Good news around Florida

Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay area may challenge Pensacola for being the “Upside” of Florida. The area is experiencing phenomenal growth. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Hillsborough EDC says its recruitment, retention and other assistance projects completed in the past year will bring 3,270 targeted high-paying jobs to the area. The figure was 4,500 the year before that and 4,100 the year before that. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC, has announced plans for a $1 billion 10-year remake of the 40 acres he owns or controls around Amalie Arena. That could add 6,700 jobs to the area with an average wage of $78,000. Port Tampa Bay has unveiled a long-range $1.7 billion plan in the area north of The Florida Aquarium that would include 9 million square feet of mixed-use development. – Read more.

Daytona Beach
Volusia County is having a record tourism season. For the first seven months of 2015, Volusia County hotel occupancy was up 3 percent to an average of 70 percent, compared with 67 percent for the same period in 2014 and 65 percent in 2013. That sustains momentum of an estimated 9.1 million visitors in 2014, the most since the late 1980s. Read more.

Publix Super Markets Inc., the Lakeland-based grocery chain, celebrates its 85th anniversary today. Read more.