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Category archives for: Tourist Development Council

Spartan Extreme Race Re-Sets for Flagler: New Location, Same Lack of Transparency

| October 22, 2015

While the Spartan race appears set at a private ranch in Flagler next March, again, serious questions of transparency and patronage are undermining tiourism chief Matt Dunn’s latest approach.

Conflict Concerns Raised Over Tourism’s Matt Dunn Moonlighting at His Own Agency

| October 19, 2015

Flagler government tourism chief Matt Dunn, an $82,000-a-year employee, owns a company that offers services similar to those he provides the county, raising questions of conflicts of interest.

Overselling Flagler: How County Tourism and Government Zeal Lost the Spartan Race Before It Started

| August 26, 2015

An examination of the documents behind the Spartan Race proposed for Princess Place show tourism chief Matt Dunn repeatedly getting ahead of the process, showing little awareness of policy and protocols and virtually no appreciation for the political context that ultimately sank his biggest pet project to date.

Princess Place Saved Again: Flagler Pulls Extreme Race Out of Preserve and Looks Elsewhere

| August 23, 2015

County Administrator Craig Coffey, conceding to the outpouring of opposition to holding such a race at the preserve—and to a majority of county commissioners’ categorical opposition to the event there—informed commissioners Sunday that the race would be pulled.

Princess Place Preserve Slated for Extreme-Sport-Type Endurance Race, and 6,000 Racers

| August 19, 2015

The Spartan extreme-sport race in March will cover 8-10 miles and feature nearly 30 landscape-altering obstacles, with 6,000 racers and 2,000 spectators expected. The county is subsidizing the race.

County Government Will Take Over Flagler Tourism Office From Chamber in Latest Expansion

| August 17, 2015

The tourism office’s four employees have been under contract through the Flagler chamber of commerce. By next fall, they’ll be county employees, but their budget will still be underwritten by the 4 percent surtax on short-term rentals.

Flagler Looking to Raise Tourism Tax For 2nd Time in Four Years Despite Surging Revenue

| June 23, 2015

Flagler County wants to raise the local sales surtax on hotel and motel stays to 5%, from 4%, even though revenue has grown ten-fold over the past decade.

Public Denounces Flagler Beach Paid-Parking Option, Splitting Commission on What’s Next

| April 30, 2015

A proposal to impose paid parking on vast new swaths of Flagler Beach is likely dead shortly after its arrival at the Flagler Beach City Commission Thursday. What happens next is unclear.

Flagler Auditorium Lights Up Its $86,000 LED Marquee, Boosting Visibility

| March 18, 2015

The $71,000 Deltronics sign, plus $15,000 for its installation, was paid for through a $150,000 grant from county government’s Tourist Development Council and is part of a series of improvements at the auditorium designed to improve visibility and impact.

White Elephant No More: County Approves 5-Year Lease of Costly Ginn Hangar in Deal With New Company

| December 16, 2014

Delta Engineering of New Catle, Del., expanding in Flagler with 10 to 30 high-paying jobs, will fill the old Ginn building that had left the county with a $2 million liability when Ginn went bankrupt.

In 4-1 Vote, County Seals Agreement to Build Tourist-Ready Cottages at Princess Preserve

| December 15, 2014

An initial plan to build three cottages in partnership with a state conservation agency would expand to an additional 10 cottages at the River-to-Sea Preserve in the near future.

Varn Park Will Close Until April 15 For $476,000 Renovations Thanks to Scenic A1A Grant

| December 5, 2014

The federal National Scenic Byways grant was the largest of just three such awards in Florida, and will have a $140,000 match from Flagler County.

A1A Pride Votes 7-3 to Reject Salamander Plan for 198-Room Hotel at Hammock Beach

| October 9, 2014

Today’s vote is only advisory ahead of action before the county’s planning board and the County Commission. But A1A’s membership represents a powerful constituency in the Hammock, as its previous displays of political muscle indicate.

Sports Events Specialist Matt Dunn Is Named Tourism Director in Place of Georgia Turner

| January 6, 2014

Matt Dunn, 39, named Vice President for tourism today–he’ll be in charge of a $900,000 budget controlling Flagler’s marketing–owned his own events company in St. Johns County, worked with Flagler’s tourism council previously, and was Executive Director of the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Ocala/Marion County Sports Commission.

A Flagler Farewell to 2013: The Local Year in Review

| January 1, 2014

A tornado, plane crashes and mishaps, Flagler County going bonkers for clunkers, a spate of murders in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach’s firehouse follies, Bunnell’s reality show: 2013 is ending not a moment too soon. But first, a review.

Two Years In, Tourism Director Georgia Turner Is Leaving Flagler For Native Alabama

| December 5, 2013

Georgia Turner, the county’s radiant tourism director who oversaw Flagler’s and Palm Coast’s realignment as niche sports destinations, a steady rise in tourism-tax revenue and a first-ever working coalition of local arts groups, is leaving after just two years on the job. Personal, not political, reasons led her to the decision.

Flagler County Buys 276 Minutes on Electronic Billboard Near Times Square, for $15,000

| October 4, 2013

The 10-second spot will run once an hour, 18 times a day, through Jan. 2, on a billboard on 42nd Street, four and a half blocks south of Times Square, and is paid for half by the county’s tourism bed tax and half by the general fund, through the economic development department.

Flagler Tourism Office Rebuffs Consolidation With County, Hinting at More Autonomy Instead

| August 28, 2013

County Commissioner George Hanns and Administrator Craig Coffey had talked of absorbing the tourism office–currently a branch of the chamber of commerce–into county government. It won’t happen. Rather, Tourism Director Georgia Turner is talking of having a stand-alone tourism office in a few years.

Flagler Lands Its 1st Statewide Horseshoe Pitching Tournament at New Old Dixie Park

| April 19, 2013

The Flagler County Horseshoe Pitching Club will host a Florida-wide horseshoe tournament at the 18-pit Old Dixie Park the county built last year. The tournament is another addition to a growing list of specialty sports tournaments bringing visitors the county.

Many of Flagler’s Arts Groups Begin to Look Beyond Egos to a Cooperative Alliance

| April 16, 2013

An emerging arts alliance for Palm Coast and Flagler County would capitalize on the economic benefits of an arts scene with more coordinated projects and strategy, led by the tourism council’s conciliating voice of Georgia Turner. Obstacles remain, however.

It’s Not Just Hotels: Flagler Seeking to Collect Bed Tax From Booming Short-Term Rentals

| February 22, 2013

The Flagler’s Tourist Development Council is spearheading an effort to make sure landlords who rent homes or condominiums on a short-term basis, defined as less than six months, pay the 4 percent tourist development tax.

Flagler’s Tourism Council Would Relax Rules Governing Subsidies for Special Events

| January 30, 2013

The changes, affecting $100,000 in bed-tax dollars county government, through the tourism council, awards organizations that put on special events, would dispense with the requirement that organizations spend the money advertising their event, and would allow them to spend it on incidental expenses that may be more difficult to track.

County Sends Protest Letter to Palm Coast Over Red-Light Spy Cameras on SR100

| September 17, 2012

The Flagler County Commission is asking the Palm Coast City Council to reconsider installing some of its 52 spy-and-snap traffic cameras on SR100 because the county claims it will inhibit shopping and tourism, and leave a bad taste in visitors’ mouths just as the county is advertising itself as a welcoming beachside destination.

16-Year-Old’s High-Def Eye In the Sky Gives Flagler Free and Spectacular Publicity

| September 10, 2012

Lucas Weekley, a budding engineer from Ocala, builds and flies remote-controlled aircraft that shoot high-definition video, which he edits and launches on YouTube through his BuyBee TV. Flagler Beach and Hammock Dunes were the lucky subjects of his last production.

Split Flagler Commission Approves $900,000 Tourism Budget With Glaring Increases

| September 5, 2012

The $100,000 budget increase over the current year led one commissioner to raise objections over a doubling in rent costs and a tripling in furniture costs, while another commissioner objected to the rebranding of tourism efforts to include Palm Coast on par with Flagler’s beaches.

Florida Tourism Lull Predicted, Slowing Local Growth, as Euro Zone Economies Suffer

| July 24, 2012

Economic woes in Europe will trickle across the Atlantic over the next few years as potential international guests stay home or see their native currency buy less once they arrive, a panel of economists estimates.

Another Court Ruling Favors Online Travel Companies Over County Tax Collectors, Including Flagler’s

| July 16, 2012

A Tallahassee judge has sided with online travel companies like Expedia and Orbitz in a dispute over local tax obligations — a blow to counties, including Flagler, that have argued the companies weren’t paying enough.

Attorney General OK’s Flagler Beach’s Plan to Spend Sales Tax Money on Erosion Projects

| June 7, 2012

In an Attorney General’s opinion, Pam Bondi wrote that Flagler Beach’s plan to spend sales tax revenue on beach erosion projects is authorized by law, but that the ballot language authorizing that sales tax may have to specify erosion projects, not just general infrastructure.

In a Defeat for Flagler and 16 Counties, Judge Rules For Travel Companies on Tourism Taxes

| April 24, 2012

Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer ruled in favor of the industry last week, going against Flagler and 16 other counties that argue they have lost out on millions of dollars in tourist-development taxes.

Bait, Tackle and BBQ at Bings Landing as Flagler Cooks Up Park’s Latest Shop Lease

| March 21, 2012

Captain’s BBQ at Bings Landing will operate the concession shop and kayak,canoe and bike rentals for $500 a month’s rent in Flagler County’s latest attempt to give life to a handsome but commercially problematic location.



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