They hit the water to solve crimes, make rescues

A Pasco Sheriff’s Office team has been trained to respond to emergency calls involving water rescues, and to search for evidence in lakes, rivers and other water bodies. The tactical units, called the Underwater Recovery/Swift Water Response Team, includes divers, rescue swimmers and deputies who pilot boats. “We really can do anything that needs to be done on the water,” said Lt. Jay … [Read more...]

Nudist tourism needs more exposure

Pasco County is the nudist capital of Florida. The state of Florida is the nudist capital of North America. But, the clothing-optional lifestyle is an often overlooked tourism market that contributes $7.4 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to a report from the American Association of Nudist Recreation. The association wants to put the spotlight on missed economic … [Read more...]

Hotels go up as tourism grows in Pasco

Pasco County’s hotel market is thriving. Five hotels are either under construction, closing in on a groundbreaking or will open within months. A new Hilton Garden Inn is the most recent to complete permitting, with a construction start now in the offing. The 125-room, six-story hotel is rising off of State Road 56, at Maple Silver Parkway. Another 110-room Hilton Garden Inn at … [Read more...]

Tourism continues to rise in Pasco

Pasco County’s tourism figures continue to rise, and the prospects are bright for even more growth, according to Ed Caum, the county’s tourism manager. Caum has been making the rounds to share the county’s news about another year of positive growth — following record numbers posted last year. He recently shared the county’s tourism story with members of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce … [Read more...]

Pasco looks to TIA for tourism boost

Traffic is increasing at Tampa International Airport, and that has piqued the interest of Pasco County officials. More than 18 million passengers passed through Tampa International Airport in 2015, nearly 7 percent more than the year before. Of those travelers, about 8 percent, or 1.6 million, were from Pasco County. Pasco County commissioners are interested in finding out how to tap … [Read more...]

Sunny times at SunWest Park

Sandy white beaches and crystal clear water may not be what comes to mind when thinking of Pasco County. But, SunWest Park is all about changing minds with a little fun in the sun. “I think it’s a phenomenal addition to the county’s tourism,” said Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano. “I think it could be considered the focal point. I see a lot of people come here, because everyone … [Read more...]

Pasco administrator set to retire in 2017

Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker expects to be very busy over the next year and a half. She’ll be crossing off a to-do list, one by one, before leaving in 2017 to go on a lengthy road trip with her husband. The couple will hit the road with their recreational vehicle and their motorcycles, on a tour of as many baseball parks and national parks as they can squeeze into a … [Read more...]

Pasco’s tourism figures are rising

When the final numbers are in, Pasco County’s tourism manager believes the county will be issuing a report on a record year for the county. “I’m actually probably going to have a record year, once I see September’s numbers. The average daily room rate is up about 10 percent across the board,” said Ed Caum, tourism manager for Pasco County. “It’s pretty exciting.” And, the prospects are … [Read more...]

Moore, Wells sworn into commission seats Tuesday

The Pasco County Commission will welcome two new commissioners to its dais Tuesday, and at the same time decide whether Jack Mariano will get another term as commission chair, or if someone new will be selected. Mike Moore and Mike Wells Jr., will be officially sworn into office today during the commission's regular meeting in Dade City. Moore won the Nov. 4 election against Erika Remsberg to … [Read more...]

Mariano’s knee-jerk decision could kill gas tax increase

Jack Mariano might be the chairman of the Pasco County Commission, but his popularity among fellow commissioners might be hitting an all-time low. Mariano was hammered by commissioners Ted Schrader and Kathryn Starkey during Tuesday's regular meeting in New Port Richey over his promotion of an expanded recreation park on the west side of the county. Starkey accused Mariano of going too far … [Read more...]