Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s tourism recovery has been uneven, biggest challenge still return of business travel
Almost a year after COVID-19 devastated travel and tourism economies around the world, Florida is no different. The state saw a 34% drop off in visitors for 2020 and, like almost all major global destinations, is looking to climb the rest of the hurdles towards its tourism recovery, which is so vital to the state. While Florida's beach communities have done fairly well during the pandemic, , cities that have typically been a haven for conference and business travel have been hit hard. More from the Travel Market Report.
After smooth election, Florida Senate considers changing vote by mail laws
After Florida has received widespread praise for its handling of the 2020 election, Republicans and Democrats clashed Tuesday as a Senate committee approved a bill that would require voters to more frequently request vote-by-mail ballots. Senate Ethics and Elections Chairman Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican who is sponsoring the measure (SB 90), said it would help improve the security of the vote-by-mail process, citing concerns about issues such as people moving frequently and ballots going to their old addresses. More from the News Service of Florida.
Retailers trade Fifth Ave. for Worth Ave. as Palm Beach scene thrives with Americans heading South
Retailers, restaurants and other business owners want to be where the people are. And people are moving to South Florida in droves. Some are taking a temporary retreat during the Covid pandemic, away from the cold weather up North. Others are making a longer-term change, and businesses are following by committing to decadeslong leases. More from CNBC.
Florida alcohol ‘to go’ proposal motors ahead
Driving home with sealed mixed drinks or other alcoholic libations as part of “to go” meals, an option allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic to help restaurants, moved closer Tuesday to becoming permanent in Florida. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee became the first legislative panel to support a proposal (SB 148) to put into law an executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis that allows restaurants to include alcoholic drinks or bottles as part of take-home meals. More from WFIT.
Miami settlement with Magic City Casino owner moves into public
Heeding advice to follow the letter of the law, Miami city commissioners canceled a closed meeting last week that was scheduled to discuss a settlement agreement with casino owner West Flagler Associates. The owners of Magic City Casino had plans to build a jai-alai and poker establishment in the Edgewater neighborhood at 3030 Biscayne Blvd. but allege in a April 2019 suit that a change in zoning laws disrupted their progress. More from Miami Today.
Tampa legal advice: Run wild, run free, you chickens of Ybor City
Score one more for the chickens that roam free on the historic brick streets of Ybor City. Weary of chicken poop, torn-up landscaping and early-morning crowing, an Ybor condominium resident recently looked to the city for legal guidance regarding his rights versus the birds’. Steve Calkins, who owns two condos at the Quarter at Ybor on Palm Avenue, wanted to know this: Could he shoo chickens off private property with a broom, hose or leaf-blower? Could he periodically have them trapped and relocated? No and no, the city said this week, pointing to a 1989 ordinance declaring all of Tampa a bird sanctuary.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
More glitter for downtown’s Flagler area? Jewelers are linking up with Miami Metro Mall
Aspiring to become the city’s epicenter for jewelry, Metro Mall Miami owners say they have leased nearly half of their retail space during amid a $50 million renovation that began this month. The 95-year-old building will have four floors for retailers and wholesalers and an additional four floors of offices. It has enough capacity for about a hundred jewelers.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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