Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Another disappointing retail sales report
Sales at U.S. retailers fell more than forecast in January, pointing to a weak start for consumer spending this year after the strongest quarter since 2006. The 0.8 percent drop followed a 0.9 percent decrease in the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed Thursday in Washington. More from Bloomberg and Reuters.
Tax incentives called key to filming’s revival
Restoring Florida’s moribund tax incentive program is key to expanding Miami’s film industry, said Bruce Orosz, CEO of ACT Productions and new chairman of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has hatched an action plan. More at Miami Today.
Ranking of sports projects seeking state help draws protest
Around the State
Miami area small-business owners are feeling increasingly optimistic about growing their businesses: Sixty-eight percent of small-business owners in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties are predicting a 12-month increase in revenue.
Florida state economists are ranking requests for money from professional sports teams and not everyone is happy with them. This week economists released a ranking of four proposals requesting $255 million in taxpayer money. More at the AP.
More Miami-Dade hotels earn coveted five-star rating
All the stars came out for four Miami-Dade hotels when the Forbes Travel Guide released its 57th list of some of the world’s top hotels Wednesday. Five-star ratings went to Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach; Mandarin Oriental, Miami; The Setai in Miami Beach and the St. Regis Bal Harbour. The Setai was new to the list. More at the Miami Herald.
FDEP launches new website for Florida’s state parks
Those looking for new outdoor activities in their local area and across the state now have a helping hand. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s new website for Florida’s state parks is located at www.floridastateparks.org More from Pensacola Today.
Out of the Box
There’s a lot of phrases one could use to describe Central Florida, but snowboarding mecca isn’t one of them. Or rather it hasn’t been one of them until now. That’s thanks to a company named Xero Gravity Action Sports, which unveiled its plans on Wednesday to build a $309 million extreme sports-themed resort near Kissimmee. More from the Washington Post and the Orlando Business Journal.
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