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Secretary Browning Designates Vero Beach as Florida Main Street Program of the Month

seal of florida

Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
October 06, 2011

Chris Cate

Secretary Browning Designates Vero Beach as Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Recognizes organization’s contribution to preservation and restoration

TALLAHASSEE – Secretary of State Kurt Browning today announced Vero Beach Main Street as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for October 2011. The selection for this award is based on the Vero Beach program’s involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

“Vero Beach has seen new businesses opening and jobs being created thanks to their investment in downtown revitalization,” said Secretary Browning. “By recognizing how the past can be a valuable asset to a community’s future, Vero Beach Main Street has become a great example for other main street communities.”
Vero Beach, a city in Indian River County, has a population of nearly 17,000 residents but sees seasonal increases in their population as tourists flock there in the summer months for all manner of outdoor activities. Vero Beach is a part of Florida’s “Treasure Coast” and is well known for its beautiful beaches. Residents and tourists alike enjoy the city’s Indian River Lagoon, which serves as a popular destination for boaters, water skiers, fishermen and those simply out to catch glimpses of bottlenose dolphins, manatees and other marine life. Vero Beach, almost from its inception, has been sought out by tourists because of its beauty and climate.

Vero Beach was laid out as a settlement in Florida in 1913. It was originally incorporated under the name Vero but was officially reincorporated as Vero Beach in 1925. In its earliest years, Vero Beach was a sparsely settled agricultural community. However, during the Florida land boom of the 1920s, Vero Beach went through a period of rapid growth and saw an increase in tourism. In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers became one of the first major league baseball teams to conduct spring training in Florida. The team continued to hold spring training in Vero Beach until 2008.

In addition to tourism, Vero Beach’s economy is driven by the citrus industry. Indian River Fruit, in the business of fruit packing for over 20 years, ships local fruits to all parts of the United States as well as to Canada. Manufacturing is also an integral part of Vero Beach’s economy. The Piper Aircraft Manufacturing Company, considered one of the “Big Three” in the field of general aviation construction, moved its administrative and manufacturing operations to Vero Beach in 1961. Piper Aircraft continues to develop new aircraft technologies and introduced their PiperJet, a single-engine aircraft, in Vero Beach in 2008.

The Florida Main Street Program designated Vero Beach a Main Street Community in 1998. As a Florida Main Street Community, Vero Beach has attracted a net gain of 40 new businesses and 74 jobs, as well as invested $6,880,266 in 106 public and private construction projects. Dedicated community members have contributed more than 2,464 volunteer hours in their main street program.

To learn more about Vero Beach Main Street, contact program manager Kathleen Prouty by phone at 772.480.8353 or e-mail at kproutyfl@aim.com.

About Florida Main Street

Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, managed by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. The bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating and preserving Florida’s historical resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts. Since 1985, the bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street programs.

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