway to spruce up State Road 87

Workers broke ground May 29 along State Road 87 on a project to give tourists a more aesthetically pleasing entry into Navarre, Santa Rosa County’s largest tourist-tax generating region. The project incorporates new landscaping and signage along roughly three miles on 87 to be installed by Piney Grove Nursery & Landscaping LLC. Design work was […]

Tunes by the Dunes to rock the beach starting May 31

Tunes by the Dunes to rock the beach starting May 31

For the 11th year in a row, the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will kick off its annual free summer concert series Thursday, May 31, featuring a wide variety of music genres. The Tunes by the Dunes concert series (formerly Thursdays in the Park) was relocated from Navarre Park to the Navarre Beach Sand […]

Tourism Development Council creates annual sponsorship opportunity

Tourism Development Council creates annual sponsorship opportunity

The Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Board took a hardline approach to grant funding for the second year in a row during their May 17 budget workshop meeting, but even with the cutbacks, many events that did not receive the grant may still count this year’s budget a victory. The Local Tourism Event Marketing Grant […]

Commissioners on loose leash for travel spending

Commissioners on loose leash for travel spending

Rarely are questions raised about Santa Rosa County commissioners’ use of the panel’s $50,000 annual travel budget. Instead, there’s a large degree of trust accorded in the commissioners’ judgment about the necessity of their occasional trips to such destinations as government policy meetings in Washington, D.C., and other gatherings in cities such as Orlando and […]

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

1. TDC gets grant for sanctuary signage and brochures Now that the Navarre Beach near-shore snorkel reef has nearly doubled in size, Santa Rosa County is seeking ways to lead people to it and to the other features of the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary. With that in mind, the county applied for a $10,000 grant […]

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 […]

Kiln Walk center receives first funding push

Kiln Walk center receives first funding push

  After more than a decade of work and grant applications, the Gulf Coast Kiln Walk in Holley has finally received funds to take the first steps toward making its learning and arts center a reality. But the money is only a drop in the bucket of what the organization will need to break ground. […]

New courts on Navarre Beach could disrupt nesting

New courts on Navarre Beach could disrupt nesting

Work is underway to bring new volleyball courts to Navarre Beach, but feathery residents and conservation laws could derail that project – and the tourist revenue that would come with it. Plans call for construction of 10 to 15 volleyball courts on the vacant property directly west of the Springhill Suites by Marriott. Read the […]

Williamson to Tourist Development Committee: ‘Stay in your lane’

Williamson to Tourist Development Committee: ‘Stay in your lane’

In Thursday’s Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners meeting, District 4 commissioner Rob Williamson questioned the Tourist Development committee’s recommendation to keep $1 million in reserve funds. Noting that the staff recommendation is to keep $750,000 in the reserve fund, Williamson asked, “What is the compelling reason to push it to a million dollars and […]

Mobi-mat to make Navarre Beach wheelchair friendly

Mobi-mat to make Navarre Beach wheelchair friendly

Hannah White, 11, has never been to the beach. In the more than a decade that she has lived in the Navarre area with her mother Karin, she has never been able to make it down to the shoreline. Read the full article in the Mar. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Tourism board calls for accounting

Tourism board calls for accounting

As newly appointed chairman of the Tourism Development Council (TDC), Kyle Holley has pushed for a change in how the group approaches the county’s future and expenditure of funds. Holley has served on the board for years, but in the matter of a few months he and the rest of the board, largely composed of […]

TDC to drop more meetings, launch project teams

TDC to drop more meetings, launch project teams

In an unscheduled agenda item, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) on Monday discussed cutting its number of meetings each year in half and completely eliminating the committee aspect of the group. Tourism Development Director Julie Morgan said that now the grants process is being handled in one meeting each year, the committee lacked much purpose. […]

Snowbirds keep tourism humming despite chill

Snowbirds keep tourism humming despite chill

While freezing temperatures have largely driven off the usual tourists, Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Director Julie Morgan said she expects to see great bed tax returns for the winter months. That is thanks to the annual influx of snowbirds, wintertime tourists who are typically in their senior years. Morgan said most of them hail […]

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 […]

Stakeholders, community leaders weigh in on District 4 Master Plan

Stakeholders, community leaders weigh in on District 4 Master Plan

Planning Navarre’s future is underway, and already several stakeholder groups have had an opportunity to weigh in. But what are they asking for? Navarre Press has previously asked community planning professional and author Quint Studer of Pensacola what methods are used for effectively planned communities, but every community is different. This plan will be primarily […]

Sunshine Law complaint may go to trial

Sunshine Law complaint may go to trial

Jack Sanborn wants some light shed on allegations that he violated Florida’s Sunshine Law last June by speaking to another volunteer member of the Tourist Development Council. “I’d like to face my accuser and hear exactly what I said that supposedly violated the law,” Sanborn told the Navarre Press this week after State Attorney Bill […]