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Tom Staed, Longtime Daytona Beach Hotelier Instrumental in Shaping
the Tourism Industry in the United States, Passes Away

Daytona Beach, FL - A longtime Daytona Beach hotelier instrumental in shaping the tourism industry in the United States has passed away at the age of 80.

Tom Staed (photo courtesy of Daytona Beach Shores History Museum), the Chairman of Staed Family Associates, Ltd., died around 9 o’clock Tuesday morning, according to Bob Davis, CEO & President of the Volusia County Hotel & Lodging Association.

“He was very well respected throughout the country, not just in Daytona Beach,” Davis added. “My phone just hasn’t stopped ringing.”

Davis, who worked under Staed for 8 years as a vice-president, tells WNDB his former boss was “the hotelier’s hotelier”.

“He created more things in America and throughout the country for hospitality than anyone I know,” Davis added.

Staed began in the hotel industry via his father-in-law after going to school to become an attorney, according to Davis.

“He started off originally with a mom-and-pop hotel and worked his way up,” Davis added.

According to a profile posted in the Floridian View in 2011, Staed’s company owned many Volusia County beachside hotel properties until the late 1990′s.

Staed was active in many organizations, including serving terms as president of the Volusia County Hotel & Lodging Association, the Florida Hotel & Motel Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Staed also worked as president & chairman of Best Western International.

But perhaps one of his biggest contributions, according to Davis, was partnering up with a close friend – then-Florida Governor Lawton Chiles – to create Visit Florida in 1996, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida.

“We never had that before,” Davis added.

Another thing Staed helped bring that Florida never had before:  the bed tax, used in many forms since its inception to build and promote tourism in the state.

“He was the grand-daddy of the bed tax,” Davis said. “We were the only industry to ever go before the state legislature and tax ourselves. Opponents said we were crazy, we would drive tourism out of the state of Florida. Here we are, many moons later, practically leading the nation in tourism.”

Above all else, though, Davis says Staed should be best known for his humanitarianism, part of which included his stint as chairman of the Volusia-Flagler chapter of the United Way.

“Tom Stead was a tremendous donor to many charities,” Davis added. “[He] gave so much of his life to our Daytona Beach area and never asked for anything in return. He never wanted accolades, just did what was needed for our community.”

by Robert Alonso
Copyright 2013 Black Crow Media.


Hotel & Lodging Association of Volusia County
Bob Davis
CEO / President

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