Maybe it’s because 40 percent of Atlanta was destroyed during the Civil War in 1864 and was forced to rebuild from its ashes. Or maybe it’s due to later generations of visionaries who developed a racetrack into the world’s busiest airport, a soft drink into the world’s most recognized brand and a hot Southern city into host of the Centennial Summer Olympics. Whatever the reason, this capital of Georgia is perpetually growing and reinventing itself.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The Concession Golf Club is the preeminent private course and club in Western Florida and often ranks among the top courses in the entire state. Anyone familiar with Florida golf knows this is quite a competitive list; Florida boasts some of the best courses in the country. Add the positive effects of the pandemic on the golf industry — the latest numbers show a massive uptick in play — and you have a dynamite mix for success. Membership director Hunter Talcott spoke with me at length when we played the course last month. He confirmed the great growth of golf during COVID and felt this was a sustainable level that will continue well after the crisis is behind us. “Everyone is moving to Florida, and golf is benefiting,” Hunter said. This is evidently true, as we were joined for the round by Frank Wood, a recent Connecticut transplant and digital learning executive, and Wayne Tallman of Global Traveler’s Advisory Board, who was spending the winter months in Sarasota. The overall openness of the state and the great ability to be outdoors make Florida attractive.