TDC Awards $100,000 Grant To Dinosaur Museum
By Space Coast Daily // June 27, 2013
Space Coast Office of Tourism Meeting Notes
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA — In a crowded meeting room at the Marriott Courtyard, the Space Coast Office of Tourism conducted its monthly meeting and awarded The Dinosaur Store’s Non-Profit Museum $100,000 as a grant to assist in its completion.
“We are very grateful for the support from the Tourism Development Council (TDC), this grant will help us open the Dinosaur Museum,” said Steve Cayer, The Dinosaur Store owner.
The museum received unanimous support for the grant from the council.
“This has been a long time coming and I’m proud to say that this will be in Cocoa Beach,” said council member and hotelier Bob Baugher.
“This will be an incredible asset for the whole Space Coast as this is as good a museum as anywhere in the country. This compares to the best museums in New York and people will love this. This will be e great draw and can be marketed 50 different ways.” The award will have to be approved by the Brevard County Commission.
Tourist Tax Collections Down 10 Percent For April
TDC Executive Director Rob Varley reported that the tourist bed tax collections were down by 10 percent in April of 2013, versus April of 2012.
“This is obviously of concern to us and we think that the BP advertising money spent to promote the Gulf is affecting us,” said Varley.
Power Boat, Jet Ski Races Set For August
Power Boat and Jet Ski Races will be held offshore near Port Canaveral August 16-18. There will be 3-4 race heats on August 17 and 18, and Jetty Park will be a prime viewing spot.
Council member Laurilee Thompson thought that the race course should include a turn near the Cocoa Beach Pier to increase viewing area for the public.
“There will be more people able to see the races if you make the turn at the Pier,” said Thompson.
Race organizer, Martin Sandborn promised to investigate that option.
Chris Feherman of Gannett gave a report concerning the website development that his company is responsible for. Council member Tim Deratany expressed concern that the website was not up to date.
“As of last week, there were very few events listed and this is a big concern,” said Deratany.
The website at VisitSpaceCoast.com is the official site of the Space Coast Office of Tourism and Gannett currently has the contract to build the site.
Air Show Planning Move to Melbourne
Bryan Lilley of the Cocoa Beach Air Show made a presentation and requested support from the TDC to relocate the air show from Cocoa Beach to Melbourne.
The board’s discussion resulted in Lilley being directed to make a presentation to the TDC Marketing Committee in July as the board consensus was that the air show should be self sustaining.
Lilley cited a lack of industry corporate sponsorship available in Cocoa Beach, which had precipitated his decision to move the show from Cocoa Beach.
“This year has been a perfect storm with sequestration and has created a lot of unique challenges,” said Lilley, who is in the process of asking the City of Melbourne if they want the air show in their city.
The tourism council has provided almost $170,000 in funding to the air show over the last four years – plus additional marketing support.
Lilley said that nationwide, many Air Shows have been cancelled due to lack of funding. Palm Bay Mayor William Capote voiced his support for the air show’s move to Melbourne.
“This will help Palm Bay with some trickle down benefits and I think it will be good for Melbourne,” said Capote.
Veteran Council member Bob Baugher voiced his dissatisfaction with Lilley.
“This came before the marketing committee, and I asked him to take less money and keep it in town, and I got the answer that it was $50,000 from the TDC, or the air show would leave town (Cocoa Beach),” said Baugher.
“We’ve just not been able to develop the sponsor base,” said Lilley. “I’m a resident of Cocoa Beach and it’s the last thing I wanted was to move it out of Cocoa Beach.”
Council member Walt Johnson said that as an at-large appointee to the council, he is responsible to all cities in the county and questioned money being owed to the City of Cocoa Beach from the 2012 Air Show. Lilley said that no money is currently owed to the City of Cocoa Beach.
Cocoa Beach Mayor Dave Netterstrom was asked to address that question.
“An air show in Melbourne is far more beneficial to Brevard County than no air show at all, so I totally support the event,” said Netterstrom.
“I do not believe any money is owed. However, the promoter (Lilley) has a three-year rolling contract with Cocoa Beach to do an air show in Cocoa Beach, and we’ve had no discussion about that issue. I would like to invite you to the Cocoa Beach Commission on July 18 to discuss that issue, and at that time we will probably set you free,” said Netterstrom.
Council member Tim Deratany also voiced his concern. “Any successful group needs to move forward, after a while its time to be weened off,” said Deratany.
Council Chairman Tom Williamson voiced support for the air show.
“I don’t care where it is as long as it is in Brevard County,” said Williamson. “I suggest we fund the $25,000 in marketing and keep it in the county.”
A motion was then approved by the council for Lilley to make a presentation before the marketing committee for his request for support.
“Whatever marketing money he gets, he has to match,” said Thompson.
Art of Sand Will Not Return To Zoo in 2014
Brevard Zoo’s Executive Director Keith Winsten made a report on the “Art Of Sand,” which was an event held at the Zoo that received financial support from the Tourism Development Council.
“I’m not here to ask for money, just to give a report,” said Winsten.
Winsten reported that the Zoo produced the Art of Sand event in a financial partnership with the Brevard Cultural Alliance and SCB Marketing.
Winsten reported that the Zoo had around 154,000 paying customers during the time period that the Art of Sand Exhibit was on display at the Zoo, and that it was not a draw for out of county visitors.
“We had around 31,000 visitors to see the Art of Sand, and that is about a 20 percent capture rate,” said Winsten. “That is lower than we normally see. We will not be doing the event next year.”
Absent Three Consecutive Meetings
Council member Johnson raised concern over TDC member Jeff Piersall having missed the last several monthly TDC meetings.
“How many has he missed?” asked Johnson.
“Three,” answered the TDC staff. Johnson then made a motion to have the issue sent to the County Commission for review and the motion was unanimously approved.