tourism

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Focus for Santa Rosa County’s Tourist Development Council and tourism staff continues to be turned to improvements along the county’s biggest bed tax generator: Navarre Beach. Projects for the beach dominated the council’s agenda Feb. 7. Lifeguards need new towers The transformation keeps on coming for the Navarre Beach lifeguard program under recently hired Beach […]

Bed-tax surge points to strong tourism trend

Bed-tax surge points to strong tourism trend

Shortly after announcing its first $3 million year, the county Tourist Development Office reported Dec. 2 that October’s bed-tax collections blew past the previous October by 51.61 percent. The county brought in $268,125.73 in bed taxes during the month. Read the full article in the Dec. 13 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Chamber seeks new vision for 87

Chamber seeks new vision for 87

  U.S. Highway 98 is changing and a new business corridor is emerging. Though the thoroughfare has functioned as Navarre’s main corridor for decades, increasing traffic and potential expansion plans could mean the roadway may not be able to serve that function much longer, especially for the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the […]

Pay $500 for the privilege of promoting a brand

Pay $500 for the privilege of promoting a brand

Great brands start with the question why. Why does this brand exist? Great brands are purposeful and authentic. They are responsive and transparent. Great brands are meant to be used as a communication tool, evoking some sort of memory or feeling in people. This is why the Navarre community loved its old beach sign so […]

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 […]

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 […]

UWF funding campaign smashes $50 million goal

UWF funding campaign smashes $50 million goal

After 50 years, $50 million was just not enough. The University of West Florida celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a goal-smashing $64.4 million Capital Campaign, raised by almost 20,000 donors, including 55 planned gifts and nearly $18 million in scholarships. “We are truly grateful for the generosity of the community we serve, the alumni we […]

Sanborn not guilty of Sunshine Law charge

Sanborn not guilty of Sunshine Law charge

Tourist Development Council member Jack Sanborn was found not guilty Friday on charges that he violated Florida’s Sunshine Law by phoning two other panel volunteers to discuss matters that had previously come before the board. Santa Rosa County Judge Jose Giraud ruled after nearly an hour-long hearing that while Sanborn’s calls on his personal cellphone […]

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 […]

Springhill Sweet!

Springhill Sweet!

Springhill Suites on Navarre Beach will feature a lazy river pool, an indoor heated pool, outside jacuzzi, gift shop, food market and workout room. The restaurant, Beach House Bar and Grill will be open to the public and seat 130 patrons. The hotel is expected to open in early June. Featured in the May 11 […]

Proposed legislation could eliminate Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Proposed legislation could eliminate Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Proposed legislation that would eliminate state tourism marketing group Visit Florida and state economic development agency Enterprise Florida, Inc. was introduced Feb. 8 to the Florida House of Representatives Careers and Competition Subcommittee. Read the full article in the Feb. 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per […]

Beachfront Springhill Suites nears completion

Beachfront Springhill Suites nears completion

Finishing touches are underway at the Springhill Suites by Marriott on Navarre Beach as construction winds to a close. Ben Harris is the project manager with Alabama-based general contractor Stewart Contracting Company, Inc. Harris said though it still does not look like much from the outside, the next two weeks will bring quite the transformation. […]

Tourists and locals alike responsible for beach litter

Tourists and locals alike responsible for beach litter

Approximately 2,000 pounds of garbage were collected off Navarre Beach this year by volunteers each month, and despite tourist season coming to an end the garbage bag loads keep coming. Those collecting that garbage and reporting the numbers are the volunteers behind the monthly Trash Bash, a spinoff of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation […]

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 […]

‘Heart of Navarre’ to get face-lift

‘Heart of Navarre’ to get face-lift

Navarre Beach visitors trying to access Gulf Boulevard from Navarre Bridge will have a dedicated right-turn lane by November 2017 County Commissioner Rob Williamson said Tuesday, Sept. 27 during his Heart of Navarre Tourism Corridor presentation at the Navarre Visitor Information Center. Construction of the turn lane would begin in February or March if the […]

County selects new advertising agency

County selects new advertising agency

The Board of County Commissioners chose a new company Thursday, Sept. 22, to manage marketing, advertising and public relations for tourism. Paradise Advertising of St. Petersburg was selected over the county’s previous company Davis, South, Barnette and Patrick Advertising and Public Relations (DSBP). DSBP has managed the county’s tourism marketing since 2013. The selection ran […]

Calling all anglers to the Navarre Fishing Rodeo

Calling all anglers to the Navarre Fishing Rodeo

It won’t be long before anglers along the Emerald Coast can compete in the Navarre Fishing Rodeo. The event, in its fourth year, is set to take place Oct. 1-2 and is part of the 13th Annual Beaches to Woodlands Tour. The tournament highlights the abundance of fish that can be found in area waters […]

Busy Labor Day weekend despite weather

Busy Labor Day weekend despite weather

Despite dwindling attendance along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Hermine, Navarre Beach bed-tax collectors reported maxed out occupancy for the three-day Labor Day weekend. As CNBC warned travelers to rethink their Florida travel plans, hotels in Panama City Beach reported high cancellations due to the storm and discounted rates to recapture those […]

Gigi says hello to visitors

Gigi says hello to visitors

After more than 100 people turned out for the ribbon cutting ceremony, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) Director Cathy Holmes said the visitors just keep on coming averaging about 70 to 80 people a day. Another 941 folks visited the center throughout its first week. Holmes said visitors of all ages came from […]

County selects short-list for marketing candidates

County selects short-list for marketing candidates

The short list of candidates for the Tourism Development (TDC) marketing and advertising contract was selected Friday, Aug. 12, and incumbent Mobile. Ala.-based Davis South Barnett and Patrick Public Relations and Advertising (DSBP) topped the list. Orlando-based Evok Advertising followed behind, and Paradise Advertising of Orlando rounded out the final three plucked from the 10 […]

Tourist watchdog group wins compromise

Tourist watchdog group wins compromise

Fighting off a move by Santa Rosa officialdom to reduce its autonomy, the volunteer Tourist Development Council struck a compromise to keep open communication lines among members and avoid being shrunk. By a 6-1 vote the watchdog panel, which is authorized by the Florida Legislature to keep an eye on the county’s $2 million in […]

SpringHill Suites: Room with a view

SpringHill Suites: Room with a view

When it opens in the spring of 2017, SpringHill Suites will feature resort-style amenities including the indoor and outdoor pools, full-service restaurant, bar and lounge and numerous beach side activities. The hotel will have a 4,000-square foot meeting space with sweeping views of the Gulf designed to accommodate social gatherings, receptions, business meetings and weddings. […]

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, […]

Myrtle the Turtle welcomes visitors

Myrtle the Turtle welcomes visitors

Santa Rosa County’s newest ambassador, Myrtle the Turtle has found a home at the I-10 Florida Welcome Center greeting visitors to the Sunshine State and promoting tourism for Santa Rosa County. Myrtle was hand-painted by artist Alicia Hansen who used the turtle’s shell to feature the highlights of the county’s attractions including Historic Milton, Navarre […]

Beach restoration on hold

Beach restoration on hold

The already-delayed Navarre Beach restoration is now stalled until at least the end of April because of an equipment breakdown that has hit the dredge-and-fill contractor, Weeks Marine Inc. Uncertainty still surrounds exactly how much of the $17 million sand-moving effort will be footed by beach property owners. County Commissioners are discussing budget possibilities that […]