2012 Economic Yearbook
Economic Indicators for Florida's Space Coast
Tourism was up last year in Daytona Beach. [Photo: iStockphoto]
Issues to Watch
» Leisure and hospitality: The sector, which carries the economy in Daytona Beach and other seaside communities, improved in 2011 and looks to build on that this year, barring bad weather or shocks to fragile consumer confidence. Daytona Beach International Airport looks to top 2011's 11% increase in passenger traffic.
» Retail: Local consumer confidence, which helps drive retail sales, remains weak as the market continues to be weighed down by the effects of foreclosures, short sales and the overhang of homes that are worth less than their mortgages.
» SunRail: On the west side, DeBary is positioned to benefit from a boost in infrastructure development that begins this year on the SunRail commuter train system linking the region to Orlando and points south, where jobs are more plentiful. Nearby Deltona also hopes to profit and is promoting the intersection of Interstate 4 and State Road 472 for restaurants and shops. A 12-screen, 50,000-sq.-ft. theater recently opened, the first in the city of 85,000 residents. Countywide, retail sales and commercial construction remain soft. Term-limited Volusia County Chairman Frank Bruno would like to see the SunRail commuter line extended past DeLand to Daytona Beach, and as the new head of the Central Florida Rail Commission Governing Board, Bruno is well-positioned to make a case if the first phase goes well.
Businesses to Watch
» Thompson Pump: The Port Orange company, named Exporter of the Year by the Volusia Manufacturers Association, has been posting double-digit increases in overseas sales, with much of the demand coming from South America.
» Epic Theatres: The newcomer hopes to do well as it opens the first movie theater in Deltona. If it succeeds, business leaders hope more retail will follow.
» Florida East Coast Railway: The company has about 180 acres in New Smyrna Beach in an area that is considered key to economic revitalization, a major goal of local business and civic leaders.
People to Watch
» Kerry Symolon: The interim president of public-private Team Volusia Economic Development Corp. looks to promote countywide unity and manufacturing.
» Kent Sharples: The president of the CEO Business Alliance, a private group of leading Volusia businesses, has a bead on companies considering relocating to the county.
» Lesa France Kennedy: The CEO of International Speedway Corp. and vice chairwoman at NASCAR is a key player in attracting businesses to Volusia.
|Volusia Population: 504,456|
|Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.35%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $35,822|
|Volusia County Consumer Bankruptcies|
|Source: National Bankruptcy Research Center|
Issues to Watch
» Unemployment: Flagler County and Palm Coast, by far the county's largest community with more than 75,000 residents, are looking for modest improvement in the local economy this year. The county was a national leader in residential construction a decade ago, but when the housing market crashed, Flagler was among the first in Florida to tumble. Double-digit unemployment still ranks among the worst in the state, and no significant turnaround in development or hiring is forecast. But local and regional chamber officials are banking on entrepreneurial growth to lead the way as small-business formation increases.
|Flagler Population: 101,522|
|Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 2.07%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $33,935|