PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (June 3, 2020) – The Charlotte County Tourist Development Council (TDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Keith Farlow as a committee member. The Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners appointed Mr. Farlow during the March 10, 2020, commission meeting.
With his wife Laurie, Farlow opened Farlow’s on the Water, a restaurant in Englewood, in 2003. He is currently chair of the governing board of the SKY Family YMCA, serves on advisory boards for the Englewood YMCA's Warren Loranger Branch and the Englewood Community Redevelopment Area, is an active member of the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary (LBSR) and serves as the president of the LBSR Youth Scholarship Foundation. He volunteers with the Englewood Chamber of Commerce and served as president in 2018.
By state statute, the TDC consists of nine tourism community leaders including representatives from local government. Farlow joins Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex; Punta Gorda Mayor Nancy Prafke; Punta Gorda City Councilmember Jaha Cummings; Kathy Burnam, Fishermen’s Village; David Haynes, Tarpon Rental Services; Robin Madden, Islander Properties; Janet Watermeier, Visual Arts Center; and Kelly Williamson, Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside.
The Charlotte County TDC oversees the uses of tourist development tax collected within the county and provides guidance to the Charlotte County Tourism Department, called the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB). Charlotte County levies a 5% tourist development tax on accommodation stays six months or less, in addition to the 7% sales tax. The first 3% is spent for tourism promotion and marketing. The fourth and fifth percent are used to fund the debt service on the bond for the renovations at the Charlotte Sports Park. The VCB’s mission is to brand, market, and sell the area globally as Florida’s premier eco-tourism, leisure, sports, and meeting and conference destination for the continual economic benefit of the community.
During fiscal year 2018-2019 (Oct. 1, 2018 - Sept. 30, 2019), Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 656,200 visitors. Tourism generated an estimated $427 million in direct expenditures and made an estimated $619.6 million economic impact.