News Cast 2/24

News Cast for February 24th:

When will tourism rebound?

Visit Florida estimates state tourism declined by 34 percent due to the pandemic in 2020.

The number of visitors was down by over 86 million.

President and CEO Dana Young said experts predict it will be 2024 before things get back to normal.

She said she expects a rebound sooner than that, “We are working to get back to where we were.  The rural areas have so much to offer like these off the beaten path experiences.  We are marketing the rural areas and hope to see things get back to normal soon.”

She says they also try to promote rural areas and fishing locations, mountain biking, air boating, camping and other activities in rural Florida.

“We have really focused the past few years on the natural Florida and the off the beaten path experiences in Florida.  They have been very well received.  People were looking for new and less known areas to visit.  People are willing to get into the car and drive and experience something new.”

Speeds to change on 721

A 40 mile per hour speed limit will be imposed on route 721 north of the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation.

The Glades County Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance Monday night.

They had originally sought to lower the speeds on the entire length of the road between Lakeport and Highlands County.

County Commissioner John Ahern said the worst section of the road is closer to Highlands County.

“The base of the road is not good and the engineers are working on it.  We have money to repave it.  We are looking at options to improve the base.  It is not safe to drive high speeds on it.”

The sheriff’s department and the highway patrol will be asked to patrol the area and cite speeding motorists.

“I think the majority of the traffic going to the casino comes from the north end.   There are also cane trucks bringing the cane in this time of year.  They re-routed what they are doing and are going to the north end empty and turning and come back through the fields.  They aren’t on the road as much as they have been.”