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SRQ DAILY Jun 13, 2016

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"It should not just be a facility you mothball, and it should get used year-round."

- Martin Black, West Villages

[Tourism]  Florida's Fly And Drive Visitors
Diana Morales

When tourists travel to Florida, Visit Florida calculates the percentage between those who travel by plane and by vehicle. This chart displays the amount of air and non-air visitors to the state by quarter. Historically, Quarter 1 has been seen as the dominant season for air visitation, but in 2015 air travel during Quarter 4 grew by four percent, resulting in an even distribution of air visitors across the quarters.  

[Tourism]  Braves Investing in Sarasota Talks
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

While the Atlanta Braves haven’t signaled exactly where they want to move spring training operations, developers for the West Villages in South Sarasota County are planning right now for a baseball stadium on site, and the Major League Baseball club has hired local consultants to help refine the scope and cost of moving the operation here. “It is not a little bit of money they are investing to fine tune this here,” said West Villages General Manager Martin Black. 

The Braves right now hold spring training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World, but as more teams migrate further south, it seems increasingly clear that the team will leave Lake Buena Vista after the 2018 season. The team has shopped around a number of Florida communities seeking a new home, but according to Black, Sarasota and West Palm Beach are the only teams in the running. Black stressed that while Spring of 2019 seems a distant time, there is some pressure for the team to reach a deal because a new stadium, as is being considered in South Sarasota County, would take at least 18 months to permit and build.

Atlanta Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz sent a letter to Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer asking the county to continue discussions. “We have retained design and construction consultants to assist us and the local landowner team in further refining the scope and cost of a potential spring training facility,” Schuerholz writes.

West Villages wants to donate 100 to 150 acres of land adjacent to State College of Florida’s Venice campus and envisions a 7,500-seat stadium, practice fields and training facilities there. The community right now is pursuing a comprehensive plan amendment with Sarasota County defining future roadways. Black said that amendment is important to show the Braves that the stadium will be on a major road, not a backroad or neighborhood street. County Commissioners have not approved any changes to the plan yet and are scheduled to vote next month on transmitting amendments to the state.

The most controversial element of any baseball deal though will be public costs. While West Villages will provide the land, the deal could rely on up to $22.1 million in revenue from the county tourist development tax. Black also hopes the state will provide about $20 million to retain the team here. With the stadium adjacent to a college campus, Black also said local officials have made clear in negotiations that there should be other community uses through the year besides Braves functions. “It should not just be a facility you mothball, and it should get used year-round,” he said. But Black also noted the Braves expect to hold activities at any facility during other parts of the year than spring training season. 

Photo: The Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

[Recognition]  ZTS Recognized As MSP 501 Honoree

Zymphony Technology Solutions has been ranked among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers. The top companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology business backgrounds. It recognizes service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.  

Zymphony Technology Solutions

[Recognition]  Chiles Restaurant Group Receives Award

All three iconic, waterfront restaurants of the Chiles Restaurant Group (Sandbar in Anna Maria, The Beach House in Bradenton Beach and Mar Vista Dockside on North Longboat Key) have been recognized by TripAdvisor with the 2016 Certificate of Excellence. TripAdvisor recognized the three restaurants for regularly delivering great service, consistent fresh culinary offerings and receiving strong praise and ratings from travelers on TripAdvisor.com.  

The Chiles Restaurant Group

[Recognition]  Recognition Awarded To ArtisTree

The 26-year-old company, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance and Design, has earned a spot on Landscape Management magazine’s Top 150 list for highest, revenue-generating landscape firms in the country. Ranked No. 98 in the magazine, ArtisTree is the only independently owned company in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties to make the list.  

ArtisTree Landscape

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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