Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

[dey-toh-nuh]
Daytona Beach, city (1990 pop. 61,921), Volusia co., NE Fla., on the Atlantic coast and Halifax River (a lagoon); inc. 1876. Center of a rapidly urbanizing area, in a region settled by Spanish Franciscans in the 17th cent., Daytona Beach is a popular year-round resort, now noted as a spring-break mecca for collegians. Its economy has diversified to include aerospace industries. Noted for its hard, white beach, the city has been the scene of automobile racing since 1902; the annual Daytona 500 is an important event. Daytona USA, an interactive motor-sports museum, opened in 1996. Institutions of higher education include Bethune-Cookman College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ.

Coastal city (pop., 2000: 64,112), northeastern Florida, U.S. Located south of Jacksonville, it was founded by Mathias Day in 1870 and incorporated in 1876. In 1926 the cities of Seabreeze, Daytona, and Daytona Beach were incorporated as Daytona Beach. The Ormond-Daytona beach of hard, white sand has been used for automobile speed trials since 1903. The city is known for the Daytona International Speedway.

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Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, USA. According to 2006 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city has a population of 64,421. Daytona Beach is a principal city of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the census bureau estimated had a 2006 population of 496,575.

The city is historically known as having one of the few beaches in the world where the hard packed sand allows family cars to drive on the beach. This hard packed sand made Daytona a mecca for motorsports, with the old Daytona Beach Road Course having hosted races for over 50 years. This course was replace in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association.

Daytona Beach is a year-round resort area, but could also accurately be called a seasonal town, with large groups of out-of-towners descending upon the city for various events, most notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Pepsi 400 race in July (now Coke Zero 400), Bike Week in March, Biketoberfest in October and Black College Reunion in March and April. In the past Daytona Beach catered to spring breakers, but in recent years many of the breakers have migrated to other sites, like Panama City Beach. Daytona Beach in the last few years spring breakers have come back again in smaller numbers.

History

The area was once inhabited by the Timucuan Indians, who lived in fortified villages. War and disease, however, would decimate the tribe. Florida was acquired from Spain by the United States in 1821, although permanent settlement was delayed until after the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842. When the Civil War ended, Florida experienced a boom in tourism.

The city was founded in 1870 and incorporated in 1876. It was named for its founder, Matthias D. Day. In 1886, the St. Johns & Halifax River Railway arrived in Daytona. The line would be purchased in 1889 by Henry Flagler, who made it part of his Florida East Coast Railway. The separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged as "Daytona Beach" in 1926, at the urging of civic leader J.B. Kahn and others. By the 1920s, it was dubbed "The World's Most Famous Beach".

Daytona's wide beach of smooth, compacted sand attracted automobile and motorcycle races beginning in 1902, as pioneers in the industry tested their inventions. On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course. In 1959, William France created Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Automobiles are still permitted on the beach, although now only at slow speeds.

"The World's Most Famous Beach"

The city and its beaches, lined with hotels, motels, condominiums and houses, attract over 8,000,000 tourists each year. In a wide variety of price ranges, hotel and motel rooms are typically plentiful except during special events. Daytona Beach has high security around its main hotel locations, with multiple cameras filming hotel and beach areas. It is one of the few places in the world where a family car can be driven on an ocean beach. Most other driving beaches require 4 wheel drive or other special equipment.

During motorcycle events (Bike Week and Biketoberfest), several hundred thousand bikers from all over the world visit the greater Daytona Beach area. While the city is often associated with spring break, the efforts of the local government to discourage rowdiness, combined with the rise of other spring break destinations, have nearly ended Daytona's former preeminence as a spring break destination.

Special events that draw visitors to Daytona Beach include:

Daytona Beach is also home to the headquarters of NASCAR, Grand-Am, International Speedway Corporation and the LPGA.

Geography and climate

Daytona Beach is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 64.93 mi² (168.17 km²). of which is land and is water. Water is 9.6% of the total area.

The city of Daytona Beach is split in two by the Halifax River lagoon, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, and sits on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered on the north by Holly Hill and Ormond Beach and on the south by Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona and Port Orange. The major highways that serve the city are the east-west Interstate 4 and the north-south Interstate 95, which intersect near the city. Other major roads in the city include US 92/International Speedway Boulevard, U.S. 1/Ridgewood Avenue and A1A/Atlantic Avenue.

Daytona Beach has a humid subtropical climate, typical of the southeastern United States. Summers are hot and humid with highs usually in the 90s and a heat index often exceeding 100 degrees. Thunderstorms are frequent in summer afternoons and the hot, humid weather can last right through the fall months. Winters are dry and mild, marked by a constant series of cold fronts and warm-ups. Temperatures dip into the low 30s and upper 20s on occasion, and freezes are not uncommon. Frost occurs a few times a year mainly in the inland areas, but is rare along the beaches. Snowfall is very rare. Temperatures in spring are famously pleasant with warm afternoons, cool evenings, and far less humidity. This beach-going weather attracts tourists back to the beaches usually by early March.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 87 89 92 96 100 102 102 100 99 95 89 88
Norm High °F 69.7 71.1 75.6 79.8 85 88.8 91 90.1 87.9 82.6 76.9 71.4
Norm Low °F 47.1 48.8 53.7 58 64.5 70.6 72.4 72.8 71.9 65.3 57 50.1
Rec Low °F 15 24 26 35 44 52 60 65 52 41 27 19
Precip (in) 3.13 2.74 3.84 2.54 3.26 5.69 5.17 6.09 6.61 4.48 3.03 2.71
Source: USTravelWeather.com

Hurricanes and Tropical storms

Because of Daytona Beach's close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the city has a significant chance of receiving hurricanes and tropical storms every hurricane season. However, prior to 2004, major hurricanes are only recorded as skirting by the coast of Daytona Beach without any direct hits.

Hurricane Floyd passed along the Florida coast in September 1999, which caused significant beach erosion and collapsed about 200 ft. section of the Daytona Beach Pier.

The 2004 Hurricane season was particularly tumultuous in the Daytona Beach area. Hurricane Charley was a very fast-moving, compact storm, which made landfall near Port Charlotte, Florida, on August 13, swept across the state and hit Daytona Beach from the inland before reentering the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Frances was a very large storm in size, which moved made landfall at Hutchinson Island South, Florida (near Port St. Lucie, Florida) in the early hours of September 5, and caused a significant amount of collateral damage. Portions of Daytona Beach were without electricity or phone service for ten days following Frances due to downed lines or shorted transformers. Just three weeks later, Hurricane Jeanne formed in the Atlantic Ocean and made landfall only six miles from the same spot Frances hit, at Hutchinson Island South, Florida, on September 26. Following the 2004 hurricane season, the names Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne were all retired from use.

Tornadoes

Daytona Beach is not immune to the threat of tornadoes. Historical tornado activity is about 33% above the national average. On February 22, 1998 a tornado killed 13 people, injured 36 people, and caused $31 million in damages. Tornadoes also hit the city on Christmas Day, 2006. Some people were injured, but no fatalities were reported. Very significant damage was done to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's campus as the F2 tornado that touched down in Daytona Beach cut through the heart of the campus. It destroyed 50 of the school's 75 aircraft, mostly Cessnas. More info can be found: tornadoes of 2006, and at

Law and government

Local Government

Under Daytona Beach's commission-manager form of government, voters elect a City Commission which consists of seven members who serve four-year, staggered terms. Six are elected by district, the Mayor is elected city-wide.

The City Commission establishes ordinances and policies for the city. It also reviews and approves the city budget annually. The Commission appoints a City Manager, who carries out the will of the Commission and handles day-to-day business.

Controversy

The city of Daytona Beach made national headlines when it selected the several mile radius around Main Street as a blighted area and has targeted it for redevelopment. The city has sued the owners of land in this area to take away the land and give it to a developer in California. In the past eminent domain cases, the land was taken for building roads, schools, and other government buildings. In this case, the city has sued landowners to build taller buildings which will give the city more property taxes. This was summarized in National Public radio podcast: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4760258 and in Entrepreneur Magazine: http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2005/january/74866.html The city's pro-eminent domain argument for this Main Street area is explained in this article: http://www.ci.daytona-beach.fl.us/cityhall/redev/plans/MAIN%20ST%20REDEV%20PLAN.pdf

Local elected officials

  • Mayor - Glenn Ritchey
  • Zone 1 Commissioner - Rick Shiver
  • Zone 2 Commissioner - Pamela Woods
  • Zone 3 Commissioner - Shiela K. McKay-Vaughan
  • Zone 4 Commissioner - Robert A. Gilliland
  • Zone 5 Commissioner - Dwayne L. Taylor
  • Zone 6 Commissioner - Cassandra G. Reynolds
  • City Manager (appointed) - James Chisholm

Federal, state and county representation

Daytona Beach is in the Seventh Congressional District and is part of Florida's 27th Legislative District.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 64,112 people, 28,605 households, and 13,844 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,092.6/mi² (421.8/km²). There were 33,345 housing units at an average density of 568.3/mi² (219.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.33% White, 32.75% African American, 1.73% Asian, 0.32% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.05% from other races, and 1.76% from two or more races. 3.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 28,605 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.6% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.6% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,439, and the median income for a family was $33,514. Males had a median income of $25,705 versus $20,261 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,530. 23.6% of the population and 16.9% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.9% of those under the age of 18 and 12.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Culture

Daytona Beach is located roughly at the southern end of the cultural South, so its culture has remained somewhat Southern. The architecture and style of its older homes and buildings and the culture and speech of its older, locally-born inhabitants leaves no doubt as to its cultural Southern roots.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences is the primary cultural facility for Daytona Beach and Volusia County. Other museums located in the city include the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Halifax Historical Museum. The Museum of Arts and Sciences is actually a collection of museums and galleries and includes the Klancke Environmental Complex, the Cuban Museum, Root Family Museum featuring one of the largest Coca-Cola(R) collections in the world, the Dow American Gallery and the Bouchelle Center for Decorative Arts which together form what is probably one of the finest collections of furniture and decorative arts in the Southeast. There are also changing exhibitions and a new children's science center planned to open in 2008.

Sports

Club League Venue Established Championships
Daytona Cubs FSL, Baseball Jackie Robinson Ballpark 1993 2
Daytona Beach ThunderBirds af2, Arena football Ocean Center 2006 0

In addition to motorsports, Daytona is also the home of the Daytona Cubs, a minor league baseball team of the Florida State League and the Daytona Beach ThunderBirds, an arena football team of the af2.

Media

Newspapers

Radio

AM

FM

INTERNET ONLY

Television

Economy

A large part of the Daytona Beach area economy is involved in the tourist industry. Over 8 million visitors came to the Daytona Beach area in 2004.

The area's economy includes other industries besides tourism, such as manufacturing. Daytona Beach provides a dynamic business environment with opportunities for the development and growth of smaller, home grown businesses and large corporate enterprises. It's a community with a talented and diverse workforce. Daytona Beach has industrial sites within an enterprise zone and sites within a foreign trade zone adjacent to Daytona Beach International Airport. A medical office park provides additional sites. Prime Interstate 4 and Interstate 95 sites are available with excellent access to road, air, rail and water transportation.

Companies and organizations that have their corporate headquarters or a major presence in the area:

Shopping

Education

Public primary and secondary education is handled by Volusia County Schools. Daytona Beach has two public traditional high schools, Seabreeze High School and Mainland High School. Some of the larger private schools include Father Lopez Catholic High School.

Colleges and universities

Vocational schools

Transportation

Airports

You can fly into Daytona Beach International Airport, which is served by Delta Air Lines, US Airways, Continental Airlines,Vintage Props and Jets, and DayJet. Other airports nearby are Orlando International Airport and Jacksonville International Airport, both of which are approximately an hour away.

Buses

  • Daytona Beach is served by Greyhound Bus Lines, which has a terminal located at 138 South Ridgewood Avenue (US-1). The Greyhound routes from Daytona Beach connect with hubs in Jacksonville and Orlando.
  • VoTran is the local bus service provided by Volusia County. It is a cheap way to get around and is handicap accessible. Buses travel to most sites and places of interest. A one-day VoTran bus pass costs $3.
  • A1A Beachside Trolley operates from January to Labor Day (September) along Atlantic Avenue on the beachside. They are air-conditioned and handicapped accessible.

Auto

Daytona Beach is easily accessible by I-95 that runs North and South and I-4 connecting Daytona Beach with Orlando and Tampa. U.S. 1 (Ridgewood Avenue) also passes through Daytona Beach. A1A is a scenic North/South route along the beach.

The Volusia County Parking Garage is located at 701 Earl Street at North Atlantic Avenue (A1A). The garage is strategically located, next to the Ocean Center, Daytona Lagoon, and across the street from the Hilton Hotel and Ocean Walk Shoppes. Over one thousand parking spaces are available inside the garage. Pricing varies at different times of the year.

There is also a VOTRAN transfer station (Intermodal Transit Facility - ITF) located inside the garage area.

Notable inhabitants

Points of interest

Sister cities

Images

References

External links

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