Monarch Madness

Butterfly House says farewell at Monarch Madness

Butterfly House says farewell at Monarch Madness

In a bittersweet celebration, the Panhandle Butterfly House held its final Monarch Madness at the current location Saturday as children learned about butterflies and even released them into the wild. The nonprofit program has called the eastern corner of Navarre Park home for 21 years, and the group has been hosting Monarch Madness for a […]

Beaches to Woodlands Tour boosts off-season tourism

Beaches to Woodlands Tour boosts off-season tourism

For coastal communities, Labor Day weekend often marks the end of the peak season. Belts are tightened. Hotel room rates are reduced to attract more visitors. For county government, that dip in visitors typically comes with a decline in collections of bed taxes, the tax charged on temporary accommodations. Read the full article in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Panhandle Butterfly House open for exploration

Panhandle Butterfly House open for exploration

The Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) welcomed its first visitors of the season Saturday in Navarre Park during its 21st season Grand Opening. Visitors were invited to view and learn about native butterfly species, purchase native butterfly friendly plants and get coaching from master gardeners. Volunteer Nancy Pavlich, who has been with the program since 2014, […]

Butterfly House prepares for renovations

Butterfly House prepares for renovations

As March brings warmer weather the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) is preparing to open for what will likely be their last season in the current building in Navarre Park. That’s because the building is expected to be demolished after Monarch Madness and replaced with a new, interactive butterfly learning facility and expanded vivarium. Read the […]

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 […]

Insufficient funds for local events

Insufficient funds for local events

Of the $2,398,948 collected last fiscal year in bed tax dollars in Santa Rosa County, the Tourist Development Office set aside $75,000 to use as grant money for local events that help promote tourism. A criterion was set that had to be met in order to qualify for the grant money. The requests could not […]

Tourism board cuts event funding by half

Tourism board cuts event funding by half

Following spike in grant applications, the county Tourism Development Council (TDC) took a hard line stance on requirements to receive their funds, cutting event grant spending in half. More than $115,000 in funds was requested for 30 events throughout Santa Rosa County as part of the Local Event/Marketing Grant program. Only 14 events received approximately […]

Monarch Madness highlights end of year for butterfly house

Monarch Madness highlights end of year for butterfly house

Jean Berger sat at a chair on a sun-splashed Friday morning holding up a display of photos of butterflies. Children gathered around her, their eagerness to learn all about an insect so vital to the health of the environment very evident. “They find it very exciting and just absorb the information,” said Berger, a volunteer […]

Grant money brings big entertainment to Santa Rosa for 2016-17

Grant money brings big entertainment to Santa Rosa for 2016-17

The Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Committee (TDC) approved $61,225 in grants Tuesday, June 7 to fund 18 events such as festivals, 5Ks, concerts, parades and even butterfly tagging in the county. The funds are part of the bed-tax budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal years. Bed taxes are collected on visitors to the county who […]

Week 3 of the 12th Beaches to Woodlands Tour of Santa Rosa

Week 3 of the 12th Beaches to Woodlands Tour of Santa Rosa

Temperatures are forecast to drop into the 70s this weekend just in time for a full slate of activities for Week 3 of the 12th Annual Beaches to Woodlands Tour of Santa Rosa County. “Along with our monthlong corn mazes and farm fun at Sweet Seasons, Sonshine and Holland Farms, we have many other events […]