Here in New Port Richey
New Port Richey’s downtown is thriving. Not just the historic district either. Retail space has been filling up in the “Palm District” as well. Staff presented the proposed electric shuttle route to city council earlier this month and the council members provided feedback to staff to try to make sure that businesses in the Palm District are included in the route.
My prediction is that we will see continued growth in the downtown during 2022. We have two new bakeries on Main Street. We’ve got a new ice cream shop on Orange Lake, and Melt’d has expanded their menu to include breakfast sandwiches and quesadillas! So much for a diet this coming year.
There are lots of other things in the works.
The Hacienda Hotel should re-open in the near future. I can hardly wait. It is getting close enough that their website is online at: https://haciendahotelnpr.com
Additional businesses are about to open in The Commons on Grand (aka the Old Post Office and the Business Incubator). Joining the Cotee River Creamery will be a brewing company and a pizza place.
After a two year hiatus, the Chasco Fiesta is returning. Their website hasn’t been updated yet for 2022, but you can expect to see all the details shortly at https://chascofiesta.com. This will be the 100th anniversary of the Fiesta. The only concert that has tickets available so far is the April 3rd performance by Night Ranger.
At the turn of the 21st Century, the city council adopted an ordinance to allow a mode of transportation that was popular at the turn of the 20th Century. I’m not sure what prompted the city council to act, but it appears that nothing ever came of it. Fast forward to 2022 and we’ve got the Cornerstone Carriage Company working with city staff to bring horse drawn carriage service to New Port Richey. Given that the enabling ordinance has been on the books for over 20 years, I suspect we’ll see horse drawn carriages on city streets sooner rather than later.
Some things seem to take a while to come to pass. There has been quite a bit of discussion over the years about what the old bank building on the corner of Main and Bank could be used for. Ideas have ranged from a dinosaur museum to things that would compliment the projects being suggested for developing the land immediately to the west, across Bank Street. The current occupant of the building, the Pasco County Health Department, has new office space being renovated for their use. They will be moving out of the old bank building sometime in the next year or two. The city council has now approved an ordinance authorizing the city manager to enter into an agreement with the county to swap the ball fields on Pine Hill Road for the old bank building. The county has been managing the ball fields for years, so this makes great sense.
Tesla sold over 900,000 cars in 2021, a 78% increase in sales, despite a global chip shortage. With over 300,000 of those sales in the last quarter of the year and two new assembly plants coming on line in early 2022, sales of well over a million cars and probably closer to two million cars is not out of the realm of possibilities. If you order a new standard range Model 3 today, you can expect delivery in June. Tesla simply can’t build the cars fast enough to meet the demand.
Ford had to stop taking reservations for its F-150 lightning. In September, Ford announced that they had doubled their plans from 40,000 to 80,000 units a year. They have now doubled their production plans AGAIN, this time to 150,000 units a year, and they will be delivering their first electric trucks early this year.
They also can’t build the new Mustang Mach-E fast enough.
Chevy has unveiled an electric Silverado. From the look of it, Chevy is going to sell a bunch of them.
Even Winnebago is getting in the act, revealing an electric motorhome at last week’s Florida RV Super Show in Tampa.
All of the major car companies and quite a few startups are introducing new electric vehicles in a variety of styles this year. Quite a few of them are coming in at, or below, the average price of a new car.
Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies continue to restrict oil production, driving up global oil and gasoline prices. I predict that more drivers are going to consider kicking the oil habit and checking out the growing selection of affordable electric vehicles.
Its going to get easier too. The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) testified before Congress earlier this month, stating that convenience stores want to bring EV charging to rural America.
If you were wondering when the tipping point between electric and gasoline powered light vehicles would happen, that would be “right about now”.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor