by Susan Burns
Photography by Lori Sax
Sarasota is fast becoming a mecca for the super-rich. Here’s who’s coming, and some businesses benefiting from them.
We’re getting close to the end of the year, so we asked experts in eight industries in our region to assess 2014.
Everything’s relative, of course. For the most part, the year was one of steady improvement but offered little to get excited about. But right now, “steady improvement” still feels like a good report card, like that sigh of relief you feel when your underperforming school-age kid gets a C+ instead of an F. To get a rearview look at our economy from industry leaders, read “Industry Snapshot” on page 30.
There are bright spots. Tourism is way up, partly as a result of a beefed-up marketing budget from our state tourism bureau, Visit Florida, and visitors continue to pack our hotels. As further evidence of how promising this visitor market seems, read “The Long Game,” page 46, about Ocean Properties, which has purchased six hotels in Sarasota and Manatee and says they’re in it for the long haul.
We’re attractive to others as well. Sarasota is an astounding No. 2 in the nation, on a per capita basis, in attracting wealth. Our cover story, “Where’s the Money?” on page 20, looks at who’s moving here and why. No longer are we attracting only millionaires; we are attracting people with seven and eight zeroes in their net worth. In fact, people with a million are almost apologetic about their lack of financial success, one wealth adviser told us.
Yes, everything’s relative.