DAYTONA BEACH — Bringing big hotel and retail developments to the beachfront used to take a big taxpayer investment.
And that money was supposed to accomplish big goals: revive the beachside, attract tourists with more money to burn and draw conventions to the Ocean Center.
Those goals are still there today — as big as ever — but one thing has gotten smaller: the amount of taxpayer money hotel developers are asking for.
“(Hotel developers) are able to come in and make their numbers work without having to talk about 10, 20 or 30 million in public subsidies,” said Daytona Beach Deputy City Manager Paul McKitrick.
From the mid-1980s through the early 2000s, the city and county dished out more than $35 million in community redevelopment money — $50 million-plus in inflation-adjusted dollars — to help build and expand what is now the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort and the Ocean Walk retail, time-share and condo-hotel complex.