October 29, 2020

Tuesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/29/2020

Florida hotels trot out deals to bring back guests

Facing one of the most challenging tourism markets in modern history, hotels are turning to a classic marketing tool to reclaim customers: the deal. “They’re trying hard to keep people employed and not shut down again, so they’re offering some pretty great deals and specials to get people in,” said Keri Burns, Central Florida regional director for the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. Lockdown-weary travelers eager for a change of scenery can find rooms discounted as much as 50% at some properties. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Winn-Dixie came out of bankruptcy. Now it’s growing through the pandemic.

For Winn-Dixie parent company Southeastern Grocers, the pandemic meant a new wave of shoppers and an opportunity to prove itself a changed brand. Since the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2018, CEO Anthony Hucker has pledged to revitalize its supermarket chains. The company has since shredded unprofitable locations, bought several new stores and grown its digital footprint. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

'It’s the Wild West’: South Florida restaurants confused how to enforce COVID-19 rules during Phase 3

Broward and Palm Beach restaurants surged with customers on the first weekend under Florida’s eased Phase 3 restrictions – leaving owners more confused about COVID rules than relieved about higher sales. “It’s the Wild West,” says Tim Petrillo, whose hospitality group runs 11 bars, restaurants and clubs in Fort Lauderdale. Foot traffic picked up over the weekend at his restaurant-bars Township and S3, which turned away more customers than usual without masks. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

JEA bidder Florida Power and Light discussed donating to charities led by City Council members

A month after JEA announced last July it would soon be for sale, Florida Power and Light executives held a meeting at the Epping Forest Yacht and Country Club with the lobbyists helping with the politics of the company's effort to buy the city-owned utility. Among the assignments the lobbyists received at the Aug. 23 meeting: find charities with close ties to City Council members, who would have to vote on any deal to sell JEA. More from the Florida Times-Union.

Gulf Breeze businesses devastated by Pensacola Bay Bridge closure. How locals are helping

Besides being a headache for motorists who must now take detours, the Pensacola Bay Bridge closure has proven particularly devastating for businesses in Gulf Breeze. Many business owners say they relied on the 60,000 cars a day that crossed the bridge coming into or leaving Gulf Breeze to keep a steady flow of customers through their door. More from the Pensacola News Journal.

Tourism Trends
Partly sunny skies ahead for busy Allegiant Air hub

 Airlines for America, a lobbying group for the pandemic-ravaged U.S. airline industry, predicts air travel in the United States won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024. Yet it’s not all doom and gloom for airports. Consider St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, commonly referred to as PIE, its airport code. The airport saw a 12.1% increase in passenger traffic, year-to-date, over Labor Day weekend.

» More from the Business Observer.


Natural Resources
Healthy corals in Biscayne Bay surprised scientists. They may help reefs survive.

floridaDuring a scouting mission to check on coral colonies in inshore Biscayne Bay last year, Caroline Dennison and a few other marine biology graduate students found something astounding: healthy populations of brain corals. What’s protecting these corals? The discovery has opened up a world of research possibilities on what’s killing Florida reefs and the water quality problems making it harder for corals to survive in troubled Biscayne Bay.

» Read more from the Miami Herald.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

In case you missed it:

Florida Trend Video Pick

Despite COVID-19, the Fort Lauderdale boat show kicks off
Despite COVID-19, the Fort Lauderdale boat show kicks off

For a hospitality industry and service industry struggling to make it through COVID, the 2020 annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show promises to bring jobs and an economic boost to Florida and Broward County.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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