Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
An uncertain future for business travel to Florida
The COVID-19 pandemic crushed many business sectors, and one unlikely to fully rebound soon is business travel. A new study by TaxWatch suggests 20% of business travel in Florida will never recover. This would affect everything from tourism to traffic and even the success of restaurants . This could be cause for concern, but many Floridians aren’t worried about these findings. They believe that our business travel will be fine, it’s just going to take some time to recover. [Source: WINK News]
Another coronavirus variant has reached Florida. Here’s what you need to know.
A coronavirus variant discovered in Colombia is showing up among patients in South Florida, increasing infections and putting health officials on alert as calls grow louder for unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated. Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System, told WPLG in Miami earlier this week that the B.1.621 variant has accounted for about 10 percent of coronavirus patients, trailing behind delta, the now-dominant variant in the United States that has been ravaging the nation’s unvaccinated, and the gamma variant. More from WPLG and the Washington Post.
Despite DeSantis’ court win, cruise lines choosing to follow CDC guidelines
Cruise lines that operate from Florida ports have no intention of violating federal health and safety guidelines even as Gov. DeSantis’ celebrates a recent court ruling stripping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of authority over cruising in the state. All major cruise lines intend to voluntarily remain in compliance with the CDC’s guidelines for resuming cruises, according to both the CDC and the trade organization Cruise Lines International Association. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Worried your info was stolen in hack of Florida’s unemployment website? You can fix that
Are you one of the more than 50,000 people who might have had their personal data, including Social Security number and bank account information, potentially stolen during the breach of Florida’s unemployment website? The hackers targeted the website between April 27 and July 16. If you think your information might have been compromised, it’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of having your identity stolen. [Source: Miami Herald]
Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal debut Halloween haunts earlier than ever
It may still be the middle of summer, but Halloween plans at Florida’s theme parks are already brewing, including sold-out nights in August for Disney World’s new Boo Bash. Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream will return earlier than ever and once again features haunted houses, unlike last year’s more limited open-air scares. It’s also bringing along a member of the family, SeaWorld Orlando, into the horror game. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Orlando Fashion Square’s ‘despicable’ condition sparks legal fight as developers want to raze it
A developer who owns the land under Orlando Fashion Square mall and wants to tear it down has called the mall’s condition “despicable” as a legal fight has started over the state of the building. Chuck Whittall and Daryl Carter bought the land a few miles east of downtown Orlando in 2019 with hopes to replace the mall with a new open-air center, but have yet to acquire the building and begin their project.
› Venice's Jacaranda Plaza welcoming new tenants after makeover
Jacaranda Plaza in Venice has had many lives. In the early 2000s, the days before curbside pickup at big-box stores, the commercial plaza at U.S. 41 Bypass and Center Road was anchored by a Kmart. The retailer, which had been in the Venice plaza since 1974, was a big-box beacon in the late 20th century, known for its low prices, Blue Light Specials and PA system that would routinely blare: "attention Kmart shoppers."
› FP&L’s popular solar power subscriptions already sold out
Florida Power & Light Company has reached a new milestone in its goal toward a more energy-sustainable future: its residential subscription-based SolarTogether program already is sold out with more than 48,000 customers enrolled. It’s a massive achievement for the company, which sold out its subscription-based solar energy in just 13 months, beating out its own expectations.
› A look inside Tampa’s new Westshore Marina District
It used to take some imagination to picture how the industrial land around the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge could turn into a community with high-rises, apartments and shops. Just three-and-a-half years ago, workers had not yet completed a single building, nor the main road. But now, it’s quickly taking shape.
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