Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

Is Gov. Ron DeSantis now the boss of Disney World? What to know about changes in Florida

The Florida Legislature has given Gov, Ron DeSantis control over Walt Disney World’s governing body. So what does that mean? Will the governor lead the Magic Kingdom parades? Appear at theme park attractions? Rename it DeSantis World? It’s not as glamorous as that. But the reins do come with power. More from the Miami Herald.

Nicole insured losses top $500 million

Estimated insured losses from Hurricane Nicole have topped $500 million, with the largest numbers of claims in Orange and Volusia counties, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Data posted on the office’s website said estimated insured losses totaled $506.7 million as of Thursday. The Category 1 hurricane made landfall Nov. 10 near Vero Beach. More from the News Service of Florida.

Jacksonville City Council makes giving to panhandlers on roadways a crime

Jacksonville City Council overwhelmingly approved an ordinance banning panhandling in intersections and major roadways Tuesday night – punishing the people asking for money, as well as the ones who give to them. Passed as a pedestrian safety bill, the ordinance outlaws occupancy in the median or right of way for an extended period of time and transactions, physically interacting, with someone in a vehicle not legally parked. Opponents worried it would lead to unjust arrests and First Amendment challenges, but proponents told council it would protect pedestrians and drivers distracted in traffic. More from the Florida Times-Union.

Miami International Airport gets firm to engineer revenue gains

As Miami International Airport launches major future expansions that will be funded by bond borrowing, it plans to increase use of a contract for an outside traffic engineer as required in bond covenants. This week a county committee is considering a request drawn by county Chief Operations Officer Jimmy Morales to approve an expanded $6 million contract for five years of services by a San Francisco firm to act as that traffic engineer. The same firm is on a contract that is to expire April 30. More from Miami Today.

Orlando home sales fall to lowest point since 2009

Home sales in Orlando plunged in January, dropping to their lowest point in 14 years, with prices trending downward and homes spending longer on the market, according to a new report. Sales last month were 24.9% behind December, for a total of 1,674 sales, the lowest amount in metro Orlando since February 2009, according to the latest housing report from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. The association includes sales from Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Business Profile
Skinny Mixes

Jordan Engelhardt started her ‘skinny syrup’ mix company in 2009, at the height of the recession, after her Clearwater-based real estate appraisal job became threatened by the market crash. She saw a need for a no-sugar syrup to make margaritas and cosmopolitans (the drink made popular in HBO's "Sex and the City"), getting the idea in 2007. By the end of 2022, as Skinny Mixes was showing its new offerings to Target, the brands were already in 10,000 retail units, including bars, "mom and pop" shops, Meijer, Ross and Amazon. The brand has also expanded to Canada and the United Kingdom.

» More from the Business Observer.


Sports Business
Different strokes

This spring in Delray Beach, Greg Bartoli and Tiger Woods will open their latest PopStroke golf entertainment location, their fifth in Florida. And more are on the way. PopStroke isn’t the golf of Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus — not even Caddyshack. Each location features two 18-hole putting greens — think mini-golf without the pirate ship obstacle — served up with foosball, table tennis and cornhole. Beverages ordered by mobile app get delivered to you as you play.

» Read more from Florida Trend.