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Friday's Afternoon Update

Florida tourism numbers get a boost

With international travel clawing closer to pre-pandemic levels, Florida is on pace for a record-setting year for tourism. The tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida on Thursday estimated 35.066 million people traveled to Florida during the third quarter of 2023, 1.4 percent more than during the same period of 2022 and 7.9 percent above the total in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic began. More from the News Service of Florida.

Artist Judy Pfaff creates major installation that captures power of Hurricane Ian

The devastating impact of Hurricane Ian in 2022 has been on many minds since it ran a path of destruction across Southwest Florida. Artist Judy Pfaff explores that impact in her newest installation "Picking Up the Pieces," which opens Nov. 19 at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College and is described as her largest installation since 2017. Museum leaders say it defies or crosses boundaries, combining painting, sculpture and architecture. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Global wars not impacting Cadre Holdings business

Jacksonville-based Armor Holdings Inc. grew from a bulletproof vest company to a major military contractor before it was sold for $4.5 billion in 2007. Cadre Holdings Inc., which was spun out of that business after the sale, serves a market closer to Armor’s roots and is not seeing a sales bump from the military market. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Oakland Park the next Fort Lauderdale? New towers morphing city’s skyline with art, restaurants, nightlife

Who does Oakland Park think it is, Fort Lauderdale? The city is growing up — literally — with a wave of new buildings that will add restaurants, cafes, art murals, parks and nightlife to North Federal and North Dixie highways. Developers, artists, city officials and advocates for Oakland Park’s lofty new towers all say the projects — after years of stalled progress — are overdue, each designed to bring life to the city’s long-gestating downtown. More from the South Florida Business Journal.

Former PepsiCo Australia CEO named top exec at Tampa water company

Food and beverage executive Robbert Rietbroek, whose career includes stints overseeing Quaker Foods North America and PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand, has been named CEO of Tampa-based Primo Water Corp. Primo, which sells more than 1 billion gallons of water a year through brands including AquaTerra, PureFlo and Mountain Valley Spring Water, had been searching for a CEO since May. More from the Business Observer.

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Florida Dining
This iconic NY restaurant is a hit in Miami Beach. Here’s what to expect if you get in

You may have thought the closest you would ever get to Rao’s, the iconic Italian restaurant from New York, was buying a jar of the brand’s famous pasta sauce. Maybe two if Publix was running a BOGO. The original restaurant, which opened in Harlem in 1896 with 10 seats, is impossible for mortals to enter. But like every New Yorker, Rao’s — pronounced Ray-ohs — has found its way south.

» Read more from the Miami Herald.