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Thursday’s Afternoon Update – Florida Trend

Bringing in the green: National Park visitors spent $855 million in Florida last year

They’re known for their natural beauty, history and fun recreational opportunities, but national parks also generate a lot of money for their surrounding communities. Florida is home to 11 National Park Service lands. In 2021, 13.4 million visitors to those parks spent an estimated $855 million dollars in the state, supporting nearly 12,000 jobs, according to a report by the National Park Service and US Department of the Interior. More from WTSP.

Florida startup Space Perspective begins production of its space balloon capsules. See inside.

Luxury balloon flights to the edge of space are closer to becoming a reality in Central Florida. It’s the latest step forward for the 3-year-old company headquartered at Kennedy Space Center that aims to begin commercial flights by the end of 2024 and create 200-plus jobs in Brevard County. The company’s trips will take up to eight passengers on a six-hour balloon journey that peaks nearly 20 miles above Earth. The gradual, 12-mile-per-hour climb, along with a two-hour stop at the edge of space, gives passengers plenty of time to soak in the views of Earth from above. More from the Orlando Business Journal.

Headhunters scramble to fill executive-level jobs

Employment search firms in the Miami area have felt a high demand to fill jobs in every market throughout the entire area in the past year. Across the Miami area, hiring has been going strong in 2022. This is a great improvement from the past two years due to a post-covid world, leading to general recovery in many job markets in Miami. “I can say that hospitality and entertainment has had and continues to have recovery with additional tourism, the cruise line industry as well,” said Pablo Golfari, market leader of Korn Ferry, a search firm with an office in Brickell. More from Miami Today.

As USF’s on-campus stadium takes shape, Tampa companies aim to benefit

When Floyd Freeman was a student at the University of South Florida, the school didn’t have a football team. The Bulls fielded their first squad in 1997, the year after they graduated. So as an alumnus and season ticket holder, Freeman is excited by the prospect of a football stadium on USF’s Tampa campus. But it excites him even more as a business owner. “It would be very nice, very exciting, to be able to build something there,” said Freeman, the founder and CEO of Tampa telecommunications company Cablelytics. “It would almost be personal pride, and a little bit of bragging rights. I could say, ‘That’s my school I went to. I was able to build that.’” More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Sea turtles on Florida’s Space Coast on track to set new record for nests

The loggerhead sea turtles of Florida’s Space Coast are on track to set higher records for nests. The reptiles lay up to 100 eggs before burying them in the sand. In 2022 so far, the agency has counted some 17,996 loggerheads, 128 leatherbacks, 5,301 green and two critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtles in surveyed areas. In 2021 Brevard County recorded more than 29,000 nests in the area. More from Fox News.

At Sol St. Pete Bistro, a healthy approach that doesn’t feel restrictive

Like most specials at Sol St. Pete Bistro, a new health-conscious restaurant in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District, certain ingredients are floating, making guest appearances for sometimes as little as a few weeks out of the year. Owners Debbie DeVico O’Neil and her husband Ron O’Neil opened their petite but ambitious farm-to-table restaurant in January, taking over the pale yellow building formerly home to Puerto Rican restaurant WEPA.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.

This baker was told not to speak Spanish with colleagues, so she started her own cake company

 “As a young girl growing up in Puerto Rico, I had an obsession with sweets and baking,” shares Kristina Lavallee, founder and CEO of The Cake Girl. “I would beg my parents to take me to the grocery store just so I could see the cakes and baked goods. Surprising and delighting someone with a cupcake would become my life’s calling.” Baking continues to have its moment. Our obsession with watching reality shows where bakers race to make the most realistic shoe cake or come up with the most innovative flavors doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

» Read more from Entrepreneur.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Update

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