This past month I had the privilege to attend several wonderful events that happen here in town, and both had a wonderful optimism to them about Palm Beach and the future.
The Palm Beach Preservation Foundation Dinner Dance, which now celebrates it’s 41st year, was a stunning success that celebrated a new golden age in Palm Beach and amfAR, hosting their second year in Palm Beach was equally as upbeat about the future of our community, their presence on the Island and raising a record amount in one evening. Because we have a lot of snowbirds, it makes sense for the national charities to stay in touch with their donors from other parts of the world as they winter here. With the financial resources of so many residents seasonal and year-round alike, it makes sense to keep up the fundraising momentum for organizations who need the ongoing support.
In the 1920s, which was when Palm Beach really expanded, the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce opened our offices. During that decade, we became a winter retreat for the wealthy and over time a very seasonal community. A century later, a new wave of folks have flocked to our town and we are not so much a seasonal community anymore. One need only to look at the hotels brimming with tourists and conventions, the bustling restaurants and incredible shops where world class style is on display to see all of this is happening year-round. The new corporations relocating from the Northeast to “Wall Street South,” or West Palm Beach as we know it, are bringing with them a new wave of young professionals, many with families who are redefining our community.
What does this mean for our town? Exactly what it did in the 1920s. A continued strong real estate market, new folks bringing new ideas to Palm Beach and a robust economy all of which leads to the continued goal of keeping our small-town character and beauty while embracing the future with optimism.
The town with a population of 1,700 in 1929 and has grown to 9,200, but can only grow so much given the amount of land. But with that small footprint it means with the increased popularity of being here, we have like the Hamptons, Aspen, St. Tropez and other wonderful places, increased traffic and parking challenges. The good news is that our retail space with all the fantastic shoppes and restaurants are virtually at 100%. There truly is something for every taste here in Palm Beach and it looks like it’s not going to slow down any time soon.
Are you curious? We at the chamber would invite you to come see for yourself with a wonderful weekend getaway or maybe join us as a full-time resident!