Tourist Development Council

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

After balking at a request for nearly half a million dollars, the county’s Tourist Development Council did agree Jan. 3 to fund $117,000 for animal habitats at the new Holley location of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR). While ECWR has steadily been securing donations since December 2016, the timeline for completion of the new […]

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 […]

Phase I price tag $3 million

Phase I price tag $3 million

Based on Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) is no longer part of Navarre Park’s Phase I makeover, but it is not being relocated to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge either. That issue aside, County Administrator Dan Schebler told the commissioners that they need an answer to move forward on […]

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 […]

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 […]

Revitalized chamber redirects its focus

Revitalized chamber redirects its focus

On August 7, 2017, Tamara Fountain stepped into the role of CEO and president for the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. In the 12 months that followed, Fountain assessed and scrutinized everything the chamber did. From events to programming to the very mission statement, she worked alongside the board of directors, chairman, membership director […]

Services set for Navarre resident Norm Crowder

Services set for Navarre resident Norm Crowder

Navarre lost a community advocate and volunteer last week. Norman “Norm” Crowder, 65, of Navarre, Florida passed away Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. During his time in Navarre Norm worked with several community groups advocating for abused children, small business, seniors and the community at large. Norm was born January […]

Williamson criticized for ‘liking’ vulgar Facebook posts

Williamson criticized for ‘liking’ vulgar Facebook posts

County Commissioner Rob Williamson faced heat from constituents Monday for ‘liking’ vulgar comments made about Navarre residents on the social media platform Facebook. Navarre resident Yvonne Harper, past president of the Holley by the Sea Homeowners Association, told the Board of County Commissioners that she wanted to bring some comments to light during the public forum […]

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 […]

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) handled several requests for park funding NYSA playground to get fresh rubber In Navarre, that meant funding to replace the problematic rubber surface for the playground at the NYSA. District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson questioned why the surface needed to be replaced so shortly after it was installed. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Holley calls for revisiting of long-term plan for Navarre projects

Holley calls for revisiting of long-term plan for Navarre projects

It took the Tourist Development Council seven hours of debate in October over how to pay for a $7 million renovation of Navarre Park to finally come to a consensus. In a meeting filled with differing perspectives, by the end of the Oct. 5, 2017, meeting all those sitting on the board agreed on a plan […]

Local option sales tax may fund new Avalon sports park

Local option sales tax may fund new Avalon sports park

Following the acceptance by voters of a half-cent local option sales tax (LOST) in November 2016, the Board of County Commissioners held a series of public meetings throughout the county asking what the public would like to see done with that money. A repeated plea was recreational space, including additional sports fields. Read the full […]

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 […]

Tourist Development Council to hit the road

Tourist Development Council to hit the road

As the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council (TDC) continues to push toward prioritizing funding of physical tourism assets, some members of the council admitted a lack of firsthand knowledge of some existing tourism facilities. “I think if we could go back in time a little bit and actually tour some of those areas, see […]

Update: Sanborn resigns from Tourist Development Council

Update: Sanborn resigns from Tourist Development Council

Update: Jack Sanborn submitted his letter of resignation from his position on the Tourist Development Council Thursday to the Board of County Commissioners. He resigned prior to a scheduled vote to by the BOCC to decide whether or not to remove Sanborn from the council following allegations of threats made on social media and an […]

The penalties for not supporting Williamson

The penalties for not supporting Williamson

The penalties are stiff for not supporting our current commissioner Williamson – just ask Jack Sanborn. He found out the hard way. The maestro of manipulation orchestrated a move during the board of county commission meeting Monday to remove longtime Tourist Development Council member Jack Sanborn from the TDC. It wasn’t even on the agenda. […]

County holds firm on funding for new butterfly house

County holds firm on funding for new butterfly house

Stay the course. That is what the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) decided to do with millions of dollars of funding for the Navarre Park Master Site Plan. The Tourist Development Council (TDC) had asked the board to re-evaluate a proposed loan of more than $1.8 million, to be paid back with future […]

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 […]

Two more candidates seeking south-end school board seats

Two more candidates seeking south-end school board seats

Following contentious contract negotiations with the county’s teachers union, challengers have entered the ring for the three school board seats up for election this year. In the last few weeks, two more candidates have thrown their hats in for the south-end seats on the five-member board. Read the full article in the April 26 issue […]

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. […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Sunshine scrutiny of tourist panel lingers

Sunshine scrutiny of tourist panel lingers

Even the most seemingly innocent phone call between two members of a volunteer group such as the Tourist Development Council can cause suspicion and trigger legal questions that last for months. Such a phone call in August from council member Jack Sanborn to panel colleague Kyle Holley apparently prompted a complaint from an undisclosed source […]

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