More than 3,600 miles of the Florida coast and about 3,300 miles of its interior are designated for vacationing, vacation-related activity, or leisure travel, according to a recent report by the Florida Association of Counties.
The report was released Wednesday and is intended to serve as a roadmap for the state’s new vacationing regulations.
A key recommendation is to create “high-density, accessible, and accessible” recreation facilities, according the association’s report, which recommends adding a “visitor-friendly” and “inclusive” theme park or resort.
That’s important for those who like to take in the beauty of the Sunshine State.
But it’s also a big focus for the resort industry, which has been battling for years with the state over what is considered a “land use” measure.
In recent years, lawmakers have debated whether to ban all vacation rentals, which would effectively end resorts’ ability to operate in areas that currently attract tourism.
But there’s growing support in Tallahassee for more relaxed rules on recreation, especially in coastal areas.
The latest measure has a clear target.
“Our goal is to put people back to work, and create a better, more welcoming vacation environment,” said Chris Wilson, the executive director of the International Association of the Resort & Spa Industry.
Wilson said he believes the new regulations would also help the industry.
“People can stay at these facilities if they want to, if they’re interested in the theme park experience,” Wilson said.
“The fact is, there’s no incentive to be a resort.
It’s not as if the revenue from the resort is going to go to the hotel.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by local officials.
“I believe it’s important to make sure we have a sustainable tourism industry here in Florida, that there is a place for everyone to be,” said state Sen. Bill Galvano, D-Tallahassee.
“And that’s something that we are working toward.”
The proposal to add a theme park would not require approval by the state Department of Transportation, which oversees road projects and highways.
Rather, it would be passed by the Legislature.
Under the proposal, the resort would be required to add new or expanded recreation facilities for the duration of the ban, with a goal of building more than 2,000 of them by 2020.
The idea is to give the resort a green light to open and operate the resort for a minimum of 10 years, according.
The ban would be phased in over a number of years.
At first, there will be a 30-day grace period, and then new restrictions would be put in place for the next four years.
Then, after 10 years the resort can open again, if it decides to.
That will be the only exception for new development and construction.
The resort will also be required by law to keep a log of how many people use the facilities and how many guests are coming to the resort each day.
There would also be an annual review of the resort, and if it’s found that it’s failing to meet the requirements, the state would be able to force the resort to close.
Under current rules, hotels are required to report the number of guests that are using their facilities and the number that stay in a hotel during peak times.
The state says that will not change under the new rule, which is expected to be finalized by the end of 2018.
The new law would apply to the following properties: The Red Rock Hotel in Jacksonville; the Jacksonville Marriott in Lakeland; the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center; the Coral Springs Marriott in Tampa; and the Tampa International Airport.
The proposed rules are expected to apply to hotel property within 1,200 feet of a water body, an area that covers about 15 percent of the state, according a recent state report.