Tough Mudder

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 […]

Williamson’s Facebook rant prompts response

Williamson’s Facebook rant prompts response

From Commissioner Williamson on his Facebook page: Good article in press gazette. The Navarre Press had 10 articles attacking Tough Mudder this year. The Navarre Press had 0 articles attacking Tough Mudder last year. That’s does not seem subjective, it’s personal. The sad part is, losing this event did not need to happen. In the […]

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 […]

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 […]

New park’s lack of restrooms questioned

New park’s lack of restrooms questioned

The county’s new $750,000 Bagdad Mill Site Park that’s scheduled to open May 16 will be a recreational showplace, but some tourism leaders have questioned why it won’t have public restrooms. “We need bathrooms at parks where families will bring their children,” said Kyle Holley, a member of Santa Rosa County’s volunteer Tourism Development Council, […]

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, […]

Tough Mudder competitors test their limits

Tough Mudder competitors test their limits

Swinging over pits of water, climbing up slopes as you struggle to gain footing on a slippery surface and jumping into a bath of ice might not seem like the most enjoyable way to spend a weekend. But for those brave enough, or maybe crazy enough depending on your viewpoint, to endure those grueling obstacles […]

Tough Mudder persuaded on party favor

Tough Mudder persuaded on party favor

After Tough Mudder Inc. appeared to waffle a few weeks ago on its promise to host a pre-event promotional party before this weekend’s military-style obstacle course near Milton, the New York company has now agreed to pay for some appetizer’s at Juana’s Pagoda on Friday night. “We reached out to Tough Mudder and encouraged them […]

Tough Mudder waffling on promotion promise

Tough Mudder waffling on promotion promise

Despite being given $80,000 in Santa Rosa taxpayer money as an incentive to stage its military-style obstacle course near Milton, Tough Mudder Inc. is apparently reneging on its contractual agreement to host a pre-event party. County tourism officials and commissioners thought they had negotiated the for-profit, New York-based company’s financial support for a party on […]

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 […]

2-4-6-8 how do you negotiate?

2-4-6-8 how do you negotiate?

When you buy a house, you negotiate the sales price. When you buy a car, you negotiate the bottom dollar on the car. When you take a new job, you negotiate the salary and terms of your employment. Very few things in life are set in stone – most things are negotiable. Our county seems […]

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 […]

Sand Sculpting gives way to scrutinized dredging

Sand Sculpting gives way to scrutinized dredging

Planning for the sixth annual Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting Festival next April consumed considerable time and effort from Santa Rosa County tourism development leaders before the event was abruptly doomed last week by, of all things, sand. The scheduled April 15-16 festival boasted a budget of $55,000 in bed tax funding despite a spat between […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pull back the curtains and let the light shine in

Pull back the curtains and let the light shine in

At the south end Tourist Development Council meeting on Dec. 1, Commissioner Rob Williamson’s mantra that he repeated over and over was, “Just because a recommendation is made (by this council) doesn’t mean we (the Board of Commissioners) have to follow it.” A couple of the council members were heard saying, “Then why do we […]

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 […]

Local shares ‘Mudder’ experience

Local shares ‘Mudder’ experience

What do you get when you take a 12 mile run, add elevation, mud, about 20 obstacles and thousands of  people? The infamous Tough Mudder challenge, which is set to come to Santa Rosa County March 7, 2015. The race will take place at the Ates Ranch in Milton. Members of the Ates family came […]

Tough Mudder coming to Santa Rosa

Tough Mudder coming to Santa Rosa

Tough Mudder, the world’s largest mud run challenge, has selected the Ates Ranch in Santa Rosa County as the venue for its first ever Gulf Coast event March 7, 2015. It is also slated to be the first event in North America for the 2015 calendar year. “For years we have been marketing Santa Rosa […]