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In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Chamber began to take a futuristic look at its work in the Daytona Beach area. Knowing that it would need to broaden its tourist outreach, the Triple City Chamber opened offices outside of the state of Florida, planting roots in Birmingham in 1929 and Atlanta in 1930, in order to drum up business for Daytona Beach.
In 1930, the City of Daytona Beach moved its airport from Bethune Point to its present location in the heart of Daytona Beach. The rough construction of the day included coquina runways and a sign made of an old wooden surfboard, which is now located in the airport terminal on the second level.
In 1935, seeking to escape the Great Depression, William “Bill” France moved his family from Washington, D.C., to Daytona Beach. With little to his name, Big Bill set up a car repair shop at 316 Main Street, now home to the Main Street Station. By 1937, Bill France became the primary promoter for the recently established stock car races on the Daytona Beach Road Course, and by 1938, he was running the course himself. Some might say that the rest is history.
Throughout the 1930s, as Daytona Beach’s economy continued to develop, so too did the area’s tourism. In 1938, amusement park rides made their first appearance on the Boardwalk, which now featured the world’s largest bandshell, built as a WPA project in 1937.
“Bill France” Photo courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/7630
“Boardwalk, 1939” Postcard by Walker News Co., courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/163003
“Beach Street, 1930s” Photo courtesy of Harry Smith, public domain.