Updated:COCOA BEACH, Fla. —
Cocoa Beach already has more than two million visitors per year, but city leaders believe that number could grow if the city could get a larger share of local hotel tax revenue to support a new beachside destination.
Some of the ideas being discussed include a municipal pier, a boardwalk similar to one in Miami Beach or even a surf park like the ones being developed by Cocoa Beach native Kelly Slater in Australia.
“I respect other ideas out there,” said Mayor Dave Netterstrom. “I believe the community needs to support other ideas out there like the partnership with Basecall to see if that will work. But outside of that, if some more money becomes available, I'm trying to get some ideas out there.”
“I think if we had a world-class pier, say coming out of Minuteman Causeway, I think it would drive a lot of tourism here,” said surfer John Hughes.
Cocoa Beach already benefits from hotel tax revenue, which help fund beach re-nourishment and promotion.
But Netterstrom thinks a beach destination could generate additional hotel tax dollars, and city commissioners recently passed a resolution asking for a long-term hotel tax commitment to allow the city to generate $5 million for a beach project.
“That would give us the cash flow so we could get a bond in the magnitude of that,” said Netterstrom.