When people think Florida, they think paradise. Swaying palm trees, year-round warmth, and all the orange juice they can handle. Not a bad life.

Increasingly, more and more people have been acting on the desire to make the state their permanent home.

From Miami to Tampa Bay, economic growth has been strong as increasing in-migration numbers have helped buoy retail and other industries, leading to rapidly increasing fortunes for many investors in commercial real estate.

Those who have made out the best were those who saw this boom coming from a mile away. Shaun Benderson and his staff were among them, as they made the decision to move their corporate team to Sarasota back in 2004.

More than ten years later, they have reaped the rewards of making this fateful decision.

Thinking about heading down to the Sunshine State to get a piece of the action for yourself, but still stuck on the fence?

This post will run down several reasons why we think this train still has plenty of track left to travel down.

1) Retiring boomers are heading there in droves

With the biggest demographic cohort in American history retiring in massive numbers, many are taking their assets and using them to move somewhere where they won’t have to deal with snow.

Some are choosing Phoenix, but many others are choosing places like Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, Tampa Bay, and Miami.

Why spend your golden years freezing your butt off when you could cradle a Cuba Libre while you watch the latest news scoop about the worst blizzard in history up north?

This will continue to drive condo sales for years to come.

2) It remains a popular domestic and international tourist destination

For many Americans and foreigners living in places where winters means months of snow and cold, Florida is the ultimate escape.

Florida has only gotten more popular over time – in 2016, 113 million visitors (an all-time record) spent time on Florida’s beaches, enjoyed a scoop of ice cream while they explored its amusement parks, and danced the night away in its nightclubs.

Tourists spend lots of money in destination malls and restaurants, so innovative and exciting lifestyle retail concepts will continue to be a hot play for developers looking for a lucrative project.

3) Florida has long been a business friendly state

Red tape is one of the biggest concerns when moving ahead with a commercial project. Thankfully, whether you are in Key West or Tampa Bay, you can take comfort in the fact Florida ranks as the nation’s fourth best state when it comes to regulations.

With no state income tax, either, developers get to keep more money in their pocket during the crucial early stages of a project – bonus!

While Phoenix, Arizona also offers attractive incentives, Florida’s other assets still make it a far more attractive play.

4) Cultural diversity is high

Drive around Sarasota or Miami and you’ll immediately realize how diverse Florida truly is. Due to its long present Hispanic minority and its geographic location, Florida has long served as meeting point between the two Americas.

What’s more, there are also communities of Haitians, Dominicans, Europeans, Asians – Florida is a true melting pot which makes it an exciting place to be.

All these cultural differences bring opportunity – there are plenty of things foreign nationals and naturalized Americans miss from their home country, leaving the door open for enterprising entrepreneurs to launch retail concepts which can become a commercial success very quickly.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.