Somebody in the hospitality industry in Volusia County has got to be making a lot of money these days.

For the second month in a row, bed tax collections set an all-time high in Volusia in July, up 80.3% from July 2020 and up 43.7% from July 2019. With two months to go in the fiscal year, the county and the Halifax area and Southeast Volusia advertising authorities have already gone over expected revenue for the fiscal year.

The total bed tax revenue bumping up against $4 million in one month has a lot of ramifications for lodging and restaurant development, hospitality employment, and convention and tourism promotion.

By the end of this year, we will see a lot of hotel projects that have been rather slow in developing, suddenly spring up out of the ground.

Hospitality employment in the Volusia-Flagler area surpassed 30,000 in July and could go up to as much as 40,000 by the end of the year.

The county has plenty of money to maintain the Ocean Center and keep it filled with activities, meaning the Volusia County Council doesn’t even have to think about having to use general fund revenue to support it. The three tourism promotion agencies also have plenty of money to fund their operations and promote their areas to tourists, convention planners, sporting event promoters and others who need space for an event.

All of that, of course, means the area will be attracting even more people and create even more demands for lodging, restaurants and other businesses that provide services and products to visitors. Quoting Neil Young, “In the field of opportunity, it’s plowin’ time again.”

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Lots of other stuff going on, so let’s get to it. Some recent commercial real estate transactions of note include Chris Hamill of Windermere, who worked for Arnold Palmer Golf Management, bought the DeBary Golf & Country Club for $2.9 million. D.R. Horton bought a batch of lots in the new Glenbrooke residential subdivision in Edgewater for $1.425 million. Mesa, Ariz., investors bought the Seahorse Mobile Home Park at 414 N. Ridgewood Ave. in Edgewater for $1.259 million. Meritage Homes bought a batch of lots in the Palms section of Venetian Bay in New Smyrna Beach for $1.03 million. Aire Park Holdings of DeLand bought the industrial building at 1560 Lexington Ave. in the DeLand Airport Industrial Park for $1 million.

Some smaller deals include a Daytona Beach couple, under the name Thoroughbred Classics LLC, bought 7.79 acres at the northeast corner of LPGA Boulevard and U.S. 92 in Daytona Beach for $875,000. Atlantic Family Dentistry bought the office building it uses at 611 S. Dixie Freeway in New Smyrna Beach for $850,000. Daytona Beach businesswoman Melissa Wartman bought the property at 601 Main St. in Daytona Beach for $700,000.

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Myriad plans hit the drawing board including OneDaytona adding a midrise building of mostly efficiency apartments in front of Fairfield Suites and Guitar Center. Plans continue to extend Dunn Avenue across the Tomoka River to reach a planned 352-unit single-family residential development. Plans submitted for Tymber Creek Village apartments at Tymber Creed Road and State Road 40 in Ormond Beach will be built by Integra Land Co. Plans submitted for Watermark apartments at southeast corner of Hand Avenue and Williamson Boulevard in Daytona Beach, leaving the extreme corner for a retail business. Plans submitted for a 15-unit townhouse development, Plum Tree Townhomes, at 613 W. Indiana Ave. in DeLand. Panera Bread, with a drive-through, will join 7 Eleven in the commercial section of Coastal Woods along State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach. The Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet adding a commissary.

The plans were submitted to the St. Johns River Water Management District or city and county planning offices.

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On a final note, some miscellaneous items include Conns Home Plus, which has a store in Orange City, is going into International Speedway Square at 2500 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach. Construction is starting on another medical office building at Orange City Village Center. More Truist signs going up on a former SunTrust Bank building, this one at 200 Palmetto St. in downtown Daytona Beach. Kava Health & Drink Bar is going into the Shoppes at Beville at 1500 Beville Road in Daytona Beach.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 24 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsmediagroup.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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