Editor’s Letter

Author Chet Holmes helped me understand the allure of sports––the simple act of one using his or her mind and body to compete to win. It’s this internal desire to win that draws us, as players and spectators, to embrace our competitive nature and bond with others who feel the same. That said, there are also outputs to this internal desire and one of them is business.

Volusia County is blessed to have many sports-related offerings at our residents’ fingertips. There are the major players like the Daytona International Speedway and the LPGA, but not to be overlooked are businesses and venues that play on a local scale, creating economic opportunity for many. 

Pictona in Holy Hill, the result of a public/private partnership, has grown incredibly fast, both leveraging and helping to expand locally the popularity of one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.––pickleball. Julie and Rainer Martens, who grace our cover, have been instrumental in Pictona’s success.

With its 65-year legacy of great golf, The Riviera Country Club, “The Riv” as golfers know it, is the place to go for the best greens and friendly people. Ryan and Eric Myers share the keys to the long-term success of this family-run business. 

An issue on sports would not be complete without including the Ocean Center, which hosts many sports events each year, including my personal favorite, for its name alone, The Bacon BeatDown! But the largest Ocean Center event, and perhaps the one which impacts the Daytona Beach economy the most, is the National Collegiate Cheer Competition. Seeing the families unload their SUVs in matching warm-up suits and watching them enjoy all we have to offer brings a feeling of energy and enthusiasm for the place we’re fortunate to call home. 

Speaking of energy, have you ever enjoyed a night at the New Smyrna Speedway? The Hart family and their loyal team put on races almost the entire year long. Many famous and up-and-coming drivers have raced at New Smyrna Speedway. And the business of racing has been an economic driver in our area in more ways than one.

We feature some legacy businesses involved in sports, but there are also some newcomers to the landscape. Esports is a billion-dollar business globally and it’s good to know one local business, Vortex Esports Arena, has its controllers in the game!

Rounding out the issue, Mike Panaggio, CEO of DME Delivers and DME Sports Academy offers his thoughts on the business of sports and the exciting road ahead through globalization and changing media.

Who’s got game?