Economic yearbook 2010
A flurry of activity and a boost from the military.
Development diversity — ranging from a $20-million National Flight Academy to a 100-employee poker room at Pensacola Greyhound Track — is generating energy in an economy still dampened by a high jobless rate, last year’s 25% decrease in new-home sales and the pervasive capital shortfall for small businesses wanting to expand.
Navy Federal Credit Union is adding an $81-million, fourth building at its Pensacola campus and projecting five-year hiring of 800 more employees to its current 1,342. Also providing optimism: The $78.9-million expansion at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport and growth among healthcare providers and beach tourism accommodations.
The National Flight Academy (rendering) is set to open next year.
Person to Watch
» Julian MacQueen, CEO Of Innisfree Hotels, Gulf Breeze, has blueprinted a $24-million Hyatt Place Hotel and retail/office complex adjacent to the Pensacola airport; he’s also building a $38-million Holiday Inn Resort at Pensacola Beach, where he already operates Hampton and Hilton hotels. His reasoning: “The supply line of new products in the hospitality industry has essentially dried up. By the time these projects come down the chute, the market will be ready for them.’’
Business to Watch
» Smart Horizons Career Online Education, a partnership of south Florida entrepreneurs with Pensacola-based Smart Horizons, plans a May launch of online education to re-engage adults and dropouts in the education system for diplomas and career credentials. The goal, says CEO Howard Liebman: Launch four to six national online high schools per year, potentially requiring annual hiring of 75 to 100.
» Woodlands Medical Specialists recently hired 37 and is planning to add 20 more this spring as it expands services.
» Baptist Health Care has 100 positions available due to vacancies and need for support staff for additional physicians. It hired 950 employees last year, reaching a record total employment of 6,000.
» Hotel Indigo in Pensacola Beach is hiring 70 through Landrum Staffing to operate the $45-million, 162-room hotel when it opens in late May.
» Five Sisters Blues Cafe will hire 15 to 25 kitchen and serving staff by its April restaurant opening.