Following up on the resort front, it’s interesting that Canadian ski operations giant Intrawest up and “bought” the town of Seaside last year. (Not really: just the cottage rental operation, i.e., the “hotel” operation side.) Intrawest has a “Placemaking”:http://www.placemaking.com division whose job is to build adorable little apres-ski mountain villages at its resorts, and it’s recently sought to diversify its portfolio in recent years — including investments elsewhere on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
According to Leah Stratmann in the Defuniak Herald last March (cutely titled “Selling Seaside by the Seashore”):
bq. [T]owns are not generally for sale, yet rumors about the sale of the “town” of Seaside swirled around south Walton County like a windstorm last week… “Like Seaside, Intrawest believes in creating a complete community experience. Like Seaside, Intrawest believes in the value of preserving a community’s sense of place. But beyond philosophy, Intrawest has solid processes, resources and experience at the ready for a successful rental management program. We believe our business approach will provide Seaside even more success and stability.”
It’s interesting to think that maybe “ownership” of Seaside might translate into a stronger commitment to placemaking throughout its operations.