First Stop: The Chamber
And while this was occurring, what was life like in Clearwater?
Travelers from throughout the nation and the world continued to flock to the area. The Chamber of Commerce was a bustling place, receiving floods of requests for information about Clearwater, particularly its wintertime activities. Upon arrival, visitors’ customary first stop was the Chamber.
Local newspapers welcomed visitors but also published notices on residents who traveled to see friends and family elsewhere.
More than 3,000 attended the Winter Visitors Night Program at the Municipal Auditorium in January 1935. And the crowds at Clearwater Beach in October that year were reported to be the largest ever, with license plates visible from all across the nation.
But development had its unpopular side as well. Slot machines were driven out of Clearwater through high license fees and taxes in 1935, while in St. Petersburg, the city council passed an ordinance to curb billboards in an effort to maintain the area’s natural beauty. In the Florida legislature, laws were passed to eliminate chain stores throughout the state, decrying them as an “economic evil.”