Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016
In 2016, out-of-state visitor spending in Florida reached a record $112 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, the state’s tourism promotion arm, Visit Florida, said Wednesday. Visitors contributed $88 billion, or roughly 10 percent, of Florida’s total gross domestic product, up 4.2 percent over 2015. The 2016 figures are the most recent available, as there is a year lag for tourism spending data. Full news release from Visit Florida is here. Read the entire report on tourism here, or find more information at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and TBO.com.
Florida citrus agency moves money while federal aid up in air
The Florida Department of Citrus adjusted its budget Wednesday for the second time this growing season, as leaders of the storm-battered industry hold out hope the U.S. Senate will approve a disaster-relief package. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida cold case website seeks to solve old homicides
Florida's top law enforcement agency is rolling out a website with more than 400 unsolved homicide cases, some going back decades. The hope is that people scrolling through the cases might be able to provide information to solve the homicides. Browse unsolved cases at the new FDLE website. [Source: AP]
Fight for vacation rental regulations heats up at capital
Tourism is at the heart of Florida’s economy and two Florida lawmakers are leading the fight for vacation rental owners. Republicans Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) and Rep. Mike La Rosa (R-St. Cloud) are pushing back against local ordinances that regulate vacation rentals. Steube and La Rosa say the goal of the bill is to stop local governments from overstepping their bounds. More at this story from WFSU.
» Should vacation rentals - including Airbnb - be regulated by local or state government? (quick poll)
Florida's 'drive-by' ADA lawsuit problem has a solution, business owners just don't know about it
Thousands of Florida business owners were recently sued for not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act but are unaware about a new Florida law that might have helped them fight the allegations. [Source: WPTV]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› City board considers new convention center for Jacksonville's downtown
After years of study, Jacksonville appears poised to test the waters for whether a private investor wants to build a new convention center complex downtown that would include a hotel, large-scale exhibition space and parking garage on the site of the old county courthouse.
› Brevard quickly moves up in Milken Institute's 'Best Performing' communities ranking
Brevard County's economy is doing much better than it has been doing several years ago and it's showing. Recently, the Space Coast jumped to No. 63 from No. 153 on the annual Milken Institute’s "Best-Performing Cities 2017 Index."
› Florida Power & Light will not seek surcharge for Hurricane Irma recovery costs
Florida Power & Light Co. said this week it will use its federal tax savings under the new tax law to wipe out $1.3 billion in Hurricane Irma-related costs. As a result, FPL’s typical monthly residential bill would drop to $99.37 from the current $102.72, according to the utility. Also read more at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
› Lennar acquires Davie development site for $9.7M
Lennar Corp. acquired a townhomes development site in Davie from MG3 Development Group and ESJ Capital Partners. MG3 and ESJ acquired the property in 2012 for $5.7 million through a short sale. It’s a few blocks west of Florida’s Turnpike.
In case you missed it: