At an impromptu press conference, Gov. Charlie Crist has announced that the extra $25 million is in the bank, and was received via wire transfer. It's ready to be spent on more TV spots promoting Florida's sugar-sand beaches. (The money, of course, was the subject of sharp criticism this morning at a Cabinet meeting.)
Crist's chief of staff, Shane Strum, will convene a task force on how to best use the money to "flood the market in the next 60 days with accurate information" about Florida's beaches and fishing areas.
Visit Florida director Chris Thompson, said the agency will develop a series of new ads that are specifically tailored for Northwest Florida. He called it a "broad stroke" message that could be amplified by matching dollars from media companies such as Clear Channel radio.
Crist said he hopes the ads aren't too late for Memorial Day weekend: "A lot of people make their plans late. It gives them the opportunity (to consider the Panhandle) if they hadn't made their plans yet."