Business

Wed
01
Nov

Construction starts on DeLand Sport Aviation Village

BREAKING GROUND — DeLand’s city manager and all five city commissioners were joined by airport officials in ceremonially breaking ground Oct. 30 for the Sport Aviation Village on the DeLand Municipal Airport. The village will be a year-round commerce center for everything related to sport aviation.

BREAKING GROUND — DeLand’s city manager and all five city commissioners were joined by airport officials in ceremonially breaking ground Oct. 30 for the Sport Aviation Village on the DeLand Municipal Airport. The village will be a year-round commerce center for everything related to sport aviation.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

THE LAYOUT — This drawing shows the different phases in which the Sport Aviation Village complex will be built. Phase 1A and Phase 1B, shown in blue and purple, respectively, will likely be built simultaneously. Phases 2 and 3, shown in green and orange, respectively, are to the north.

THE LAYOUT — This drawing shows the different phases in which the Sport Aviation Village complex will be built. Phase 1A and Phase 1B, shown in blue and purple, respectively, will likely be built simultaneously. Phases 2 and 3, shown in green and orange, respectively, are to the north.

IMAGE COURTESY CITY OF DELAND

DeLand Municipal Airport has long been known worldwide as a skydiving mecca. But in recent years, airport officials have embarked on a mission to also become known as a center for sport aviation.

To that end, city and airport officials broke ground this week for the airport’s Sport Aviation Village, a 40-acre commerce center on the east side of the airport property that will  cater to recreational-aircraft manufacturers, dealers, suppliers and owners.

“This will hopefully provide one-stop shopping … for everything someone in sport aviation could want or need,” said Mayor Bob Apgar before he and other city officials turned shovelfuls of dirt. “Sport aviation is compatible with other sorts of aviation, and we’re very pleased and proud of this project. It’s very cutting-edge for our community.”

Wed
25
Oct

DeLand’s aviation showcase takes off in sophomore year

’ROUND THE WORLD? — DeLand Municipal Airport’s Jana Filip, not a large person, is crammed into the small sport-aviation plane that recently completed a round-the-world record flight and will be on display by TOMI Aircraft owner Tad Olmsted at the Sport Aviation Showcase at the airport.

’ROUND THE WORLD? — DeLand Municipal Airport’s Jana Filip, not a large person, is crammed into the small sport-aviation plane that recently completed a round-the-world record flight and will be on display by TOMI Aircraft owner Tad Olmsted at the Sport Aviation Showcase at the airport.

BEACON PHOTOS/RICK BUTLER

CUTTING-EDGE ENGINE — Tad Olmsted, owner of TOMI Aircraft on the DeLand Municipal Airport, shows off the latest fuel-injected Rotax engine to Jana Filip, the airport’s sport-aviation administrator. This engine is in a Slovenian-made aircraft shipped to TOMI for assembly, testing and FAA certification. Olmsted’s company is one of the few in the nation qualified for such work, including full diagnostics on the Rotax sport-aviation engine.

CUTTING-EDGE ENGINE — Tad Olmsted, owner of TOMI Aircraft on the DeLand Municipal Airport, shows off the latest fuel-injected Rotax engine to Jana Filip, the airport’s sport-aviation administrator. This engine is in a Slovenian-made aircraft shipped to TOMI for assembly, testing and FAA certification. Olmsted’s company is one of the few in the nation qualified for such work, including full diagnostics on the Rotax sport-aviation engine.

In only its second year, DeLand’s Sport Aviation Showcase is becoming an international drawing card for small sport-flying manufacturers and buyers.

The sport-aviation world is light private planes, ultralights, flying trikes, rotorcraft, powered parachutes, avionics, pilot gear, flight schools, and companies offering products and services to those who fly for fun.

More than 6,000 people are expected on the DeLand Municipal Airport Thursday, Nov. 2, through Saturday, Nov. 4, to inspect more than 100 aircraft, watch a Showcase Flight demonstration at noon each day, and hear a parade of expert speakers.

Flying will take place nearly continuously all three days, expected to top the 1,000 flight operations recorded last year. Because of the frequency of demonstration flights, a commercially operated temporary tower will control flying during this event.

Wed
25
Oct

Walmart readies for DeLand store opening

COMING IN EARLY 2018 — A Walmart Neighborhood Market taking shape on South Woodland Boulevard in DeLand is expected to open next January.

COMING IN EARLY 2018 — A Walmart Neighborhood Market taking shape on South Woodland Boulevard in DeLand is expected to open next January.

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

SAVING THE TREE — This is the massive oak tree in the South Woodland Boulevard median that will be the centerpiece of a traffic roundabout at the entrance to a new DeLand Walmart Neighborhood Market, under construction to the left of this photo.

SAVING THE TREE — This is the massive oak tree in the South Woodland Boulevard median that will be the centerpiece of a traffic roundabout at the entrance to a new DeLand Walmart Neighborhood Market, under construction to the left of this photo.

STORE MANAGEMENT — Matt Williams, left, and Jose Oliveras are the assistant store manager and store manager, respectively, for the DeLand Walmart Neighborhood Market that is expected to open in January.

STORE MANAGEMENT — Matt Williams, left, and Jose Oliveras are the assistant store manager and store manager, respectively, for the DeLand Walmart Neighborhood Market that is expected to open in January.

The No. 1 company on the Fortune 500 list is now seeking 95 workers for the DeLand store it intends to open shortly after the start of the new year.

While construction of the Walmart Neighborhood Market continues on the old flea-market grounds along South Woodland Boulevard, the retailer has set up an application and hiring center in the Cedar Ridge Pointe shopping center at 2235 S. Woodland Blvd., Suite 103.

“We need people to apply. We’re looking for everything from stocking to cashiers to hourly supervisors,” Matt Williams, the assistant manager of the DeLand Neighborhood Market, told The Beacon.

The DeLand Neighborhood Market is scheduled to open in January. The exact date will be announced later.

Wed
18
Oct

River-to-Sea trail could be economic driver for several counties

St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance

St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance

Jim Wood

Jim Wood

A paved trail for bicyclists and hikers circling through Volusia and four other East Florida counties could bring economic benefits to the communities along its 260-mile length, according to Jim Wood, a chief planner for the Florida Department of Transportation.

“Trails are not only meeting the needs of residents and surrounding businesses, but they’re also a draw for biking visitors,” Wood told The Beacon. “That’s why projects like The Loop are so important — they take on a whole new level of interest.”

The St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, or SJR2C, encompasses Volusia, Flagler, Brevard, St. Johns and Putnam counties, and incorporates inland communities such as Deltona, DeLand, DeLeon Springs, Crescent City and Palatka.

Wed
11
Oct

Hugh Ash Manor joins Westminster family

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP — Westminster Communities of Florida recently bought Hugh Ash Manor, shown here at 740 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, for an undisclosed sum. Westminster had been managing the affordable-living community for seniors since 2015.

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP — Westminster Communities of Florida recently bought Hugh Ash Manor, shown here at 740 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, for an undisclosed sum. Westminster had been managing the affordable-living community for seniors since 2015.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Westminster Communities of Florida and the Hugh Ash Manor board of directors have announced that Hugh Ash Manor, an affordable senior-living community in DeLand, is now part of the Westminster family.

The sale, which has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, preserves Hugh Ash Manor’s mission of service to low-income seniors. The seven-story, 150-apartment community at 740 N. Woodland Blvd. will continue to honor all residents’ leases and provide employment to current employees, according to a news release.

Hugh Ash Manor has been a ministry of next-door neighbor First Presbyterian Church of DeLand since 1971. The community is dedicated to fulfilling the physical, social, spiritual and recreational needs of its residents. It has been managed by Westminster since 2015, company officials said.

Wed
11
Oct

Wildlife park showcases reptiles of all sorts

GATOR TRAINING — Nathan Sweeting works with Trapper, a nearly 13-foot American alligator, at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Sweeting says he’s training Trapper to pose and react to commands.

GATOR TRAINING — Nathan Sweeting works with Trapper, a nearly 13-foot American alligator, at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Sweeting says he’s training Trapper to pose and react to commands.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

NICE TORTOISE! GOOD BOY! — Katie Durborow scratches the head of Bertram, an African spurred tortoise at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Spurred tortoises are endangered, and the only tortoise species that guards its eggs after they’re laid.

NICE TORTOISE! GOOD BOY! — Katie Durborow scratches the head of Bertram, an African spurred tortoise at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park. Spurred tortoises are endangered, and the only tortoise species that guards its eggs after they’re laid.

Wildlife managers — Katie Durborow and Nathan Sweeting own and manage Smooth Waters Wildlife Park in DeLeon Springs.

Wildlife managers — Katie Durborow and Nathan Sweeting own and manage Smooth Waters Wildlife Park in DeLeon Springs.

Hidden among the trees in the middle of DeLeon Springs sits a small wildlife park that gives kids and adults a chance to learn more about alligators, snakes, land tortoises and other scaly critters.

Smooth Waters Wildlife Park is at the end of a dirt lane off Reynolds Road. It’s owned and run by the husband-and-wife team of Nathan Sweeting and Katie Durborow, who about a year ago took over an overgrown and abandoned property where reptiles had been collected but never shown to the public.

After months of clearing, cleaning, repairing and restocking with animals — the previous menagerie had been given away, not abandoned — the couple opened the park to the public about four months ago.

“The park will always be reptile-heavy, but maybe next year we’ll get into mammals and birds,” Sweeting told a recent visitor.

Wed
04
Oct

Wells Fargo closes its DeLeon Springs branch

FORMER TENANT — Wells Fargo was still open in DeLeon Springs when this photo was taken recently. The property now is for sale, along with an adjacent property to the left in this photo that has a vacant training center on it.

FORMER TENANT — Wells Fargo was still open in DeLeon Springs when this photo was taken recently. The property now is for sale, along with an adjacent property to the left in this photo that has a vacant training center on it.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

Another bank has closed a branch office in West Volusia.

The Wells Fargo branch at 5065 U.S. Highway 17 in DeLeon Springs closed Oct. 4, leaving that community without any banking locations.

Wells Fargo spokesman Michael Gray said the closure is among about 200 the San Francisco-based national bank was making this year.

“We expect to close around 250 branches across the country next year, and many of the closures in 2017 are locations in close proximity to another branch,” Gray said in an email. “Because of this, we don’t expect a significant team member impact.”

Operations at the former DeLeon Springs location are being consolidated with those of another branch in Gibbs Plaza at 1695-1 N. Woodland Blvd., a little more than 5 miles south, near a Walmart Supercenter in north DeLand.

Gray couldn’t say if any other Volusia County locations will be closed in the future.

Wed
04
Oct

Big changes announced in Stetson’s Entrepreneurship Program

NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR — Luis Paris, a Stetson alumnus, has been named the assistant director of the university’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Business Administration. His appointment is one of several changes announced for the program this fall.

NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR — Luis Paris, a Stetson alumnus, has been named the assistant director of the university’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Business Administration. His appointment is one of several changes announced for the program this fall.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

Entrepreneurship continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of undergraduate student growth. To support that interest, Stetson University’s School of Business Administration recently announced a number of exciting changes beginning this fall for the Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program.

“After joining Stetson last year, I began developing a plan to expand the program and advance innovation and creativity through entrepreneurial activities,” explained Bill Jackson, Ph.D., director of the Prince program. “The ability to connect students from all across campus, to better connect to the community, and to be part of advancing economic development was a key driver in the formation of the new major as well as the overall curriculum overhaul.”

Wed
27
Sep

Few banks want pot companies as customers, but First Green welcomes them

Not exactly a head shop — This photo of a Surterra Wellness medical-marijuana dispensary in Tampa shows more-or-less what the company's Deltona location will look like, once it opens early next year. The company’s dispensaries — which it calls "wellness centers" —  are designed to make people feel comfortable and emulate the "feeling of home." Each location has a “kitchen” that is meant to be a place of community gathering and a space to provoke the sharing of thoughts and ideas, Surterra spokeswoman Monica

Not exactly a head shop — This photo of a Surterra Wellness medical-marijuana dispensary in Tampa shows more-or-less what the company's Deltona location will look like, once it opens early next year. The company’s dispensaries — which it calls "wellness centers" —  are designed to make people feel comfortable and emulate the "feeling of home." Each location has a “kitchen” that is meant to be a place of community gathering and a space to provoke the sharing of thoughts and ideas, Surterra spokeswoman Monica Russell said. “The ‘garden’ is also a common feature in Surterra Wellness Centers, and that is where people can come to learn about medical cannabis products and be able to see which of Surterra’s products can help you #FindYourWellness,” she said.

PHOTO COURTESY SURTERRA WELLNESS

Even though Floridians can now access marijuana as medicine, entrepreneurs who wish to dispense the herb are finding things aren’t as easy as opening up a neighborhood drugstore when it comes to handling the finances.

There are loads of federal regulations on banking, and although Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016, cannabis is still illegal under federal law.

As a result, most banks treat money earned from the sale of the plant or its products as dirty money, even in states where marijuana is legal.

DeLandite Lex Ford is senior vice president at Eustis-based First Green Bank. He said First Green is the only bank in Florida that serves these companies, at least openly.

“We have around $35 million in deposits related to the marijuana industry in our first year,” Ford said.

Not all of it is from dispensaries — the bank also serves lawyers and physicians who are involved in the marijuana industry.

Wed
27
Sep

Event planner finally opens showroom

PARTY-PLANNING WIZARD — Event planner Nancy Fabian stands in front of some of the accoutrements of her work that will be on display in a new showroom in Orange City for her business, Nancy’s Creations LLC, Event Stylist and Planner.

PARTY-PLANNING WIZARD — Event planner Nancy Fabian stands in front of some of the accoutrements of her work that will be on display in a new showroom in Orange City for her business, Nancy’s Creations LLC, Event Stylist and Planner.

PHOTOS COURTESY NANCY FABIAN

STYLISH ELEMENTS — On display in a new showroom will be examples of Nancy’s Creations table settings.

STYLISH ELEMENTS On display in a new showroom will be examples of Nancy’s Creations table settings.

After six years of working out of her home, event planner Nancy Fabian is opening a showroom in Orange City.

“I finally decided I needed a place for customers to come to,” Fabian recently told The Beacon. “Working from home, you’re not treated the same. It devalues my work. Now, with a showroom, I hope it will make everything more professional and looking nicer.”

Fabian is holding a grand opening of her showroom 4-7 p.m. this coming Saturday, Sept. 30.

Nancy’s Creations LLC, Event Stylist and Planner can plan and coordinate any kind of special event, from private birthday parties to larger affairs like wedding receptions and  corporate events and everything in between. Her services include providing decorations, table linens and centerpieces.

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