October 23, 2019

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/17/2019

Battleground Florida: Both parties prepare for 2020 fight

Though the state has trended — by the narrowest of margins — toward Republicans in recent elections, both parties are mobilizing for a fierce and expensive battle in Florida. Democratic candidates, including early front-runner Joe Biden, have already visited the state to tap donors and connect with voters, and will descend on Miami later this month for their first round of debates. And Donald Trump will return on Tuesday for his latest reelection announcement. [Source: AP]

See also:
Why will Trump be in Orlando? Because Interstate 4 is the road to the White House
» Democratic presidential debate field set for Miami
» Democratic Super PAC drops digital ads ahead of Trump’s Florida campaign kickoff

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Mike Jackson

The executive chairman of AutoNation shares childhood lessons, including: “I started as a stable boy. Twenty stalls, and I’m going to get paid a dollar a stall. I walk into the first stall, and here’s this pile of horse manure that’s higher than me. It’s quite a moment. You either say, woe is me, and you take a day to clean one stall and get a dollar, or you get on with moving the horse manure and make $20." [Source: Florida Trend]

Auto insurance data: Florida rates among nation’s highest

When it comes to automobile insurance, where you live determines your cost as much as what you drive or how you drive it. The average American pays $1,470 annually to insure a vehicle. But move to Maine, and that rate will drop by almost half. Motor to Michigan, and it will nearly double — even if nothing about your vehicle or driving habits change. Florida’s average, $2,059, ranks third in the United States, reflecting rate increases that are up more than 50 percent since 2011. [Source: St. Augustine Record]

The golden age of air travel began — and ended — in Miami. Memories of Pan Am live on.

In 1927, Pan Am began as a mail carrier service between Key West and Havana; its original Key West office is now First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery. In 1991, Pan Am literally became history when it’s final flight landed at Miami International Airport. Appropriately enough, most of the remains of its legendary story have come to rest in Miami. [Source: Miami Herald]

MedMen expands its cannabis retail empire to Florida

MedMen Enterprises, one of the larger cannabis dispensary operations in the US, is zeroing in on Florida as it continues its US expansion. MedMen (MMNFF), which is based in Los Angeles and operates 35 medical and recreational cannabis stores in the US, opened a 7,550-square-foot medical marijuana dispensary in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday. The store is MedMen's first in the Sunshine State, but the company has big plans there: Of the 15 dispensaries it's looking to open this year, 12 are slated for Florida. [Source: CNN]


› What is the sky’s limit for West Palm’s buildings... or is there one?
With a few exceptions, 20 stories was the max in West Palm until recently. Now builders’ big-name architects call for 25, 28, 30, 38 high-ceilinged floors, with edgy silhouettes spiking 300, 400 feet or more above a street grid designed for horse-drawn carriages and Model-T’s.

› Sunshine State Games brings fencing tourney to Alachua
The 181 fencers registered for the Sunshine State Games have heritages from all corners of the globe. The competition has categories for the different swords — epee, saber and foil — and for different age and ability groups. The Florida Sports Foundation stages the Sunshine State Games to give competitors in 31 sports an opportunity to participate in an Olympic-style festival. Games for the sports are held in different cities.

› Full Sail University at center of esports world during NBA2K tournament
Brandon Raudenbush heard from a good number of skeptics when he decided he was going to play video games for a living. Chief among them: his parents. “Now they see where it’s gone and where it’s going,” said Raudenbush, who goes by the handle “ToXsiK” and is a part of the Orlando Magic’s video gaming team. “I think we are in the age of technology and I think it’s going to continue to grow.” A major tournament at Full Sail University has given some sign of just how much it could grow.

› Investors love Broward’s Chewy. After Friday, South Florida wallets may grow too
Late Thursday, Chewy, the Broward-based online pet store that is the largest of its kind, announced it would begin trading its shares Friday on the New York Stock Exchange at a price of $22. By 11:30 a.m. Friday, share prices had nearly doubled to more than $41. They closed the day up 56 percent to $34.99. The good news for South Floridians: The “pop” means investors believe the business is here to last, even though it is not yet profitable, analysts say.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

The Sunshine Skyway is a lot more colorful
The Sunshine Skyway is a lot more colorful

The Florida Department of Transportation installed the nearly 1,800 colored LED light fixtures on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. The Skyway lighting project has been in progress for several years.

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