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Before we turn the calendar page to 2019, we decided to look back at some of the more significant business happenings covered this year in The West Volusia Beacon.

Tourism was important in 2018, highlighted by the October opening of a five-story, 104-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 308 N. Woodland Blvd. in Downtown DeLand.

Led by General Manager Martha Brady, Assistant GM Maria Sleiman and Director of Sales Deborah Devine, the hotel carries the “official” name of Courtyard by Marriott DeLand Historic Downtown.

This year, DeLand artist Erica Group unveiled the last two installations in her whimsical “Wings of the West” series for the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority. Group, who created the much-publicized DeLand Wings mural in what is now Persimmon Lane in Downtown DeLand, was hired by the authority to create and produce four more sets of wings at various locations around the west side of the county.

In August, the unveiling was of human-sized fairy wings in Cassadaga; in October, it was scrub-jay wings at Lyonia Preserve in Deltona. Earlier, Group painted biplane wings at Skydive DeLand and peacock wings at Barberville Pioneer Settlement.

In September, the tourism authority was honored with two prizes in the 2018 Flagler Awards, an annual statewide competition recognizing outstanding Florida tourism marketing efforts. West Volusia brought home Best of Show for marketing budgets under $500,000 and the Internet Advertising Award.

Another significant opening occurred in September, when DaVita Kidney Care cut the ribbon on a 150,000-square-foot campus for DaVita Labs, a diagnostic laboratory that serves DaVita’s dialysis clinics nationwide. The campus at 3000 DaVita Way in DeLand airport’s Northwest Industrial Business Park is expected to create 100 new local jobs.

Although JetBlue announced earlier this year it would be discontinuing service between New York and Daytona Beach International Airport, two other airlines announced they would begin offering flights into and out of the county-owned facility in January 2019. Canadian carrier Sunwing Airlines will begin twice-weekly seasonal service between Toronto and Daytona Beach, and Silver Airways will begin daily flights between Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Daytona Beach International Airport.

While many financial institutions are consolidating or closing branch offices, Jacksonville-based VyStar Credit Union has been expanding its network of branches, including its first two in West Volusia. One office opened in Orange City in September, the other in DeLand in November.

The owner of a Badcock Home Furniture & More store in DeLand opened a second store in Orange City in early August. Pennsylvania-based Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, which specializes in closeout, liquidated and overstock merchandise at discounted prices, opened in mid-October in Orange City. And a new Ace Hardware store opened in DeBary in November.

Three affordable housing projects — a refurbished complex, and two new ones — were announced this year.

After months of rehabilitation, 96 one- and two-bedroom, rent-subsidized apartments in Orange City were unveiled with a new name. Orange City Flats was for years known as Orange City Villas.

Still under construction are The Pines, a 100-unit apartment complex on DeLand’s south side, and Banyan Cove, a 100-unit multifamily apartment complex for senior citizens in north DeLand. The Pines is nearing completion and has started taking applications for residency. Banyan Cove probably won’t be completed until midyear at the earliest.

Two very different businesses observed significant anniversaries. Special T’s, a shop that sells personalized apparel and gifts, on March 29 marked its 38th anniversary at 108 N. Woodland Blvd. And Holder Pest & Termite Control on Spring Garden Avenue, which also performs lawn services, celebrated its 40th anniversary in business June 1.

Several notable businesses got new homes during 2019.

Sweet Spot, a purveyor of homemade ice cream and other desserts, moved from East Rich Avenue to a former Subway restaurant at 1200 N. Woodland Blvd., opening in the new location in March. A new bakery, Kneading Sweets, took over the vacated storefront at 115 E. Rich Ave.

In late June, wealth management firm Morgan Stanley held a grand opening of its new office at 142 S. Woodland Blvd., about seven months after moving into a building that started out in 1925 as a Masonic Temple.

On Aug. 9, longtime Volusia County law firm Cobb Cole cut a ribbon on a new home for its four attorneys based in DeLand, a couple of months after moving into 231 N. Woodland Blvd., the former home of Morgan Stanley.

Another longtime business reinvented itself. Brothers Bill and Frank Jennings in May closed one of their restaurants, Brickhouse Grill at 142 N. Woodland Blvd. in Downtown DeLand, then renovated it and reopened in October as a catering event space called Venue 142.

Many businesses debuted in West Volusia during the year. Here is a sampling.

In January, Blossoms Workforce Academy on South Woodland Boulevard began offering training for health care workers and safety programs for businesses. Trickey & Kizma Certified Public Accountants set up shop on East New York Avenue. And The Anointed Olive, selling olive oils, vinegars and related products, opened its doors on North Woodland Boulevard.

In April, tech repair shop uBreakiFix opened across from the Walmart Supercenter in DeLand. My Salon Suites, essentially a minimall for hairstylists and other beauty professionals, opened in West Volusia Towne Center in Orange City.

In June, regional accounting firm James Moore & Co. cut the ribbon on its office on East Indiana Avenue that had been the longtime home of Cohen, Smith and Co., which James Moore had taken over.

Florida Veterinary Rehabilitation at 441 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand held a ribbon-cutting in August on the first and only veterinary practice in Volusia County focusing exclusively on rehabilitation of four-legged family members.

CERTUS Premier Memory Care Living opened its doors at 675 Veterans Memorial Parkway in Orange City facility Nov. 14.

Also in November was the soft opening of Mindquest Escape Rooms at 207 N. Woodland Blvd., an adventure game in which participants try to figure out how to “escape” from one of four locked rooms — each with a different scenario — before time runs out.

And now time has run out on 2018. Happy New Year!


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