Groundbreaking Economic Development in Daytona Beach
This year is a grand one for economic development in the town that is widely known as the World’s Most Famous Beach. As one of Central Florida’s most sought after tourist destination, Daytona Beach, already draws in an average of 8.5 million tourists per year. Consequently, the city’s department of economic development, in conjunction with that of Volusia County, has attracted a number of projects expected to break ground in 2016. With an impressive amount of money being invested, countless job opportunities will arise, revenue will skyrocket, and the revamped city will have an even greater year-round appeal to visitors and residents alike.
With its official debut during the 2016 Rolex 24 and Daytona 500, the recently renovated Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is currently considered the leading development project in the city’s economic expansions. Referred to as Daytona Rising, the $400 million reimagining of the American icon generated over 6,300 new jobs during construction, along with over $300 million in labor income, and $85 million in new federal, state, and local tax revenue. Now, with five expanded and redesigned entrances leading fans to three separate concourse levels, 101,500 permanent, more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms, three times as many concession stands, and 60 luxury suites with track side views, the Speedway is projected to generate more than $1.6 billion each year in total economic benefits in addition to its already substantial impacts from ongoing operations. Not to mention, the creation of 18,000 permanent jobs and more than $241 million in annual federal, state, and local tax revenue.
Directly across from the Speedway, One Daytona will serve as the area’s premier retail, dining, and entertainment destination beginning in 2017. The $1.4 million joint venture between DIS parent company International Speedway Corporation and Jacoby Development will cover 300,000 square feet, anchored by Bass Pro Shops, Cobb Theatres, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel and Fairfield Inn & Suites, and a 300-unit residential apartment community. The first phase of the project alone is expected to support over 4,700 construction jobs and $209 million in paid wages for a $583 million overall impact on the region.
In the same vicinity, Daytona Beach International Airport (DBIA) experienced a record high number of travelers this Spring. A total of 70,936 passengers flew in or out of DBIA, an 11.4% increase since last year, and the first time since April 2008 that the airport’s passenger traffic exceeded 70,000 in a single month. The airport director of business development attributes the 7,256-passenger increase to JetBlue airways, whose daily nonstop New York-Daytona Beach flights accounted for 7,810 of the Spring numbers. JetBlue brings in more passengers, generating about $21 per passenger for the airport through concessions, rental cars, and other additional revenue sources, and they have also struck the attention of other major airlines that keep tabs on JetBlue’s performance, creating the opportunity to add flights at DBIA. Photogroup, a Russian family-owned business, has a similar $150 million condo and hotel project.
Together, the city and Volusia County also continually encourage retaining and facilitating the expansion of existing businesses and remain mindful of the community vision. The area has a host of successful small businesses that are also growing and attracting others to get here to ride the wave. Leaders of the community and its economic development predict that when all of this breaks open over the next couple of years, Daytona Beach will be huge and poised for “something magical.”