• Changes coming to World's Most Famous Beach


    A new roller coaster set to open in Daytona Beach is the biggest thing since the fully-renovated pier opened last year. City leaders said it's just the beginning.

    "I would describe it as energetic and exciting and really what Daytona Beach should be all about," said Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry.

    As early as next year, two massive hotels could break ground in Daytona Beach. One would be a 30-story, 250-room Hard Rock Hotel. Construction could also start on a proposed $100 million convention hotel, to be built by a Russian company.

    Henry said the city is transitioning from a spring break destination to a family hotspot.

    "I think it's all about the image and the type of destination that we're becoming," said Henry.

    But some believe the biggest factor in improving the world's most famous beach is keeping it from becoming famous for crime.

    "If you truly want to make this an inviting experience, all of us have to come together," said Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.

    Chitwood said it's his responsibility, but also that of the hotels and area property owners, to fight crime.

    Chitwood said since 2010 crime in general has decreased by 17 percent on the beach.

    He said his officers will have to work harder in the future, but he's also excited to see growth.

    "It's been growing, you know? Things like the air show and Fourth of July, and now we have the Hard Rock going online and the Hilton coming up to speed and there are other places that are changing. We have to capture the momentum because it won't be around forever," said Chitwood.

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