Encourage patronage of Surfside’s hotels and restaurants through cooperative events, promotional activities, marketing, public relations and advertising opportunities. Improve the economic health and viability of the Surfside Business District by functioning as a catalyst, partner, advisor and advocate on initiatives. Enhance the quality of life for residents through community based services and involvement with public-private cooperative ventures.
Services, Functions, and Activities:
The Tourism, Economic Development and Community Services (TEDACS) Department is a hybrid department evolved from the creation of the Downtown Vision Advisory Committee (DVAC) and the need to quantify the duties and responsibilities that the Tourist Bureau Director was undertaking that were not directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the Tourist Bureau Resort Tax Fund.
Tourism: Currently, Surfside is one of only three municipalities in Miami-Dade County eligible by Florida State Law to impose a Resort Tax of four percent (4%) on accommodations and two percent (2%) on food and beverage sales as a source of revenue. Miami Beach and Bal Harbour are the other two municipalities with the same capability. This unique revenue generating opportunity is also defined in the Town’s Charter in Sec, 69-A. Resort Tax. The Tourist Resort Fund is a Special Revenue Fund within the Town of Surfside’s budget. This means that the funds, like all Special Revenue Funds, are collected from specific sources and dedicated to specific allowable uses. Funding for the Tourist Resort Fund is derived almost entirely from additional costs placed on the rental of short term accommodations and food and beverage sales.
The Tourist Bureau Board Members, assigned by the Town’s Commission, oversee the legal and appropriate use of these funds through the Tourism, Economic Development and Community Services (TEDACS) Director and the operations of the Tourist Bureau. The Tourist Bureau is responsible for bringing visitors into Surfside to patronize hotels restaurants, businesses and recreational amenities. Over the past fifteen to twenty years, the Town has seen hotels converted to residential units. With that change, the tourism focus has shifted from international and national target markets to those regionally. Presently the primary focus is on encouraging tri-county residents to identify Surfside as their preferred day-trip travel destination. With the advent of new proposed hotel properties, a renewed focus on securing overnight visitors will gain in importance developing a need to change the present focus.
The gradual recent increases in Resort Tax Revenue can be directly attributed to the responsibilities, focus and implementation of initiatives from the Tourist Bureau through the TEDACS Director as well as the desirablity of Surfside not only as a destination for visitors but also as a location to have a business.
Economic Development: Responding to the need to reinvigorate Surfside’s downtown as the social, cultural and economic center of the Town, DVAC was created to identify a vision for the business district and propose initiatives that would support a thriving downtown. Additional tax revenue from a reinvigorated downtown, including increases in the Tourist Resort Tax, adds to the Town’s tax base and helps alleviate the ad valorem (property) tax burden on residents. It can also enhance the quality of life for Surfside’s residents and improve the visitor experience.
The focus is on creating a sense of place that encourages business retention, and economic development, while retaining and enhancing the characteristics that attract residents and visitors. There is a desire to create a more pedestrian friendly downtown with mixed-use commercial buildings. Due to unprecedented changes such as new hotels and the expansion of Bal Harbour Shops, the necessity for a shared vision and plan for the downtown district is a critical initiative. A concerted effort is needed to reflect the realities of both internal and external changes.
For additional information on Surfside businesses please visit the Surfside Business Associations' website at surfsidebiz.com.
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Community Services: Many community initiatives, due to their complexity or uniqueness, lack an obvious alignment with existing Town departments or bridge multiple departments' scope and mandates. The TEDACS Director, as the Town Manager designee, manages the process for these initiatives from inception through completion. Recent successful initiative include the following:
- Construction of a Community Garden at 89th Street and Dickens Avenue
- The implementation of DecoBike (bicycle rental) stations at 93rd Street and Collins Avenue and at 94th Street and Harding Avenue: DecoBike
- The securing of a PetSmart Grant to assist in the spay and neutering of feral cats