Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Hurricane season 2023 is near. Here’s what to know about forecast tracks.
It happens every year: A new hurricane season begins, and the forecast graphics start trickling in. Online, your friends and family share maps with multicolored blobs. On TV, the strands of spaghetti models twist and turn through the tropics. Forecast information is everywhere. You think you know what it all means — but do you really? Accurately interpreting hurricane forecasts is a crucial skill in evaluating the risks you face from a looming storm. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
» A new hurricane season is near. In Fort Myers Beach, the old one never left.
Florida Aquarium launches creative plan to lure more businesses, donors
The Florida Aquarium has launched a new corporate plan that looks to increase support from businesses while simultaneously expanding its mission as a conservation and animal care organization. While that description may sound like an expansive way of saying the popular Tampa attraction found a new way to raise money, the reality is that in a time of economic uncertainty the aquarium has developed a plan it says can both help bring in new revenue, solidify its place as a cultural institution and allow donors, and their employees, to give back to the community. More from the Business Observer.
International visitors send Miami travel industry soaring
Miami-Dade County welcomed more than 26.5 million visitors last year, generating over $20.8 billion, an increase of 8% in tourism revenue over 2021. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau stated in its 2022 Visitors Industry Overview report that a total of 26.5 million visitors came to the county last year, with 19.2 million coming for overnight stays and 7.3 million for day-time visits. More from Miami Today.
What’s new in Orlando’s theme parks, summer 2023 edition
The summer travel season is upon us, and Central Florida’s theme parks and attractions can expect the arrival of visitors who have not been around in months. It’s been a period of change with major additions and notable subtractions. Whether you’re from out of town or playing host to returning friends and relatives, it’s difficult to keep up with what’s happening and when. Here’s a guide to what’s new, what’s gone, what to expect and, sorry, what’s just not happening in the summer of ’23. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
JEA clean energy path faces Sierra Club criticism over natural gas
JEA has charted a path for the rest of the decade that would greatly expand its use of solar power and nuclear energy, two sources of electricity that don't warm the planet by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It's not the first time JEA has set such targets, but utility officials say they're committed to following through and have publicized the plan so they are accountable for delivering on it. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Tampa Bay’s stadium conundrum: Who’s playing where?
Team executives from the Tampa Bay Rays were in Tampa twice last week — once to show support for the future of women’s professional soccer and the new Tampa Bay team that will start playing in 2024. A day earlier, the Rays met with Tampa Sports Authority, city of Tampa and Hillsborough County government officials to talk about their own future and the potential for the team to play in a new baseball stadium in Tampa.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Sunnier days ahead
Coming off a record year of passenger traffic, Punta Gorda Airport is expecting business to get even better with the planned opening this year of the 785-room Sunseeker Resort on Charlotte Harbor. “I know the resort is going to be big on convention traffic during the off season — summer — and so we see opportunity for our numbers to pick up during the off season when we don’t get as many in-bound visitors,” says James W. Parish, CEO of the Charlotte County Airport Authority and the Punta Gorda Airport. “It’s going to be huge for us.”
» Read more from Florida Trend.
In case you missed it: