The History of the Daytona Chamber of Commerce


The Chamber Turns to Retirees

In 1953, the Chamber began to focus heavily on converting tourists to residents, specifically targeting retirees. During this time, the Chamber ran ads promoting not only the local churches, schools, and entertainment options, but also the air quality and climate of Daytona Beach, which allowed for better respiratory health. Ads informed tourists, “You’ll live 10 years longer in Daytona” and “Those who live here get more out of life!”

Enter, the Daytona 500

On February 22, 1959, Daytona Beach witnessed the Inaugural Daytona 500, the first race held at the brand new Daytona International Speedway. After 17 hours of racing—and three days of deliberations and newsreel reviews—Bill France declared Lee Petty the winner.

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“Retirees in Daytona Beach”

“Daytona 500, 1959” Photo courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/75999

  • 1950s
  • 1950s