Laurie Gallup

Holley by the Sea hires traffic enforcement

Holley by the Sea hires traffic enforcement

The Holley by the Sea Homeowners’ Association (HBTS) board voted June 11 to pay $2,000 for off duty sheriff’s deputies to monitor traffic and write tickets. Board North Vice President Mike McKinney proposed the plan as a way to tackle ongoing complaints of speeding along the subdivision’s major roads such as Edgewood Drive and Sunrise […]

Recipe for a well-planned community

Recipe for a well-planned community

In September, the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners approved paying $80,000-$150,000 to consulting firm Matrix Design Group to create a District 4 Master Plan for the Navarre, Holley and Navarre Beach area. As development of that plan gets underway, the Navarre Press is taking a look at planning the future of Navarre. As the […]

Tourism panel balks at loan for park redo

Tourism panel balks at loan for park redo

County tourism leaders were hesitant Monday to back plans to pay for nearly $2 million in Navarre Park improvements through more than doubling the loan on the Navarre Beach Visitors Center. Tourist Development Committee (TDC) members in attendance all spoke favorably of the proposal to make some improvements to the park despite negative comments about […]

House Speaker scolds tourism office

House Speaker scolds tourism office

Santa Rosa officials have sidestepped the volunteer Tourist Development Council to revoke the county’s longtime membership in the state’s leisure industry marketing agency–Visit Florida–prompting a warning from state House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Corcoran described the move led by County Tourism Director Julie Morgan as a “futile attempt to shield financial information from public scrutiny” in […]

Lack of accommodation stay info frustrates tourism officials

Lack of accommodation stay info frustrates tourism officials

Most hotel managers balk at sharing details of their occupancy rates without assurance those figures won’t be made available to competitors, yet Santa Rosa tourism officials are about to mount a new effort to obtain that data. The month-to-month figures are considered important in the planning of leisure industry promotions, but the Santa Rosa County […]

Turtle turmoil resurfaces at County Commission

Turtle turmoil resurfaces at County Commission

Gigi the loggerhead sea turtle and District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson have never seen each other. That’s because she’s blind and Williamson has never visited the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, where Gigi lives under the care of volunteers he occasionally feuds with over finances. The latest round erupted at Monday’s board meeting when […]

New hotel to jump-start bed-tax growth

New hotel to jump-start bed-tax growth

Although growth in Santa Rosa’s tourist tax collections slowed this summer compared to last year, leisure industry leaders say the new Springhill Suites on Navarre Beach will provide a needed boost. The 161-room hotel is projected to add $250,000 to the county’s 2017-2018 revenue from bed taxes – the 5 percent fees on hotel bills […]

Questions swirl around drainage projects

Questions swirl around drainage projects

Although Holley by the Sea residents are eager for some of the county’s 30 proposed stormwater protection projects to begin in their area, some suggest that a more organized approach is needed. “We want to get things done. But the right things,” said Yvonne Harper, president of the Holley by the Sea Improvement Association, a […]

Tourist Development committee needs their voice back

Tourist Development committee needs their voice back

Numerous articles in Navarre Press over the past year and few months have highlighted the pains endured and discord with the Board of County Commissioners that continues to plague the all-volunteer advisory Tourist Development Council.  The Legislature-mandated council is made up of tourism stake-holders as required by Florida Statute 125.0104.  While the statute allows for […]

Sales tax backers labor to woo voters

Sales tax backers labor to woo voters

Tinkering with the nuts and bolts of their sales tax appeal to voters scheduled for the Aug. 30 ballot, county commissioners are trying to make it fly as they keep getting flak from the idea’s critics. Only 10 days before the deadline to submit the proposal to the county elections office, commissioners finally decided on […]

Gallup resigns Tourist Development Council

Gallup resigns Tourist Development Council

Laurie Gallup, a high-profile member of the watchdog, volunteer Tourist Development Council has resigned, citing frustration with Santa Rosa’s government bureaucracy. A two-year veteran of the council, Gallup is the owner of Navarre Properties, which manages leisure guest accommodations in several condominiums on or near the beach. In her resignation letter sent to TDC Chairman […]

County officials’ travel expenses reviewed

County officials’ travel expenses reviewed

The travel by certain Santa Rosa County officials at taxpayers’ expense to numerous trade shows, government conferences and industry seminars is raising questions about the value of some trips. From the North American Travel Journalists Convention in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Florida Association of Counties workshops in Ponte Vedra near Jacksonville, the receipts in county […]

Who is the real knucklehead?

Who is the real knucklehead?

Navarre Press frequently receives letters to the editor and we print them. It is a chance for citizens of Navarre and Santa Rosa County to speak their mind – about whatever is on their mind. Letters to the editor are also part of our mission statement – to be a voice for the voiceless. It […]

Beach Beautification volunteer group quits

Beach Beautification volunteer group quits

Much of the foliage, trees and the entry signs to and from Navarre Beach are the product of a group of dedicated volunteers who are Beach Beautification Committee (BBC) members of the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association (NBLRA.) Similar to many other committee projects in Navarre, the BBC existed to meet a need that […]

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 […]

County approves pier contract amendments

County approves pier contract amendments

At the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on Jan. 14, the discussion with pier operator Coastal Concessions continued regarding making amendments to the pier management contract currently in place with the county. Coastal Concessions has been under the microscope recently because of overdue payment of pier admission fees to the county. Coastal Concessions […]

County will seek more time to restore beach

County will seek more time to restore beach

The local hospitality industry’s quest to delay the Navarre Beach restoration project may get inadvertent support from Sheila Fitzgerald, director of Santa Rosa County special projects and grants. This move is unrelated to the Tourist Development Council’s recent plea to county commissioners that the $15 million project be pushed back to start after Labor Day […]

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 deal criticized by tourism leaders

Tough Mudder deal criticized by tourism leaders

Santa Rosa County officials now concede that there was no effort to negotiate before agreeing to pay Tough Mudder Inc. a $110,000 subsidy in return for staging its military-style endurance event near Milton next April. Both the inducement amount and the New York-based, for-profit company’s estimate of the economic benefits resulting from its first event […]

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 […]

Some locales land Tough Mudder without taxpayer dollars

Some locales land Tough Mudder without taxpayer dollars

The $110,000 subsidy that Santa Rosa County officials have voted to pay for-profit Tough Mudder Inc. in return for staging its military style endurance event near Milton next April is far more taxpayer funding than the New York-based company often receives. “I hope they make a lot of money as long as we’re not going […]

Tough Mudder seeks sweeter deal

Tough Mudder seeks sweeter deal

Navarre Beach hoteliers are balking at a solicitation by New York-based Tough Mudder Inc. to pay commissions of 15 percent on rooms they book for the scheduled April 9-10 event in Milton. The initial Santa Rosa County Tourist Development grant application from Tough Mudder was for $120,000.  At the Nov. 5 TDC meeting, director Julie […]

Tourist tax glitch scrutinized

Tourist tax glitch scrutinized

Some inaccurate figures on Santa Rosa County tourist bed tax collections were corrected on the county’s website last week soon after the Navarre Press questioned them. For example, revenue from the 5 percent tax on hotel stays listed by the county’s Tourist Development Office for July 2014, the height of the visitor season, was $477,576.09 […]