June 16, 2019

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/21/2019

Florida sets all-time tourism record

Even with red tide menacing the coastline and Hurricane Michael striking the Panhandle, 2018 was another record-breaking year for tourism in the state of Florida. The Sunshine State welcomed 126.1 million out-of-state visitors last year, up 6.2 percent from the 118.8 million who visited in 2017, according to state tourism agency Visit Florida. Read the official announcement here and read more from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Orlando Sentinel.

This Florida man is the greatest investor you’ve never heard of

Possibly the world’s happiest billionaire, Herbert Wertheim is the red-fedora-wearin’ Florida man who will challenge everything you think you know about “Florida man.” The 79-year-old, South Florida optometrist and small businessman, whom you’d easily mistake on the streets for a winter-fleeing snowbird, has more on his mind than early-bird specials. More from the Florida Times-Union and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Full of jealousy and lust, Florida is one of the most sinful states in the U.S.

When’s the last time you committed one of the seven deadly sins? If you live in Florida, chances are it wasn’t too long ago. The financial website WalletHub ranked the most sinful states in the country, and Florida came in No. 2. We only trailed Nevada, home of Sin City itself. See the rankings from WalletHub and read more at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

AAA: Florida a fine dining mecca of Four and Five Diamond restaurants

Florida is a fine-dining mecca, ranking high among states with the most top-rated restaurants, according to AAA. The Auto Club Group released its 2019 Five Diamond Award list and Florida ranks second for the most Four Diamond eateries, with 54 of 656. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

See also:
» Four Tampa Bay restaurants awarded a four-diamond rating on AAA’s 2019 list

Flooding on sunny days is already cutting into income in coastal towns

In coastal cities like Miami, Florida it's not uncommon to see floods on perfectly sunny days. This sunny-day flooding, also called high-tide flooding, occurs because sea-level rise is pushing high-tide levels past the point our coastal infrastructure was designed for. So when ocean tides reach their highest level, water fills streets and parking lots. [Source: Business Insider]

UCF Business Incubation Program: Nurturing seeds of growth

If 10 small businesses launched today, six likely would be closed in four years. Yet studies show that if those 10 companies enrolled in a business incubator, about nine in 10 would be operating five years after graduating. The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program was created to improve the chance of survival for area small businesses. [Sponsored report]


› Habitat Builders Blitz highlights Central Florida's rising demand for more affordable housing
The 2016 American Community Survey, which is produced by the Census Bureau, estimated 230,344 Central Florida households carry housing costs exceeding 30 percent of their incomes, which classifies them as cost-burdened.

› Air Force Thunderbirds to return to Punta Gorda air show
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were the last jet team to perform in Punta Gorda and will be the first to return in November for the 38th Annual Florida International Air Show. The Thunderbirds’ last Charlotte County show in 2014 was rained out on a Sunday. Air Show President Dana Carr said there is a lot of excitement for the precision jet team’s return to Southwest Florida.

› Florida considers a ban on ‘sanctuary cities’
A bill that would ban local governments from practicing so-called sanctuary policies began moving in the over the protest of immigrant advocacy groups. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill Tuesday on a 4-2 vote, with only Republicans in favor and only Democrats opposed.

› Miami International Airport expands global offerings
Miami International Airport continues to expand its international offerings, both for passengers and freight forwarders. “Four international carriers have scheduled entries into the Miami market in 2019,” said Greg Chin, communications and digital marketing director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Mounted Patrol Horse
Mounted Patrol Horse

On Wednesday, Mounted Patrol deputies in Sarasota bid farewell to LEO, a 15-year-old Hanoverian bay gelding who was donated to the agency in 2016. LEO is retiring due to the onset of Shivers, a neuromuscular disorder which makes him unable to continue working in law enforcement. He will live with other retired police horses at Mill Creek Farm, an equine sanctuary in Alachua, Florida.

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