JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The summer months bring an economic boost for businesses at the beach, but Jacksonville Beach city leaders are working on a new strategy to infuse more life into the area during the winter.
Memorial Day in Jacksonville Beach brings thousands to the shore, and cars line the business district.
But as the temperature drops, so does the foot traffic.
“From January through almost March everybody's business is dying substantially,” said Jacksonville Beach city councilman Keith Doherty.
To fix that, city leaders are taking a play out of St. Augustine's game plan.
Action News has learned Jacksonville Beach officials will meet with reps from the famed "Nights of Lights" to help enhance the Beaches holiday light display.
National Geographic magazine dubbed it one of the top 10 best holiday light displays in the world.
The annual illumination sparked record-setting tourism for St. Augustine. An economic drive that Doherty wants to replicate. “You know the last three or four years it's been quite embarrassing out here in Jacksonville Beach when you compare us to even Neptune and Atlantic Beach and St. Augustine. They do make an effort to beautify their districts."
The plan calls for hanging lights in the newly-planted palm trees along First Street and decorating the open area behind city hall.
Doherty says the goal is to pay for the event through sponsorships, not taxpayer dollars.
“We actually owe it to our constituents and our residents to put something special on for the holidays."
Doherty tells Action News, city leaders still need to perform a cost-review analysis to see how much the event would cost.