February 26, 2021

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 1/20/2021

Gov. DeSantis targets vaccination ‘tourism’

Gov. Ron DeSantis is working on guidelines meant to stop COVID-19 vaccination “tourism” in Florida. Appearing at two news conferences Tuesday, DeSantis said he wants to make sure the state’s COVID-19 vaccine supply is being directed to Florida residents. “That can include people who live here half the year, but it’s not for people just visiting,” the governor said during an appearance in Rockledge. The effort came after media reports about people from outside the state coming to Florida to get vaccinated. [Source: WJXT]

See also:
» Vaccine Tourism: People flocking to Florida to get COVID-19 vaccine
» Could Vaccine Tourism Be a Double-Edged Sword for Florida Investors?

Florida has more known cases of highly infectious ‘UK variant’ than any other state

The more state and federal health officials look for a mutated and highly-contagious strain of the COVID virus in Florida, the more they’re finding it. Even with relatively scant monitoring for evolved strains of the virus, known as “variants,” federal officials say Florida now leads the country in known cases of the so-called “U.K. variant,” or B.1.1.7, with 46. More from the Miami Herald and WFLA.

See also:
» Concern grows in Florida over more contagious COVID strain

Opinion: Florida faces a bright future, but sea-level rise must be solved

As part of its series “The Business of Climate Change,” which highlights the climate views of business men and women throughout the state, The Invading Sea spoke with Joe Chase, a business and corporate attorney with Gunster Law Firm. He says, "Frankly, if we don’t manage this problem, South Florida will become a much less attractive place to live and do business. This is a problem that can be managed, but we have to take it seriously. It requires investment. It requires regional solutions." [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Office Depot rejects Staples’ $2.1 billion buyout offer

Office Depot’s parent company rejected a $2.1 billion buyout offer Tuesday from the investor group that controls rival Staples. But the Boca Raton company, which has been cutting costs and reshaping its strategy to appeal more to businesses, said it would entertain other possibilities that would avert tough regulatory scrutiny. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Northwest Florida's economic outlook for 2021

Regional business leaders talk about the outlook for the year ahead, plus demographics and statistics. Ali Green, Associate Dean/Associate Professor, University of West Florida’s department of Global Hospitality & Tourism Management says: “For the tourism industry in Northwest Florida there is no playbook at this point for dealing with the pandemic. I would say that those business owners that have developed a plan to be as flexible, creative and transparent as possible are coming out ahead." [Source: Florida Trend]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Tallahassee takes aim again at no-fault automobile insurance
The latest effort to end Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system will get its first Senate hearing next week. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Jan. 26 will take up a proposal (SB 54) introduced late Friday by Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills. The proposal seeks to replace the requirement motorists carry personal-injury protection coverage, which is key to the no-fault system, with mandatory bodily injury coverage.

› Sarasota County to consider 10,000-acre Hi Hat Ranch development plan
The Hi Hat Ranch in east Sarasota County has been a fixture for so long that it’s easy to assume its rustic, wide open spaces will be around forever. Think again. Jim Turner, one of the 10,000-acre, family-owned ranch’s heirs, will ask the Sarasota County Planning Commission on Thursday to OK a blueprint that will outline the vision for the property that stretches north from Clark Road all the way to Fruitville Road.

› PGA Tour golf tournament is moving from Mexico to Manatee County next month
The Sarasota-Bradenton area will host a major PGA Tour golf tournament next month, an event that has been moved to Florida from Mexico because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual World Golf Championships-Mexico Championships will take place Feb. 25-28 at The Concession Golf Club in eastern Manatee County at 7700 Lindrick Lane.

› DIA to start search Jan. 20 for firms to design park at former Jacksonville Landing site
The Downtown Investment Authority will issue a request for proposals Jan. 20 for public park space designs at the former Jacksonville Landing, according to CEO Lori Boyer. The Professional Services Evaluation Committee of the city Procurement Division approved the DIA’s plan Jan. 14 to select three firms that will submit designs for a minimum 4.5-acre riverfront park/plaza.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Aerial footage of St. Pete Beach, named best beach in the United States
Aerial footage of St. Pete Beach, named best beach in the United States

The beautiful St. Pete Beach, in Florida, was named best beach in the United States, according to Tripadvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice Awards for Beaches. It is also the fifth best beach in the entire world.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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