I guess it already is, as it relates to the tourist season, though we still have a couple of weeks before Labor Day Weekend. All indications are this was a great busy-season for most, and that’s a great thing. I’ve been here 12 years, and I don’t remember the entire month of July being as crowded as this past July. As average daily rates continue to rise, we will hopefully return to the days of a higher income bracket vacationing here. That’s good for everyone, as they come to town with more disposable income, spending more, and strengthening our economy.
So, as fall approaches, here are some things for you to know.
· Thanks to all of our sponsors, participants, volunteers, BOTE Boards, and the Back Porch for the biggest and best Paddle at the Porch we’ve had. This was the fourth, and the fifth is sure to surpass.
· As more and more candidates announce their intention to run for House of Representatives District 4 seat, being vacated by Rep. Matt Gaetz, watch as things turn interesting. Destin resident, Mayor, and former City Councilor Mel Ponder is running for this seat.
· With Mayor Ponder eventually resigning his seat as mayor, we could have as many as six seats up for election on the Destin City Council in March 2016. Yes, six! That will be interesting to watch.
· County Commission elections will be gearing up as well, so this will be a full election year for our community. Get involved, and pay attention to the candidates. This will be the most important local election in years.
· And don’t forget the circus that is the presidential election (enough said). It will tone down, I’m sure, as candidates begin to phase out.
· The Chamber is working hard on the events of the last quarter of 2015 – Bourbon at the Bay on Nov. 19, and the Chamber Holiday Party on Dec. 17 Information coming soon.
Finally, 2016 is the 50th anniversary for the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce. We are working on big plans for celebrations throughout the year. It all begins at our annual banquet on Jan. 15, 2016, when a couple of big announcements and unveilings will take place. I found the original minutes from the very first meeting where a to-become-a-board met and decided to begin a chamber of commerce. We will have those on display all year.
Thank you for all you do. Our membership numbers are as high as they’ve been since 2007, and that’s because of you. We look forward to continuing to work with you, and we’ll continue to build this world-class community one business at a time.
Shane A. Moody, CCE, FCCP
President & CEO
Destin Area Chamber of Commerce