Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida set another tourism record in 2017, in spite of Irma
In 2017, 116.5 million visitors came to the state -- the highest number of visitors in any year in the state’s history -- despite losing 1.8 million visitors due to Hurricane Irma. Gov. Rick Scott credits Visit Florida for the record, as the state's tourism agency conducted aggressive outbound marketing to let visitors know the state was open following the hurricane. An estimated 34.9 million out-of-state visitors came to Florida in the final four months of 2017. In the “no hurricane” model, Florida would have hosted 36.7 million visitors during that same time period. Full announcement from Gov. Scott and Visit Florida is here.
Related, from Florida Trend:
» The Keys, post-Irma
Constitution Revision Commission starts narrowing down proposals for Florida’s 2018 ballot
Dozens of proposals that could affect how Florida's government works are up for discussion at the state Capitol at the once-every-two-decades Constitution Revision Commission. Everything from how elections are run to whether greyhound racing should continue are on the table. More from WCTV and WMNF.
» Constitutional officers urge CRC to review election conflict In Florida's constitution
» CRC proposal to raise retirement age for Florida Supreme Court justices moves forward
» Voters could get say on government ethics
Winn-Dixie parent replacing Orlando store with Hispanic supermarket Fresco y Más
The parent company of Winn-Dixie is bringing its Hispanic grocery concept Fresco y Más to Orlando, replacing a Winn-Dixie supermarket southeast of downtown. The company is also opening two new Fresco y Más (which means fresh and more) stores in Tampa, about two years after launching the concept in South Florida. See the announcement from Southeastern Grocers, here. Also read more at the Orlando Sentinel.
Coast to Coast Florida bike trail sparks hotels, shops
Entrepreneurs across Central Florida have opened inns and bike shops — and one city is investing more than $1 million to boost business — all in hopes of benefiting from a bike trail that’s carving a path through the state. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Body cameras now standard gear for Florida cops. But not in Tampa Bay
Miami-Dade police wear body cameras. So do officers in Jacksonville and Orlando. Broward, Orange and Duval sheriff’s deputies, too. And Palm Beach is trying to find money for them. But in the other major Florida population center, Tampa Bay, only Pasco County and Temple Terrace have embraced the devices. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
"A lot of people say, ‘You do that? Are you serious?’" said Wade Sutherlin, who designs and constructs elevator cabs and has an official certificate of competency to do just that. Sutherlin recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of his company, NCIS Elevator, and has 14 projects underway or in the planning across central Florida.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Off the Beaten Path
Waldo, Florida: Fading part of Florida’s history
According to the US Census Bureau, the most recent population statistics for Waldo estimated the town at 846 residents in 2016. That number is down nearly half from from its highest. However, Waldo’s city government is making strides for economic development and working on a number of projects to increase the population and turn the fate of the town around.
» Read more from WUFT.
In case you missed it: