Sarasota County wants more money to attract more visitors


SARASOTA – Sarasota County wants to attract more visitors, and it’ll take more money to do that.

Under the adage, “It takes money to make money”, Visit Sarasota County is looking to increase its marketing budget for next year by more than 8 percent.

This proposal will go now to County Commission after the county’s Tourist Development Council recommended the county commissioners to approve.

According to the Herald-Tribune Under the plan, the organization’s budget would increase to almost $7 million for 2019, up from this year’s $6.4 million.

The budget is funded by the 5 percent Tourist Development Tax, or “bed tax”.

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Kathy Leon
New York born, morning anchor Kathy Leon has lived in Florida more than half her life and Sarasota is truly her home. She joined the Herald-Tribune in 2003 after her son was born, choosing to take a break from TV news after 10 years at Sarasota's WWSB, as a reporter and its first morning anchor. But, after a 10 month break, the opportunity to work together with paper and web reporters lured her back. She’s almost done it all; Weekend anchor, morning anchor, executive producer and even a weather forecaster! Along the way Kathy won an Associated Press award for Best Sports story, as well as five others for hard news. Still as a wife, and working mom of 2, she’s always striving to find the right balance. And, with all the resources Sarasota has to offer the hardest part is taking advantage of it all. Contact Kathy at


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