Pensacola Magazine, August 2022

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CONTENTS FEATURES 14 THE BLUFFLINE PROJECT Local advocates launch grassroots campaign to develop a bike- and pedestrian-friendly coastal trail spanning from Scenic Bluffs to Jackson Lakes in Pensacola. 17 AMERICAN MAGIC SETS SAIL IN PENSACOLA The American Magic yacht racing team has returned to the Port of Pensacola to train for the 37th America’s Cup. 21 EIGHT WELLNESS MODALITIES FOR BETTER HEALTH A roundup of holistic therapies and wellness practices to heal the mind, body and soul and get you feeling your best. 25 RETREAT INTO WELLNESS Take a little time for some self-care with one or all of the many wellness retreats led by some of the areas top practitioners.

TOPICS 8 Editor’s Note 10 Page 10 with DeeDee Davis 12 Pensacola Scene 37 Event Calendar

6 | AUGUST 2022




AUGUST 2022 Owner Malcolm Ballinger

ss Note Note

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Obesity, diabetes and heart disease became death to be the most steadfast Although I can’t claim sentences for too many people battling Covid. While practitioner of self-care and healthy lifestyle choices, I genetics predispose some to these illnesses, many can have alwayschanges. been interested in healthy eating, holistic be managed or eradicated by lifestyle I’d and while alternative therapies. At the age of 15, I like to focus on makingmedicine healthy choices still declared a vegetarian. My witty mother christened enjoying the bad-for-you good stuffmyself in moderation.

me a “bacon vegetarian” due to my inability to give

first responders and hospital workers? Thank Passion and Joy upand what arguably the worst food option in terms of you for putting yourselves on the front lines incredible special-needs pets theiris owners I todon’t know about you,health but 2020 offered too keep us as safe as possible. Also, a big shout (but quitefarpossibly the best in terms of flavor!) and she discovered that while these precious KellyofOden little either of these to me. I was so consumed out to all the teachers out there scrambling to babies may take a little more care, the love Growing up in New Orleans in the 80s and 90s, I don’t Executive Editor with myinmom’s illness and then with putgive together online to keep our kidssurviving they return islessons worth every second. healthy lifestyles being at the top of anybody’s engaged learning worrying the grief and of her loss instead and recall theof anxiety ofabout the things cannot control. We appreciate you! Ifpandemic exoticthey animals are more your thing, head to-do list. Fortunately, I have a curious and the sorrow of so many nationalnature, and throughout the years, I’ve

on overstories to my the brand new andfor from dipped intoyou everything yoga and meditation to acupuncture, news I spanking took little On that note,that Itoes encourage to time read our myself. significantly enlarged Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. COVID-19 Resource Guide, which provides This year, I hope to explore creative and personal cryotherapy, IV drips, massage, Rolfing and more. The new location features allcommunity the hands-on, up resources for food, business, endeavors that help me rediscover myself and close interaction as the previous location plus and more. The ever-changing nature of discover outlets for personal expression. added attractions, amenities and experiences While I new am far from expert this crisis necessitates that Ian mention thatregarding any of these wellness modalities, that willresources make for a wonderful family day out. these may or may not be available I do know one thing for sure—when I practice self-care regularly, I feel Procrastination to you by the time you read this issue. I better. Imagine that. I recently attended one of Swan Michelle’s sound bath IfWhile you’re interested in conservation, check out people made hope itmany will provide a place to glorious start, someheadway on Dakota Parks story on local Panhandle Rooftop sessions on Pensacola Beach, and the experience was incredibly relaxing and ideas or some inspiration either way. home improvement and personal projects in 2020, Nesting Biologist, Rebekah Snyder. Through I was hesitant initially because I was in a funky mood and didn’t Icentering. did not. I did not organize anything. I did not You maywith also notice that Florida, we have some nonher work Audubon Snyder helps fix anything. I did not learn a language or a new know Irelated could lay in still calm my mind for an hour and a half. I almost pandemic stories thisand issue.nesting We made to ensureiflocal shorebirds have safe the call already articles that skill. Nothing. that’s ok, too. I’m stilldiscomfort here. spaces in to aninclude increasingly overpopulated region. didn’t go. I’mBut glad I planned overcame my because I left feeling much might an stillaccomplishment. be helpful, relevant or enjoyable in for2021, I’d That’s However,

better. The point is that I went outside of my comfort zone, and I was richly

our readers. Weahope you find useful. All ofto this, plus fewload DIY pet them treat like lighten my and empty my house of rewarded by the experience. recipes and some good news from the much clutter and unnecessary junk that fills As for of us,the Pensacola Magazine has been Florida legislature regarding protection one title or another for it.published It’s timeunder to make room for something new. formore petsthan in abusive situations. 40 years. We have no plans on

Publisher Malcolm Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden Art Director Guy Stevens Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Garrett Hallbauer Editor Morgan Cole Assistant Editor Nicole Willis Editorial Intern Mia Stinemetz Graphic Design Intern Lauren Barksdale Contributing Writers DeeDee Davis Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28

In this issue, we’ve talked with some local wellness practitioners who offer a changing that. We will continue to publish

variety ofthe wellness thetopics Pensacola area. With something for every In this we’ve ofinthese So, turn issue, off news,covered putretreats downallyour phone and to bring you all the information we can and enjoy these heartwarming talestheir and and more to help readers shift own in self-care experiences that run the budget and schedule, these retreats provide for as long as we can. Please reach out to us focus adorable of ideas, photos of local animals and 2021. We hope you enjoy. Here’s to your health! with story inspiration or just a quick gamut of holistic therapies. I encourage you to look into them, step outside of the folksWe who for them. When hello. are care all working from homeyou’re and we yourgive comfort zone and takeand a little time for yourself in this crazy time we live done, your little catnip are missing our kitty wateracooler conversations. throw yourwon’t dog a bone. It’sit. these simple in. You regret Stay safe,that staywill healthy strong, Pensacola! pleasures keepand us stay all sane.

21 E. Garden St., Ste. 205 Pensacola, FL 32502 850.433.1166 | fax: 850.435.9174

Published by Ballinger Publishing:

Kelly Oden Kelly Oden Kelly Oden Executive Editor Executive Editor

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NW Florida’s Business Climate Magazine and Pensacola Magazine is locally-owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2022

Page 10 DeeDee Davis, Contributing Writer

Over the years, I have offered plenty of unsolicited advice regarding relationships to my now grown daughter. Diana Ross was right, “You can’t hurry love.”And when you do think you may have found it or forced it, it is important to remember that there is no perfect barometer for choosing a partner. Plenty of online dating sites tout 500 or so questions as being the way to determine compatibility, but I am not buying it. Take chemistry out of the picture and what do you have? The perfect science lab partner. Conversely, if too much emphasis is given to the physical, a relationship is doomed. The heat will inevitably cool and there had better be a solid connection in the wake that includes mutual respect, interests and values. That, or some binding legal document. I firmly believe that you can skip 300 of the 500 “essential” personal questions by evaluating the response to one simple, non-threatening inquiry. What kind of movies do you like? The answer speaks volumes about a person and should provide you with enough information to know if sizzle

10 | AUGUST 2022

or fizzle is in your future. And, at last! We have plenty of good movies to go and see after suffering through a dry spell with the pandemic. Maverick, Elvis, Crawdads, and Paris are all on the must see list. Sitting at home streaming is convenient, but there is nothing like the big screen with salty expensive popcorn, especially with record temperatures outside. Comedy: Laughing is a physical necessity. It is a healthy, wonderful response that we all need more of. If a person does not appreciate a good comedy, something is terribly wrong. They are miserable and enjoy feeling that way. A really funny film, like anything Steve Martin ever did, might cause them to forget their misery for a moment. God forbid!! By the way, slapstick is not included in this category, because slapstick is brainless, while comedy is clever. No comment about people who love slapstick. Chick flicks/Romance: People who enjoy these films love happy endings, because you know going into one of these films, how it is going to turn out. Men, quite often, don’t enjoy these films because they do not like showing emotion in public. When you engage yourself with a movie, you suspend all disbelief. The sappy love story suddenly becomes real and you are at risk of showing too much. Women, on the other hand, love to cry at movies, which explains why we adore films like this. Plus, the leading men are usually easy on the eyes. Guys who admit that they like these films are confident and in touch with their feminine side.

The Hallmark Channel fully understands the power of these films. Some men won’t go out in public to a romantic comedy but they will sit in their recliner with a beverage of choice and sniffle like a softy when the guy finally gets the girls. No comment on any particular man I know who does this. Horror: Ridiculous horror, like Freddy Kruger films, are scary in a way that makes you snuggle together. Men love this because it brings out their “Me, Tarzan.” Others, however, such as No Country For Old Men, are terrifying in a way that rocks your world. I saw that movie and I still sleep with the lights on. People who actually LIKE these films, exclusively, have a dark side. It may not be readily apparent, but trust me, it will surface. Action: Modern action films were born with James Bond. Have you ever met a man who didn’t see himself as 007? Action films bring out the testosterone in a man. Men are far more visual than women (Hello Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition) and fast paced action films satisfy that need. Women are more intuitive. See “chick flicks.”

telling. If they don’t go to the movies or at least watch them on television, they are out of touch with their creative side. They either don’t take the time or just don’t enjoy feature films. These people are workaholics, and are out of balance. We all need to nurture our creativity, just as we need exercise to take care of our bodies. Studies have been done that show people who frequently view movies live 20 percent longer. Well, probably not, but it sure makes our time here more interesting and entertaining. Trying to understand the opposite sex? The answer just may be in the popcorn.

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS 7 11 14 18 27 28 28 31 31

Cherry Fitch Jenny Noonan Corbett Davis, Jr Mary Davis Sharon Duplantis John Griffing Jim Neal Milton Usry Gabriel Mueller

Classics: These people respect quality and tradition. They make excellent partners, as loyalty is extremely important to them. They understand the test of time. The popularity of Downton Abbey is a perfect example of our thirst for the classics. Not only does the genre of movies reveal much about a person, but the general culture surrounding movies is also

Opinion piece: the views expressed in this article are solely of the writer and not representative of Pensacola Magazine


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The Bluffline Project Connecting Communities from Bluff to Bluff by Morgan Cole Thanks to a grassroots effort launched by nurse and community advocate, Jarah Jaquay, local and state authorities will now begin to move forward with plans for developing a bike- and pedestrian-friendly coastal trail spanning from Scenic Bluffs along Scenic Highway to Jackson Lakes in Pensacola. First launched by Jaquay in 2020, the Bluffline is a grassroots initiative to help reconnect Pensacola residents with their environment and each other by knitting together existing public parks via a 10-mile-long, multi-use path bringing together Pensacola’s diverse neighborhoods in support of green space, active transit and affordable housing. The route would begin at Chimney Park in Ferry Pass, travel west along Scenic Bluffs and then merge into downtown with the Pensacola Waterfront Framework Plan before continuing west through Brownsville and eventually ending at the Jackson Lakes bluff system. The goal for this project is to make it more suitable for those traveling by foot, bike, skateboard or other non-car methods by transforming the streets along the proposed route into a multi-modal highway with sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks and other amenities. We had a chance to sit down with the president and founder of Bluffline Inc., Jarah Jaquay, to learn more about the Bluffline project and his efforts to help make this scenic coastal trail become a reality for members of the local community. Visit or visit the @bluffline Facebook page to learn more about the Bluffline project and Bluffline, Inc. PM: What is your connection to the Bluffline project, and how did you first become involved? JJ: I am a nurse by training but have always had a deep interest in issues of transportation and land use planning. Over the last several years, I’ve made a diligent effort to become involved with these issues as a citizen advocate. I had the honor of serving as a member of the CivicCon steering committee during the early days of that initiative, and through that experience, I came to appreciate just how influential a small group of well-informed, motivated and community-minded citizens can be. Five years later, we are

14 | AUGUST 2022

now starting to see the results of those early CivicCon efforts come to fruition with things like the Bruce Beach Revitalization and Hashtag Connector projects in downtown Pensacola. I’ve watched these advocacy efforts result in real action in the downtown area over the past few years, and I’ve had the occasion to take a step back and look at other parts of the community where less progress has been made. What I came to realize was that far too often, those who would benefit most from these kinds of quality-of-life improvements are cut off from them. My family lives off Scenic Highway in Pensacola.

I’m a father with four young children, as well as a newborn, and we often take walks down to Bay Bluffs Park. To get there, we have to cross Scenic, and it’s treacherous, noisy and stressful. At the same time I was experiencing issues in my own neighborhood. I had also been spending some time in the Brownsville community volunteering as an advocate for better pedestrian infrastructure along Cervantes Street. I met families there who shared the same concerns but didn’t have the option to just hop in a car to get to places like the grocery store, work or the park. Those experiences weighed on me. I believe that, in a truly sane and compassionate community, no parent should feel unsafe traveling to work in the morning just so that they can put food on the table. For far too many families in our community, though, that is the reality. The Bluffline would help to address problems like this. PM: Can you tell me more about some of the main goals for this project? JJ: The goal for this project is to take the Waterfront Framework Plan project that is currently underway in downtown Pensacola and extend it, both to the east and to the west, by tapping into existing and neglected infrastructure. Our primary goal is to ensure that every family in Escambia County has safe passage to employment, essential services and recreational opportunities. In the process, we hope to create a valuable tourism asset, complement public sector investments along the

Jackson Street Corridor and activate the 55 acres of countyowned land at Jackson Lakes that was recently greenlit for recreational redevelopment. PM: What inspired you to launch a grassroots effort for this project, and when did you first launch it? JJ: The Bluffline concept really integrates a number of previous ideas and initiatives. There have been sporadic efforts for at least two decades to create a waterfront path along the Scenic Bluffs corridor in Pensacola. Similarly, Brownsville residents have been discussing a western greenway since some citizens suggested the idea during RESTORE Act committee deliberations held back in 2016. The Bluffline knits these ideas together under a shared vision for a safer, greener, more equitable Escambia County and allows us to pool resources and political capital in the service of that vision. I initially launched the Bluffline Facebook page in 2020 to begin circulating this idea more broadly through the community. In the two years since, I’ve been amazed at just how much organic, grassroots support there is for the project. Encouraged by this support, I began quietly lobbying elected officials and state bureaucrats. Thanks in part to those efforts, the Scenic Bluffs portion of the trail made it onto a list of state greenway priorities last year. That success led the FDOT to study the feasibility of building a multi-use path along the Scenic Highway corridor. The study was meant to examine various possible routes

PM: Where can our readers learn more about the Bluffline project and what phases are currently in progress, etc.? JJ: The best way to follow the project’s progress is to follow our Facebook page. From there, folks can find our website at and sign up for our mailing list. We will also be hosting an information session event on Saturday, September 3 from 11 am to 3 pm at Odd Colony Brewing Co. in downtown Pensacola. We’ll be there to tell folks about the project, answer questions and support the launch of a collaborative “Bluffline Brew.”



Scenic Highway Sign Exercise Stations

Stairway to Bluffs

BoSumm ule it va rd Bay Bluffs Park Sign Close to highway creates landmark for park entry




Bike Racks & Garbage Cans



Stairway Entrance

Connects Scenic Highway crosswalks to Summit Boulevard sidewalk

(see Materials)

Existing Boardwalk & Overlook

Southern entrance closure

New Stairway to Boardwalk-

extends open park space and allows for more parking

connection to pedestrian path

Picnic Area with Tables

Bike Lanes 5’-10’ width

hw ay

The “Bluffline” name is a reference to this idea of connecting two bluff systems: Scenic Bluffs in the east and Jackson Heights in the west.

JJ: Up until this point, we have been focused on building organizational infrastructure and a political capital. We have assembled a board of directors that represents some of our area’s brightest young talent and recruited advocates at all levels of government. As we move into the fall, we will be focused on bringing a wider range of the community into this discussion through public outreach and events.


It’s important to note that the Bluffline initiative is separate from—and much larger than— the FDOT project. We want to see a multi-use path constructed along US-90. However, we are specifically advocating for that path to be built along the waterfront beneath the bluffs, because we believe that is what the majority of area residents want. We also envision this Scenic Bluffs trail as just one piece of a larger greenway (“The Bluffline”) that would begin at Chimney Park, in Ferry Pass, travel southwest along Scenic Bluffs and then merge downtown with the Pensacola Waterfront Framework Plan before continuing west through Brownsville and, finally, terminating at the Jackson Lakes bluff system.

PM: Can you provide me with more information on the current status of the Bluffline Project?

tin Exis


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5’ minimum width Pedestrian Path


JJ: We’ve been quietly lobbying elected officials and state bureaucrats for years and are proud of the coalition we’ve built so far. We look forward to expanding that coalition in the months ahead.

JJ: Again, it’s premature to discuss specifics. However, given the number of stakeholders involved, we would envision the Bluffline, Inc. taking a leading role in project planning and management.


PM: How did you gain the attention of local officials, FDOT and the FloridaAlabama Transportation Planning Organization to jumpstart this initiative?

PM: Who would manage the overall project and construction?


for such a trail — including the waterfront option, which is seeing an overwhelming amount of public support. For that reason, we were shocked when the study came out in June and the waterfront route was the only option not examined by FDOT. That’s when I finally realized that If the Bluffline is going to become a reality, we need a more focused advocacy effort. We launched Bluffline, Inc. as a way to really lead that effort.

To South Bay Bluffs

Vehicle Turnaround

A master plan rendering of the proposed design for the north entrance of Bay Bluffs Park.


Peace of Mind.

The All-New 2023 Kia Sportage



Photo by Will Ricketson


The New York Yacht Club’s American Magic racing team has returned to the Port of Pensacola to begin their annual training for the 37th America’s Cup, to take place in Barcelona, Spain in 2024. This year will mark the third winter that the American Magic sailing team has spent training along the Gulf Coast.


or those who may be unfamiliar with the America’s Cup and its significance, the race essentially serves as the Super Bowl of the sailing community. Yacht clubs from across the world participate by competing in a race to take home the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup. The competition dates back to 1851, which is before the modern Olympic Games began. Led by President of Sailing Operations and Skipper Terry Hutchinson, American Magic will train in Pensacola for the duration of the winter season aboard their boat, the Patriot. Patriot is an AC75 racing yacht, with a 68-foot-long hull and t-shaped foils that allow the boat to reach top speeds. According to Hutchinson, Pensacola’s waterways are ideal for training. “The sailing conditions in Pensacola Bay are perfect for developing the AC75. The team has the choice to train in the Bay

or outside in the Gulf, providing a variety of conditions and sea states to advance and build our highperformance race boat. Coupled with the local community support, this makes Pensacola the ideal U.S. training venue,” Hutchinson said. This year is not the first time that the American Magic team has trained on the Gulf Coast. The team also spent time training in Gulf waters in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2019 and 2020, the team trained for the most recent America’s Cup, AC36 (the 36th America’s Cup), which was held in New Zealand last year. Patriot made the trek from New Zealand to Pensacola this past June. Pensacola is an optimal training destination for sailors due to its diverse environmental conditions. “The 37th America’s Cup is set to take place in Barcelona, Spain. Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico will provide NYYC American Magic with similar


Pensacola and the Port of Pensacola,” Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said. “I know I speak for many of our residents when I say I look forward to seeing the American Magic team sailing on beautiful Pensacola Bay this summer as they train for America’s Cup in Barcelona. We are so proud to serve as the home base for such a world-class team, and we wish American Magic much success as they compete in the 37th America’s Cup.”

The American Magic crew preparing the vessel for a practice run. Photo by Amory Ross

wind and sea conditions, allowing the team to develop for the competition efficiently,” Hutchinson said, adding that the warm temperatures of the Gulf Coast allow the team to train for 12 months out of the year, where that may not be possible in places with cooler climates. Pensacola Yacht Club’s Commodore, Tom Pace, also spoke to the area’s geographical benefits, “The return of American Magic certainly has a great deal to do with the warm and open interaction with the City, County, Port Authority and many locals, but at the very center of this decision to base in Pensacola again is due to our natural deep-water bay,” Pace said.

The American Magic crew practicing on Pensacola Bay. Photo by Will Ricketson

Both the City of Pensacola and the community alike have extended their support for the members of the American Magic team. Though only eleven sailors can sail on their boat, the American Magic team consists of over 160 people including sailors, boat builders, engineers and more. The Pensacola community has provided team members and their families with a warm welcome and excitement for their return. “I am always excited to welcome American Magic back to the City of

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As a lot of attention is being brought to Pensacola’s waters with the return of American Magic, many are excited about the potential for the growth of sailing in the area. Pensacola has a rich history of sailing, and it is important to keep creating more sailing opportunities. “Pensacola was discovered by DeLuna on sailing ships,” Pace said. “To provide the training base and sailing conditions necessary to help American Magic to win the America’s Cup ties to our maritime history, and as has happened across the past 500+ years, will bring countless eyes to Florida through our amazing bay and the local community. The team’s presence in Pensacola is nothing short of a lifetime opportunity.” Pensacola’s maritime history is now being enriched, as the Port is playing a part in the world’s most viewed and most notable sailing race. Hutchinson noted the support received from Port staff and Pensacolians, “The Port of Pensacola and the community have been outstanding in their support of NYYC American Magic. Local vendors have worked hard with the team to support us with the necessary skills; from machine shops to grocery stores, you can feel the community’s support,” he explained. Locals can expect to see the American Magic team sailing on Pensacola Bay throughout the coming months. For more information on American Magic or the 37th America’s Cup, visit americanmagic.americascup. com or follow @AmericanMagicTeam on Facebook and Instagram.

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FOR BETTER HEALTH BY MIA STINEMETZ Wellness modalities are therapeutic treatments used in holistic, integrative and even traditional medicine to treat a variety of physical and emotional mental health issues. While many are rooted in ancient wisdom and practices, some have sprung up in the modern era. Cryotherapy has been used for thousands of years in the form of ice therapy and while IV vitamin treatments are relatively new, the idea that vitamin deficiencies are at the root of many ailments is a long held belief. If you’re new to the world of wellness, we’ve rounded up a handful of popular therapies and techniques along with an explanation of the process, the benefits of each and a few local practitioners that offer the treatment. If you see something that sounds interesting, give it a try —you’re worth it!

IV Drip “Banana bags” are in! Gone are the days when only hospital patients received IV drip therapy treatments as its benefits have reached the general population. IV drip therapy infuses needed nutrients directly into the bloodstream and bypasses the digestive system so your body can absorb as much as it needs before passing along the rest to the kidneys. A few of the benefits of IV drip therapy include promoting faster weight loss, curing hangover symptoms, treating nutrient deficiencies, cleansing the body of toxins, increasing energy levels, promoting better cardiovascular health, easing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Each drip therapy spa offers different assortments of nutrients for you to choose what would best accommodate your needs. The Drip Parlor located on 151 Main St has a variety of options. A few of the IV drips that are popular at the Drip Parlor are

the Detox Drip which focuses on cleansing the liver of toxins, the AfterParty Drip which contains Zofran, calcium and fluids to help cure hangovers and the Beauty Drip, which contains vitamin C and B-Complex to help restore collagen levels and stimulate elastin.

Cryotherapy Cryotherapy, which literally means “cold therapy,” is an innovative wellness technique that typically entails sitting in a cryotherapy booth that reaches sub-zero temperatures for 3 to 5 minutes. The practice is a non-medical treatment, although some doctors utilize cryotherapy or cryoablation as a method to freeze off warts or skin tags. Cryotherapy reduces blood flow to certain areas of the body, which can help to significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain around joints or tendons. It has been known to help athletes recover from

soreness after intense workouts and can temporarily reduce nerve activity to help relieve pain. Some of the benefits of cryotherapy include reduced recovery time and muscle soreness, managing persistent pain and inflammation, relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety, an increase in metabolism and reduced signs of aging. Chill Cryotherapy, LLC is located in downtown Pensacola’s historic Seville Quarter and is highly recommended for beginners.

Infrared Sauna Love the benefits of a sauna but don’t love the intense heat that a sauna provides? An infrared sauna may be the perfect option for you. Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas do not heat the air within the space; instead, they use infrared lamps that emit electromagnetic radiation to warm the body directly. Although infrared saunas still operate at temperatures

that can range between 120 F and 140 F, users often claim that the heat penetrates more deeply into the body creating a more intense sweat at a lower temperature than typical saunas. The medically supported benefits of infrared saunas are similar to those experienced with a traditional sauna: better sleep, relaxation, detoxification, weight loss, relief from sore muscles, relief from joint pain, clear and tighter skin and improved circulation. If you are thinking about giving infrared a try, Stay The Spa, located in downtown Pensacola, offers clients the use of their infrared sauna. They suggest planning a massage or facial before or after the heat therapy for complete relaxation.

Massage Therapy Massage therapy is on the rise and is becoming widely accepted as a means to cope with both pain and stress. A massage therapist manipulates the soft tissue of



the body (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin) using varying degrees of pressure in order to release knots and tension. A typical full body massage involves laying flat on a massage table or bed while the massage therapist begins at the head and scalp and works their way down the body from the neck and shoulders to the legs, feet and, eventually, back. Massages are often customizable and can be tailored to focus on certain areas of the body suffering from acute pain. A few of the major benefits of massage therapy include reduced stress and increased relaxation, reduced pain and muscle soreness, improved circulation, lowered heart rate and blood pressure and improved immune function. There are a multitude of different massage therapy clinics and spas in Pensacola. Five Points Massage offers authentic Asian massages including a Chinese full body massage, hot stone massage and reflexology foot massage.

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Acupuncture First originating in China, acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the skin at strategic points on the body. Traditional Chinese medicine theorizes that acupuncture balances the flow of energy or life force by inserting needles into specific points along the meridian. However, many Western practitioners suggest that acupuncture stimulates the soft tissue in the body to boost the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture is shown to effectively help with nausea caused by chemotherapy, dental pain after surgery, addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain and much more. Five Points Acupuncture, Emerald Coast Acupuncture Clinic and Blue Meridian Acupuncture and Wellness are just a few of the many options located within the Pensacola area.

Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing that involves light touches from a conduit through which a “universal energy” is transferred through the practitioner’s palms. Originating from Mikao Usui in the early 1900s, Reiki is now used all over the world to complement other forms of health treatments. It should be noted that Reiki should not be a substitute for the consultation of a physician or psychotherapist; however, the practice has been known to supplement healing for cancer, chronic pain, infertility, digestive problems, Parkinson’s disease, psychological distress (depression and anxiety) and stress-related illnesses. Exalted Grace Energy Medicine specializes in Reiki and warns that deep relaxation is a side effect of the treatment. If you’re looking for a holistic practice that aids in the healing of the mind, body and spirit, Reiki might be for you.

Rolfing Developed in the 1960s, rolfing may be the answer to those that live with chronic pain and feel like they’ve exhausted all their options. Rolfing is a systematic and holistic method of manipulating the muscle and fascia to help the body return to its natural homeostasis. Different from a deep tissue massage, rolfing practitioners will stretch and manipulate the fascia all over the body. While rolfing appears to focus on only the physical aspect of wellness, many users have noted that it might uncover deeply held emotions. Within the rolfing system, one can expect the “Ten Series,” which is broken into three different steps: the “sleeve” session which is focused on loosening and rebalancing surface layers of connective tissue, the “core” session, which focused on the body from head down to the pelvis and the

“integration” session, which is to achieve balance, movement and coordination within the entire network of the body. Some of the benefits of rolfing include conserving energy, improving and optimizing movement patterns, reducing inflammation and chronic stress, as well as increased athletic performance. Looking for rolfing in Pensacola? Sharalee Hoelscher, a certified Rolfer trained at the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute, is the person to see.

Yoga What do a football player and a ballet dancer have in common? They both significantly benefit from yoga, and so can you! Yoga is an exercise for the mind and body. It dates back to 2700 B.C. and its popularity has ebbed and flowed ever since. It began as a spiritual practice but has transitioned into a modality of wellness for all. On one end of the spectrum there is restorative yoga where a teacher leads participants through four or five poses to stretch and offer rest. On the other end there is hot yoga where the room is made to be between 92 and 105 F. Thishigh heat increases heart rate, boosts the cardiovascular system and helps burn calories. Yoga is for everyone because it can be easily modified to benefit each participant. Some major advantages of yoga include increased flexibility, core strength and reduced risk of injury. URU Yoga, Disko Lemonade Yoga, and Wild Lemon are popular yoga studios around Pensacola.

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Retreat Into

Wellness Local Self-Care Getaways

by Kelly Oden, Morgan Cole and Nicole Willis

ensacola is world renowned for its stunning beaches, historic city center and laid back quality of life. If local wellness practitioners have their way, we’ll soon be known for something else as well—a burgeoning wellness community. While Pensacola has always had a robust wellness scene, the sector is certainly experiencing a renaissance of late. With pandemic fears relegated to the background, local practitioners are offering a variety of health and wellness retreats for those looking to take a little time for self-care while enjoying all that our town has to offer. Pensacola Magazine spoke with a few local practitioners who are planning late summer and fall retreats in the Pensacola area. From yoga and meditation to functional workouts and beachfront massages, you’re sure to find one that offers the respite and reflection you need to help you be your very best. » PENSACOLA MAGAZINE | 25

Reboot + Co Recharge. Recenter. Reboot

Established in early 2019, Reboot & Co. is a familyowned lifestyle and wellness brand founded by healthcare executive Addie Murdock and former AppRiver owner Michael Murdoch, along with their two children Amanda and Bryce Clayton. The brand represents a reflection of each of the founders’ interests, and these interests are what form the foundation for the brand’s five brand pillars—wellness, fashion, philanthropy, hospitality and travel. “Reboot all started with the name. Given the state of the world at the time, with the pandemic in full effect, each of the founders found themselves starting new chapters of their lives, education and careers. We loved the idea that the name Reboot reflects our goals and messaging—that individuals by nature require specific practices to help balance out the craziness of life and to find some moments of peace to reboot,” Reboot Co-founder Bryce Clayton said. “Since we did start the brand amid the pandemic, we could see that everyone was going through strange and unprecedented times. We wanted to see how we could apply our creativity to build a community and create something unique.” In September 2021, Reboot co-founders set out to create a new form of experiential wellness and launched their very first Reboot Retreat at the Oyster Bay Hotel in downtown Pensacola. “We knew that these kinds of retreats were offered all over the world, some of which we 26 | AUGUST 2022

have had the opportunity to attend for our own personal reboots. After attending these retreats, we knew that there was a need for something like this in our own community,” Clayon explained. Reboot’s four-day, threenight retreat offers an all-inclusive, high-end, luxury experience that is centered around plantbased nutrition, fitness, rejuvenation, holistic wellness practices and mindfulness. Each day, guests engage in a variety of activities such as stretch yoga, outdoor spin class, boxing mechanics class or a High-Intensity Interval Training (also known as HIIT). Throughout the retreat, guests can sign up for private holistic wellness classes or other wellness services like sound baths, meditation, reiki healing, massages, hydrafacials and IV vitamin drips. Retreat guests also enjoy fully catered meals and small bites, plant-based cooking classes, beach excursions and accommodations at the

Oyster Bay Hotel. Local fitness and wellness professionals lead each of the sessions and activities, which are included as part of the retreat programming. Reboot now hosts their Reboot Retreat in the spring and fall of each year, with the annual fall retreat scheduled for October 4-6, 2022 at the Oyster Bay Hotel. This year, Reboot also launched a smaller-scale one-day retreat called the Reboot Refresher. For this new retreat model, a group or individual can select their favorite programming, pick the event space and choose their meals to build a personalized retreat that better suits their needs or occasion.

“We want our guests to walk away with a sense of accomplishment and to better understand the ways that they can practice wellness. We want them to leave the retreat armed with a whole new set of resources that they can now use on their own,” Clayton said. For complete details or to register for the upcoming fall Reboot Retreat at the Oyster Bay Hotel, visit

URU Yoga URU Yoga and Beyond has become known as one of Pensacola’s top studios for both yoga practice and training. With three locations in the Pensacola area, URU Yoga and Beyond also hosts several weekend retreats throughout the year–that is where the “Beyond” comes in. Rebecca Sathre and Kerry Whiteley, co-owners of URU Yoga and Beyond in Gulf Breeze, manage and run the annual retreats. Both Whiteley and Sathre share a passion for yoga and wellness, and they wanted to find a way to share this passion with others in the community. From this, URU Yoga and Beyond was born. Sathre is the primary founder of URU Yoga and Beyond and also owns each of the three URU locations. She has been studying and teaching yoga since the late 90s. Whiteley completed her training to become a certified yoga instructor at URU, which led her to partner with Sathre to open another URU location. Prior to completing her certification training, Whiteley always knew that she wanted to start her own studio one day. In September 2014, Whiteley’s dream became a reality when she opened an URU Yoga location in Gulf Breeze with Sathre as her business partner. In addition to teaching yogacentered classes at URU, Sathre and Whiteley also host a series of wellness-based retreats throughout the year. Both single-day and weekendlong retreats are offered. URU Retreats are designed to help attendees restore their mind, body and energy through a series of activities including yoga, meditation, plant-based dining, fitness and more.

Mornings at an URU weekend retreat start with a sunrise yoga session and a delicious vegetarian breakfast with fresh juices. The day can include a variety of activities from yoga and meditation to massage and reiki sessions. Evenings usually end with a peaceful campfire. All costs vary per retreat and desired accommodations. To find more information about URU Yoga and Beyond’s retreats, pricing and more, visit or check out URU Yoga and Beyond on Facebook. If you are interested in attending an URU retreat, their Fall Retreat is coming up next month. URU Yoga’s Fall Retreat will be held from September 23 to 25 at Coldwater Gardens in Milton. Located on the beautiful Coldwater Creek, Coldwater Gardens is a lush, nature-filled, multi-purpose venue that hosts retreats, weddings and more. With more than 350 acres to explore, Coldwater offers plenty of space for attendees to get in touch with nature, making it the perfect environment for those looking to “retreat” and clear their minds. This all-inclusive retreat will include yoga, meditation, group circles to hold sacred space for open discussion, partner connection, and delicious healthy food. There will also be opportunities for outdoor

exploration including hiking and swimming. Attendees will learn yoga philosophy and engage in healthy practices such as pranayama (breath work), meditation, selfreflection and self-discovery. The menu has also been designed to nurture with plantbased meals. The retreat includes coffee, tea and three vegetarian meals per day, as well as breakfast on the final day. URU will provide yoga mats and other supplies needed to participate in each of the daily activities. Massages will also be available for an additional cost.

Whether you enjoy the comforts provided by “glamping,” or want to stick closer to nature by camping outside, there are many overnight accommodations available to attendees, including cottages, glamping, platform camping and more. Check out Coldwater Gardens and photos of the available accommodations online at coldwatergardens. com. For more information and to register for URU Yoga’s Fall Retreat, visit or call (850) 712-8893.


Swan Michelle Michelle Baker, affectionately known as Swan Michelle, is co-owner of Swan River Yoga, a stunningly beautiful New Orleans-based yoga and wellness space. As a big fan of the Gulf Coast, Baker has made Pensacola her second home and has hosted wellness events in the area for many years. Baker recently made Pensacola her permanent home base and has resumed offering a variety of retreats in addition to her popular sound bath sessions held on Pensacola Beach. Baker is a wellness renaissance woman with a long pedigree of studies and certifications. She has traveled to India, Bali and Asia to train in asana, sound therapy, restorative yoga therapy, Ayurveda, reiki, Bhakti yoga and yoga Nidra. Her specialties include leading yoga training, performing sound bath concerts and hosting both local and international yoga retreats by the beach. Baker has recently partnered with New Orleans/Pensacola nonprofit Positive Vibes Institute to expand wellness offerings in Pensacola. Working with a variety of local wellness practitioners, Baker plans and hosts events and retreats ranging from one-and-a-half-hour sound baths and one-day wellness experiences to weeklong immersive wellness retreats. Baker says the one-day events are perfect for those looking to dip a toe into the waters of wellness and self-care. For one-day retreats, guests will engage in a series of wellness activities like healthy beach picnics, meditation, breath work, Dharma talks, yoga practice and water-based activities such as paddle boarding or dolphin cruises.

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“For some people, the single-day events are like a taster,” Baker said. “Maybe they haven’t done these practices before. Perhaps they don’t know the community very well, so they want to reach out and meet other people, but they might be a little timid and wondering if it’s for them. We’ve made it very inclusive in terms of experience levels. Affordability is another factor because many people can’t afford a weekend or week-long retreat experience. Time is also a consideration. For a busy mom to have a few hours of ongoing wellness practice— it’s a big deal. I’ve had a few moms come up to me afterward crying and saying, ‘I can’t believe what this one day did for me.’” The longer retreats range from a weekend to a whole week providing a chance for deeper connections and a more immersive experience. Baker says she likes providing a more diverse selection of modalities for these longer retreats. “I work with Island Sky Wellness, and they provide non-toxic facials, massage therapy and high-quality spa treatments. We always have some type of spa experience on the beach,” she said. “Doctors have come to speak to us on ketogenic health and metabolism. Longer

retreats lend themselves to longer meditations with the sunrise or sunset. We try to align things with the biorhythms that we are connected to. And yoga, of course. With longer retreats, we can offer a variety of yoga types. I like restorative yoga because it’s very accessible. It’s suitable for those with injuries, and it’s good for releasing the nervous system. I also like to include a little bit of education. My goal is that they can take these lessons home and practice these things every day—so the retreat continues,” Baker said. Baker’s sound baths serve as mini-retreats in themselves. Typically held just before sunset, Baker uses her unique collection of crystal bowls, planetary gongs, tuning forks, Balinese metal drums, elemental chimes and her voice to create a lush, spiritual experience for attendees. “Meant to recalibrate the nervous system, energy body and

chakras, sound therapy is also a mild form of sound meditation and an artful transmission for healing PTSD. In yoga, sound and listening was the original form of healing,” she explained. Upcoming beach sound baths are scheduled for August 21 and September 25. On August 20, Baker will host Transforming Trauma: From Surviving to Thriving. This one-day event brings together trauma counselors, empowerment speakers and trauma-centered yoga practices to offer accessible and empowering education and tools to help transform acute and severe levels of PTSD. On September 22, Baker will host a one-day Fall Equinox Wellness and Dolphin Cruise retreat which will include a sound bath, breath work and local wellness speakers. For more information on Swan Michelle and details on other upcoming retreats, visit

Mindful Living Coastal Retreat Jeanné Pitre has spent nearly 20 years as a health and wellness practitioner. After working as a registered nurse for many years, Pitre became interested in a more holistic approach to healthcare after experiencing personal challenges and professional burnout. “The way that I discovered the need for self-care is because I ran myself into a hole,” Pitre said. “So there I was—the dark night of the soul was approaching—and as a result, I had to change something. I didn’t know that I was going to change my whole life. I didn’t know that I was going to wind up moving, getting a divorce and really being face-to-face with the root cause of my pain at that time. I was a nurse running myself into the ground. I was so busy helping others that I refused to look at myself—until I had to. I wanted to assist people in recognizing that to love anybody else truly or to do anything for anybody else and feel that that real value that we’re looking for, we have to apply that same love to ourselves. Self-love and selfcare are not selfish. It actually has to be the foundation upon which we build to assist anyone else in their day-to-day life. From there, I created a lifestyle that works for me every day in building the best version of myself— body, mind and spirit. Now I get to share that with others.” Originally from Louisiana, Pitre moved to Pensacola in 2016 to open the Bridgeway Institute, which offered NAD IV therapy to treat addiction, chronic fatigue, PTSD and more. Pitre believes that Pensacola wasn’t quite ready for her holistic approach back then, so she closed up shop and headed to South Florida for a few years. Now, with her

doctor of naturopathy complete, Pitre has returned to Pensacola and opened Mindful Living Coastal Retreat in Cantonment. She works with a doctor of osteopathy and a traditional MD to provide treatments that span conventional western medicine and Eastern and holistic practices to provide a fully integrated approach to wellness. Pitre also carries certifications in reiki, pranic healing, life ignite, spiritual coaching and yoga alliance breath work. The Mindful Living campus sits on four and a half acres and features a 4,000-square-foot facility that can facilitate up to 10 people. Amenities include traditional and infrared saunas, a saltwater pool, a clinic, an education room, a koi pond and multiple outdoor spaces for classes and relaxation. Phase two will see the addition of organic gardens and a handful of modular or yurt-style private accommodations. While Pitre’s retreats are highly customizable, she offers themed retreats that focus on water fasting, juice cleansing or plantbased eating, moving the body and empowering education. “Let’s cleanse the body. Let’s get the toxins out. Let’s get the mind working as it needs to be,” she said. “If somebody wants to challenge themselves with the water fast, fantastic. But if that

also means somebody wants to do a juice cleanse or organic plant-based eating and move their body, we meet people where they are. My mission is to inspire, educate and empower. So those are three very critical aspects of assisting people in their health and wellbeing. They need to see it in action and they need education on how to apply it to their lives. Then you give them the permission they haven’t given themselves—to go ahead and implement this as part of a new lifestyle. It’s really quite beautiful.” Pitre also collaborates with other local wellness practitioners to host their retreats on the Mindful Living campus. She recently hosted Empathic Practice’s Cannabis-focused one-day retreat for medical marijuana patients.

week. The public is welcome to join the practice with a pay-asyou-wish love offering. Kundalini yoga is offered at 6:30 pm every Tuesday. Slow flow yoga is offered at 6:30 pm every Thursday. “Many of my guests are coming in from out of town, and my big mission is to raise the vibrational frequency of Pensacola to make Pensacola a health and wellness magnet for the world,” Pitre explained. “So, we do that by allowing the community to experience that they’re worthy and wonderful and that they can move their bodies and start eating right. I want to do more community involvement events because we need to raise the vibrational frequency as a whole.” For more information about Mindful Living Coastal Retreat, visit

Mindful Living also offers two community yoga events each PENSACOLA MAGAZINE | 29

Empathic Practice Empathic Practice is a Pensacola-based holistic wellness lifestyle clinic that merges a variety of modalities to help clients find tools and practices to create a better quality of life and improved wellbeing. photo by Geoff Peck Founded by life coach, holistic healer and COO, Felipe Munoz and anesthesiologist Dr. William Hass, Empathic Practice offers a variety of treatment and coaching methods from traditional medicine, alternative holistic health, functional Ayurveda, meditation, mindfulness and mental health to medical marijuana, life coaching, traditional therapy, massage, acupuncture and more. For Munoz, his journey to wellness began after experiencing burnout from nearly 20 years in the corporate marketing and advertising industry. He started looking for alternatives to the traditional pharmaceuticals that are often prescribed to treat symptoms associated with burnout. He began engaging in meditation and spiritual practices like energy healing, sound therapy and light therapy. In 2017, Munoz’s father-in-law, Dr. William Hass, approached him with the idea of partnering to open a medical marijuana practice that emphasized mindfulness, meditation and holistic wellness options. Thus, Empathic Practice was born. While many of the practitioners at Empathic Practice participate in local retreats coordinated by other entities, they have recently started offering a few wellness retreats of their own. In June of 2022, Empathic Practice held a medical marijuana retreat at 30 | JULY 2022

the Mindful Living Retreat Center in Cantonment. The Exploring Marijuana Mindfully one-day retreat offers medical marijuana patients the opportunity to learn about the various strains, terpenes and the various effects medical marijuana can have on both the body and mind. During the retreat, guests will engage in a series of hands-on workshops and classes such as creating balms and infusions, cooking with cannabis, medicated meditations, creative art therapy, yoga, sound baths, cold therapy and sauna therapy. Empathic Practice will host their next Exploring Marijuana Mindfully retreat on January 15, 2023. In addition to local retreats, Empathic Practice recently announced a unique retreat offering in Peru. The Huachuma Journey in Peru is a five-day retreat scheduled for November 7-12, 2022. This retreat is designed for those looking to explore the use of plant-based psychedelics and shamanic ceremonies to deepen their connection to themselves and the world around them. Huachuma, also known as the San Pedro Cactus, has been used as a powerful agent for healing and change in the shamanic ceremonies of many indigenous groups throughout the Americas. “Huachuma is known for this idea of helping people to blossom. It’s

they’ve learned,” Munoz explained. Munoz is pleased to see the wellness community in Pensacola growing.

almost like a feeling of expansion and awareness where you feel more connected with the earth and with the ideas that you want to give birth to.” Munoz said. “We want to help people by guiding them through that journey with a more empathetic hand. Before the retreat, we do coaching sessions to understand the individuals coming with us. The medicine journeys happen over two days. These are 12-hour days and they can be exhausting. We are there with them during the medicine journeys, and then we help process the experience through creative therapy, nature walks, meditation and coaching. After the retreat, when we come back, we continue coaching sessions to help them integrate the experiences. We don’t just say, “Here’s the drug or here’s the experience, and you make whatever you’d like of it. It’s about being with them through the whole journey. It’s about listening and engaging, and then helping them integrate what

“We’ve all realized that we cannot just go, go, go, all the time,” Munoz said. “Throughout the pandemic, when people were forced to stop, they started seeing that mental, physical and spiritual health are all important parts of our life. If we don’t pay attention to them, they will catch up to us. If you want to live in a better world, if you want to have a happier life and if you want to be in more alignment with your family, you need to invest in your wellbeing and yourself. This is why I believe that wellness is of the utmost importance. It is why I do what I do. It’s why I believe that the blossoming of the wellness industry here in Pensacola is so awesome. You’re seeing all these different places come up. You’re seeing young entrepreneurs taking over. You see our city’s interest in that and how that reflects on how well we want this world to be. We’re planting gardens. We’re teaching children to meditate, to think. We’re talking about our emotions and feelings and I think the relationships we create in that space become richer and improve our community.” To learn more about Empathic Practice and their local retreats, visit To learn more about Empathic Practice’s Huachuma Journey retreat in Peru, visit

Asher & Bee Asher & Bee Apothecary and Tea House is a Pensacola-based tea house and holistic center selling all things natural—from herbal remedies and elixirs to cleaning products and body care items. Located on North 9th Avenue, Asher & Bee serves up small pastries and freshly brewed tea made from their unique tea blends, which can also be purchased dry in the store. The store also carries house-made tinctures and balms, as well as candles, incense, resins and more. Marni Woodson is the owner and woman behind the unique business concept for Asher & Bee. Woodson grew up taking herbal remedies, but it wasn’t until her daughter became ill and was cured by these remedies that she was inspired to share these products with the community. After her daughter’s healing, Woodson was inspired to become a certified herbalist and, eventually, open up her own shop in October 2018. Before Woodson operated a storefront, she would set up her Asher & Bee booth at various pop-up shows and markets around town. Woodson’s daughter inspired her mother to launch her own business and also inspired the business’ name. Her daughter is Asher, whose nickname is Bee; these two names served as the inspiration for the business name—Asher & Bee. In addition to serving as a tea house and nature-based holistic center, Asher & Bee hosts activities and events including yoga, meditation and wellness retreats. Woodson manages and coordinates Asher & Bee retreats alongside a variety of local energy practitioners and other wellness professionals.

Asher & Bee has two remaining retreats for 2022, Shoden and Water Rising, which will both be held at Coldwater Gardens in Milton. Shoden is the name of Asher & Bee’s upcoming day-long retreat scheduled for August 27. At this retreat, guests will leave feeling energized, inspired and loved. Attendees will learn how to heal their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies, and how to implement this knowledge daily. Apart from healing, retreat happenings include a delicious meal in the garden and an “Art for the Heart” session with Kee the Artist. The retreat will begin at 9 am and run until 4 pm. This year’s annual October camping and wellness trip is Water Rising. This three-day wellness trip will kick off on October 14 at 4 pm and run through October 16 until 12 pm. Over the course of the trip, attendees will have a chance to explore all that nature has to offer through camping and communing in nature at the beautiful Coldwater Gardens. This retreat is all about healing, so campers can expect to engage in a variety of guided wellness activities throughout the course

of the weekend. The retreat is called “Water Rising” because, during the weekend of the retreat, the moon will begin in Gemini (Air) and transit into Cancer (Water). This shift will bring energy and healing through water. Though both of this year’s remaining retreats will be held at Coldwater Gardens, Asher & Bee’s wellness retreats take place at different locations throughout the year. “We move our retreats around to different locations on the gulf coast. I love nature and believe it’s a wonderful doorway to healing and self-reflection,” Woodson said.

Asher & Bee retreats are allinclusive and each includes a different set of guided wellness activities. Each retreat has a specific focus or theme and features a variety of mindfulness activities, team building activities and may include Ayurveda in addition to vegan meals. To learn more about Asher & Bee and details on their upcoming retreats, visit or @AsherandBee on Facebook.


Mahabhuta Yoga VegFest Returns for 2022 While not a retreat in the traditional sense, the annual Mahabhuta Yoga VegFest is is certainly an opportunity to indulge in some self-care and wellness activities.

The 2022 Mahabhuta Yoga VegFest will be held Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Margaritaville Hotel at 165 Fort Pickens Rd. on Pensacola Beach. The festival grounds will extend to next door, in front of the Landshark Landing Beach Bar & Grill. The three-day festival will feature a variety of fun activities, tasty treats and local vendors for the entire family to enjoy. Each year, Pensacola VegFest and Mahabhuta Yoga partner to host this family-friendly event to raise awareness of the importance of both physical and mental wellness through plant-based nutrition, yoga and meditation practices. The festival’s mission is to celebrate yoga, elevate consciousness, unite communities, create abundance and inspire greatness. An opening ceremony will also be held to kick off the weekend festivities on Thursday, Nov. 10, where guests are invited to help prepare for the weekend by blessing the yoga and meditation space. This ceremony will begin the fourday process of creating an earth mandala that will be visible at the hotel. The earth mandala is a work of art that will be gradually created with the intention of spreading healing, peace and purification at the festival.

32 | AUGUST 2022

The festival will officially kick off on Friday, with a group of sand sculptors who will create intricate and unique pieces of art out of the soft white sand. Guests are also invited to attend a special VIP dinner and private concert on Friday from 6 pm to 10 pm at The Grand Marlin. This special event is limited to 100 guests and is available to attend for an additional cost at time of your ticket purchase. On Saturday, guests will have the opportunity to attend a sand building workshop hosted by Dan Castles, a local business that provides sand sculpting lessons to people of all ages. Workshop participants will learn how to elevate their sand art skills from the boring bucket sand castle to an ornate and intricate piece of art. Family beach games will also be held on Saturday with a variety of fun games like corn hole, Pro Kadima, volleyball and spike ball. Yoga classes run throughout the weekend, beginning at sunrise on Saturday and ending at sunset on Sunday. Classes will be held in a beautifullyilluminated outdoor tent to allow participants to relax during their flow. Throughout the festival, attendees will also enjoy live music, shopping from local

vendors, Flow Arts performers, yoga and meditation classes as well as a variety of delicious vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian food. If you want to join in on the fun of The Mahabhuta Yoga VegFest, weekend passes are available, providing access to all yoga classes and concerts on the festival grounds. Festival attendees have many options to choose from for lodging; they can stay at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel, Fort Pickens Campground, or offsite at home or another hotel. Both camping and staying at the beach hotel are optimal for families looking to get out of the house for some family fun. Limited parking is available for those who choose to stay off site. Lodging

and parking are not included with the purchase of festival tickets and must be purchased separately. For details on discounted lodging and event parking, visit mahabhuta-yoga-vegfest2022-on-pensacola-beachtickets-339125281847. Volunteer opportunities are also available for those interested in getting involved. To apply to volunteer, email mahabhutayogavegfest@ For more information and updates on The Mahabhuta Yoga VegFest, follow @ mahabhutayogavegfest on Instagram and @ Mahabhuta on Facebook.



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EVENT CALENDAR Pensacola Blue Wahoos Schedule July Home Games at Blue Wahoos Stadium For more information and tickets, visit milb. com/pensacola August 9 at 6:35 pm - Birmingham Barons vs Blue Wahoos August 10 at 6:35 pm - Birmingham Barons vs Blue Wahoos August 11 at 6:35 pm - Birmingham Barons vs Blue Wahoos August 12 at 6:35 pm - Birmingham Barons vs Blue Wahoos August 13 at 6:05 pm - Birmingham Barons vs Blue Wahoos August 14 at 4:05 pm - Birmingham Barons vs Blue Wahoos August 23 at 6:35 pm - Montgomery Biscuits vs Blue Wahoos August 24 at 6:35 pm - Montgomery Biscuits vs Blue Wahoos August 25 at 6:35 pm - Montgomery Biscuits vs Blue Wahoos August 26 at 6:35 pm - Montgomery Biscuits vs Blue Wahoos August 27 at 6:05 pm - Montgomery Biscuits vs Blue Wahoos August 28 at 4:05 pm - Montgomery Biscuits vs Blue Wahoos

Blue Angels Practice Dates August 2, 23, 24, 30, 31 DoD identification card holders and their guests who are able to access Naval Air Station Pensacola and visit the National Naval Aviation Museum can view the Blue Angels practice flight demonstrations from the flight deck. The gates will open at 9:30 am. The practice flight demonstrations can also be viewed outside of NAS Pensacola including Fort Pickens, boat cruises, and various points throughout downtown. The Blue Angels will take off around 10:30 am.

Cinderella at the Pensacola Little Theatre

Monster Jam at The Pensacola Bay Center

July 29 - August 14

August 13-14

Unhappy with her home life and job as a maid, Cinderella dreams of a different life. When it is announced that the Prince is giving a ball, Cinderella wishes to attend, but it seems impossible. With help from her animal friends and her magical Fairy Godmother, Cinderella’s dream of a lovely night comes to life. The classic production of Cinderella is playing at the Pensacola Little Theatre starting on July 29th and running until August 14th. Tickets are available at

Monster Jam is back at the Bay Center! This ultimate motorsports experience features fun, high-flying action. Three shows are scheduled– Saturday at 1 pm and 7 pm, and Sunday at 1 pm. If you want to further the Monster Jam experience, consider participating in a pre-show Pit Party or a VIP aftershow experience. Pit Parties are offered from 10:30 am - 12 pm, before the 1 pm shows on Saturday and Sunday. Pit Party attendees will be able to see the massive monster trucks up close, participate in driver Q&As, watch pre-race interviews and more. VIP after-show experiences are available after all three shows. VIP tickets give attendees access to the Winner’s Circle Meet & Greet. For ticket information and more, visit

Lee Brice “Label Me Proud” Tour August 11 Country music star Lee Brice is bringing his “Label Me Proud” tour to the Pensacola Bay Center! Joined by special guests Michael Ray and Jackson Dean, this show is one a country fan won’t want to miss. Doors open at 6 pm and the show begins at 7 pm. VIP tickets are available. For ticket information and more, visit

Saturday Night Fever at the Saenger August 13 Saenger Summer Movie Series presents Saturday Night Fever! Sing, dance, and experience the disco days with this throwback film. Enjoy watching this classic film in the beautiful historic Saenger Theatre. An hour before the show, Alex Gartner, Executive Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, will perform music from the film on the Great Saenger Pipe Organ. The show begins at 7 pm. For ticket information and more, visit

Ever’Market at Nine Mile Road

JJ Grey & Mofro at Pensacola Saenger Theatre

August 18 Join JJ Grey & Mofro for a night of soulful Southern rock at the historic Saenger Theatre. JJ Grey and his band Mofro bring groovy compositions with a blue-collared spirit. Doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm. For ticket information and more, visit

Champagne Drip at Vinyl Music Hall August 25 Champagne Drip is a musical endeavor by DJ and producer Sam Pool. Champagne Drip will be bringing an immersive night of drum and bass music to the Vinyl Music Hall. Doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm. For ticket information and more, visit

August 13 As a co-op, Ever’man is committed to ensuring that our community has support for responsible local agriculture and small businesses. This monthly market allows customers to purchase goods from different vendors, including small and responsible local agricultural businesses. The market will occur outside the Nine Mile Road location from 10 am - 4 pm. PENSACOLA MAGAZINE | 35

EVENT CALENDAR The Feast at Pensacola Little Theatre August 26-28, September 1-3 The Feast is a comedy written by Cory Finley and directed by Brandon Mayo. The play details Matt and Anna’s relationship. The couple is doing fine until the sewers under their apartment open up and begin to speak. Don’t miss this eerie comedy about what is real, what is not and who knows. For mature audiences only. For showtimes, ticket information and more, visit

Jailhouse Rock at the Saenger August 27 Saenger Summer Movie Series Presents Jailhouse Rock! Elvis Presley is Vince Everett in Jailhouse Rock, a story about a criminal turned superstar. While in jail, Everett meets friends who tell him about the music business. After his release, he becomes a singer and learns the perils of the industry. Will Everett be able to navigate fame, money and friendship? An hour before the show, Alex Gartner, Executive Director

of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, will perform music from the film on the Great Saenger Pipe Organ. The show begins at 7 pm. For ticket information and more, visit

Mersiv at Vinyl Music Hall September 1 The Mersiv Experience Tour: In The Flo State will be stopping by the Vinyl Music Hall with special guests Smoakland and SuperAve. Mersiv is the brainchild of producer and DJ Anderson Benoit Gallegos. Mersiv’s creates dark bass music that any EDM fan will appreciate. Doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm. For tickets and more information, visit

The Princess Bride at the Saenger September 3 Saenger Summer Movies Series presents The Princess Bride! Join Princess Buttercup for a night filled with love and adventure. Catch this classic film in the beautiful historic Saenger Theatre. An hour before

the show, Alex Gartner, Executive Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, will perform music from the film on the Great Saenger Pipe Organ. The show begins at 7 pm. For ticket information and more, visit

Gulf Coast Summer Fest - Jazz Edition September 3 - 4 Enjoy hours of nonstop jazz music at the Annual Gulf Coast Summer Fest Jazz Edition. Held at Community Maritime Park, the festival will overlook beautiful Pensacola Bay. Bring your coolers and lawn chairs to relax by the water and enjoy music from acts such as Jonathan Butler, Julian Vaughn, Incognito and more. Gates open at 12:30 pm and the show starts at 1:30 pm on both days. This event is for ages 18 or older. For more information, visit Tickets are available at

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Showstopping kite displays, kid’s activities, food trucks, and more! Bring a kite or purchase at the event. Proceeds benefit Council on Aging of West Florida.


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Special Section • August 2022


New Amazon Distribution Center Coming to Santa Rosa County Industrial Park Site plans have been submitted to the county for a new Amazon distribution center to be located in the Santa Rosa County Industrial Park in East Milton off of US 90.


Around the Region Find out what is happening in business, government and cultural news throughout greater Pensacola and Northwest Florida.


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The Amazon Effect Amazon Distribution Facility Coming to Santa Rosa County Industrial Park by Morgan Cole

Santa Rosa County will soon welcome a new tenant to its industrial parks that is anticipated to bring hundreds of new jobs to the local economy. Site plans have been submitted to Santa Rosa County for a new Amazon distribution center in Santa Rosa County Industrial Park located in East Milton just off US 90.


s one of the world’s largest retailers, the new Amazon facility serves as a big score for the county’s economic development team. “We are excited to have Amazon choose one of the Santa Rosa County industrial parks to call home. Companies continue to choose Santa Rosa County because of the strong population growth in the area, our business-friendly tax climate and strong labor force,” District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech said.

The project would integrate two existing facilities located within the Santa Rosa Industrial Park, which was operated by Navy Federal Credit Union for a call center. Piech stated that Amazon would be renovating the 81,000 square-foot space that formerly housed the call center. Shawn Ward, the county’s Planning and Zoning Director, said the county authorized site plans for the proposed distribution warehouse back in early June, and that the building plans are currently under review. “With certified sites, modern infrastructure and a trained, educated and experienced workforce, Santa Rosa County offers industries a unique opportunity to maximize their return on investment PENSACOLA MAGAZINE | 43

in a community dedicated to providing the best to residents and businesses,” Piech said. Many of the projects in the county’s industrial parks receive nicknames before specifics are disclosed. Santa Rosa Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree said he was previously not in a position to disclose the company behind the project, but said this proposal is Project “Jungle Cruise.” another two dozen projects either under construction or currently being planned. The nearest Florida facilities include a delivery facility in Marianna that launched in 2021, and other delivery and order fulfillment centers planned to open later this year in Tallahassee.

The county announced the project when plans were initially submitted in 2021; however there were no specific details released to the public regarding the name or type of Fortune 500 corporation behind the project. Amazon’s rapid expansion across Florida has made the company one of the largest employers in the state. The company currently employs more than 59,000 people in Florida, with plans to hire thousands more for positions at multiple new distribution centers opening soon. Amazon’s 30.2 million square feet of distribution and warehouse space in the Sunshine State equals more than 161 Walmart Supercenters.

The new facilities are estimated to have added 16.1 million square feet of distribution and warehouse space compared to the 14.1 million square feet the online retailer occupied in this state before 2020. The facilities include “first-mile” fulfillment centers, “middle-mile” sorting centers and smaller “lastmile” delivery stations.

Amazon had 29 logistics facilities, including locations only used for part of the year, in Florida prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Since then, the company has opened 56 more, according to a statewide survey conducted by USA TODAY Network-Florida.

While the fulfillment centers process and ship orders directly to consumers, the distribution centers — such as the one planned for Santa Rosa County — serve as a way station within the wholesale portion of the supply chain where manufacturers deliver products to be distributed to retailers.

44 | AUGUST 2022

A view of the proposed location for the new Amazon distribution facility coming to East Milton.

Each of the facilities operated within the Amazon network are directly positioned to support customer fulfillment and delivery operations. The company’s vast network and strategic fulfillment program allows it to deliver goods to customers in the shortest possible time, making it one of the leading e-commerce giants in the world. The company currently operates a total of 85 facilities throughout Florida, with

Amazon’s pay currently averages around $18 per hour or more across the board, including in Florida. It also provides flexible work schedules and a complete benefits package with the opportunity to purchase stock within the company. “We know Amazon will have a talented pool of workers to choose from and will make a lasting investment in our great county with good paying jobs. We, as a county, are always moving forward with our mission statement in mind – serving our community, committed to excellence,” Piech said.





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These policies have exclusions and limitations. For cost and complete details of coverage, contact your local insurance agent or Florida Blue. The amount of benefits and premium will vary depending upon the plan selected. Florida Blue is a trade name of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc., an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Torgersen Causey Combined Insurance Services, Inc. is an Independent Broker of Florida Blue.

Around the Region the Department of Applied Physiology, Health and Clinical Sciences. He is a fellow of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine and a research fellow of the Society of Health and Physical Educators.

University of West Florida Usha Kundu, MD College of Health Announces New Dean The University of West Florida Usha Kundu, MD College of Health is welcoming David M. Bellar as the new dean of the college. “Dr. Bellar is a highly accomplished scholar with many years of experience in health and health-related fields and we are pleased to have him join UWF,” UWF Provost and Senior Vice President George Ellenberg said. “He is well-positioned to lead the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health and develop the next generation of health professionals.” Bellar has dedicated his career to being an educator and leader in health-focused higher education. He has built expertise in exercise science, human performance

and sports nutrition research and has been awarded three U.S. patents in these fields. Bellar plans to expand the college’s accomplishments in community engagement by assessing the needs of community partners and determining how the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health responds to those needs. “I’m excited for the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health to grow its voice, create more community impact and expand the number of community connections,” Bellar said. He also aims to address the shortage of healthcare professionals by generating more graduates to help meet demands in the community, state and nation.

“We need to be part of the solution by producing enough quality graduates to ensure the citizens of Northwest Florida have access to the healthcare they need,” Bellar said. Additionally, Bellar wants to expand the College’s role in diminishing the impacts of COVID-19. “In a post-pandemic world, every academic unit in the College of Health—from medical laboratory sciences, to psychology, to health system administration, to nursing, to public health—all have an important part to play in positively impacting public health,” he said.

He has held leadership positions within the American Kinesiology Association, USA Track and Field, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He currently serves as the inaugural co-editor of the Journal of Health and Physical Literacy. He is also an associate editor for Sport and Exercise Nutrition for Frontiers in Nutrition and Frontier in Sport and Active Living. Bellar holds a doctorate degree in exercise physiology, a master of education degree and a bachelor’s degree in biology/life science chemistry. Bellar’s full-time appointment began on July 1. For more information about the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health at UWF, visit

Bellar came to UWF from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was a professor and chair in PENSACOLA MAGAZINE | 47

Around the Region 2022 Better Business Bureau Torch Award Recipients Your BBB Foundation serving Northwest Florida is proud to announce the recipients of the 17th annual Torch Award for Ethics program from its District I area: Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. 1-5 employees category recipientSouthern Frills Weddings & Events, Pensacola 6-19 employees category recipient – 1st Choice Home Improvements, Pensacola

Pete Moore Automotive Team Senior Chill Out Breaks Previous Record for AC, Fan and Monetary donations Council on Aging of West Florida’s annual Pete Moore Automotive Team Senior Chill Out had its most successful event ever on June 24, collecting a total 472 fans, 467 air conditioner units, and $96,146 to help vulnerable seniors stay cool this summer. The daylong donation drive in support of area elders was hosted by five area Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in partnership with WEAR ABC 3, WFGX 35, Cat Country 98.7 and NewsRadio 92.3. Friday temperatures in the mid-90s and an afternoon thunderstorm did not deter individuals, groups, and businesses from showing up and donating throughout the day to assist local seniors who are at greater risk of health complications due to the dangerous summer heat.

48 | AUGUST 2022

Council on Aging is grateful for generous donations from title sponsor Pete Moore Automotive Team, as well as from Ascend Cares Foundation, Avalon HR, Baptist Health Care, Boutwell’s Air Masters, Stacy Brown, Climate Control of Pensacola, Deep Water City Elks Lodge 751, Engineered Cooling Services, Five Flags Rotary, Florida Power and Light, Gilmore, Haggai Temple 182, County Commissioner Lumon May, Merritt Glass Company, Northwest Florida AC, Oops Alley, Sheriff Chip Simmons, Sue Straughn, Bill Trushel, Joseph William, Zeta Phi Beta as well as the many other gracious donors and sponsors. “We were concerned that the impact of rising inflation on so many families would slow down donations this year, but we saw so much generosity

toward our local seniors who are living without air conditioning,” Josh Newby, President/CEO of Council on Aging said. “We’ve been incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support from our community.” In 2021, Council on Aging helped more than 800 atrisk older adults avoid the hazardous effects of heatrelated health complications with donations of 357 AC units, 240 fans and a total of $57,587. Individuals ages 60 and older who are interested in receiving a fan and/or AC should call Council on Aging at (850) 432-1475 beginning Monday, June 27.

Charity category recipient – Feeding The Gulf Coast, Milton “These recipients exemplify what your BBB stands for: trust, integrity, performance and ethics,” Christine Jones, president and CEO of your BBB serving Northwest Florida said. The Torch Award for Ethics program was created to publicly recognize businesses and charities that insist on exceptionally high standards of behavior.

Eglin Federal Credit Union Breaks Ground on its New Pace Branch Eglin Federal Credit Union held a groundbreaking ceremony today at its new Pace Branch location. This will be the second Eglin FCU branch located in Santa Rosa County. The Navarre Branch opened nearly 15 years ago. As part of the Credit Union’s growth and expansion efforts, property was recently purchased at 4413 US-90 in Pace. La Macchia Group is the design/build firm for the new Pace branch, the Operations Center and the recently announced Freeport branch, all expected to be completed in 2023. “On behalf of the Eglin Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, I’d like to be one of the first to congratulate EFCU on this new location. As a local, I am excited we will be offering the benefits of membership to the Pace community and beyond,” EFCU Chairman William “Bill” Rone said. “I am also a proud 50-year EFCU member who can tell the story of how there are more than 122,000 members worldwide, assets are approaching $3 billion, there’s no debt, and EFCU receives top grades on external audit and examination reports. Eglin Federal Credit Union was recently awarded Credit Union of the Year for the State of Florida in the $500 Million and above asset size by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. I believe TEAM EFCU epitomizes our motto, Where Members Matter Most.” The National Credit Union Administration recently

approved expanding EFCU’s field of membership to include anyone who lives, works (or regularly conducts business in), worships or attends school, and businesses and other legal entities in specific geographic locations within Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties, Florida and Escambia County, Alabama. Eglin Federal Credit Union President/CEO Jerry Williams said, “We chose this location in Pace to provide convenient access to affordable products and services as well as financial wellness resources to our current members. There are approximately 1,500 members along the Highway 90 corridor in Santa Rosa County, and we are excited to extend the benefits of membership to our new neighbors as well as add value to this community.” The Pace branch will be approximately 4,000 square feet and will showcase a new open branch design that features universal employees and a member engagement area with interactive touch screen monitors. This will be a full-service branch with safe deposit boxes, coin counter, night drop, touch screen video tellers and drive up ATMs. Follow EFCU on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn or visit eglinfcu. org for news and financial education updates.


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OUR VISION IS THAT NO CHILD WILL GRIEVE ALONE. The mission of Valerie’s House is to help children and families work through the loss of a loved one together and go on to live fulfilling lives.

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These hands once trembled with fear and uncertainty. Now, they’re holding on to brighter days.

We are a non-profit, faith-centered ministry offering food, addiction recovery services, housing, spiritual guidance and more to Escambia County’s most vulnerable and under-resourced residents.

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ON THE MARKET a Real Estate Section

In This Section 52. By The Numbers: A Look at June’s Market Highlights

54. Absorption Rate: A Key Real Estate Market Indicator that You Should Know

56. Unexpected 58. 4 Steps to Prep Spaces: Surprising your Room for Home Upgrade Clean Paint Lines Ideas

60. Homeownership 101: The Ultimate Guide to Lawn Care

62. Deck Out Your Yard: Tips for Building a GroundLevel Deck


BY THE NUMBERS A Look at June’s Market Highlights

Market Highlights While 2Q sales slipped slightly compared to the same period last year, total YTD sales increased 8 percent over YTD sales in 2021.



For Sale

The median sale price hit a new high of $340,000.


Single family inventory has increased 30 percent since the beginning of the year. June’s pending sales were the lowest reported for the year.


Conversely, average days on market for residential and condos combined fell to 17, a new low for the year.


NEW RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS Data courtesy of the Pensacola Association of REALTORS ® 52 | AUGUST 2022

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ABSORPTION RATE A Key Real Estate Market Indicator that You Should Know

Absorption rate is not a term that we hear every day and yet it can be a powerful market indicator if you know what it is, how to calculate it and how to use it for positioning your property in a given market. The definition of absorption rate is the amount of time, usually expressed in months, that it will take the current buying demand to absorb all of the currently available properties on the market. Sometimes called “months of inventory.” While absorption rate is most commonly used to express the current state of an overall market, as in, “We have 4 months of inventory in our area currently,” the real power of this number is in evaluating supply and demand levels in market subsets such as neighborhoods, property types, price ranges, zipcodes, new construction v. resale, and so on. For example, if you are selling a home that has a market value bordering between $399,000 and $400,000, evaluating the absorption rate in those two price ranges will tell you which arena is a more advantageous setting for you. You may find that the months of inventory in the $399k & below price range in your area is much higher (fewer buyers & more available properties) than in the $400k & above, meaning you may be better off to price the home at $405,000, thereby putting yourself in the range that has more demand and fewer available properties, a stronger position for you as the seller.

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For reference, we in the industry consider 6 months of inventory a pretty neutrally buoyant market – pretty evenly weighted between buyer and seller. A market with less than 6 months of inventory, meaning more demand than supply, puts us where we are today - in a sellers’ market. Anything more than 6 months - more available homes than demand to absorb them - puts buyers more in control of price & terms. So, as a seller, you always want to seek out the best “market within the market” to position your property in and, as a buyer, consider where you might have the most ability to flex your muscles a bit – where there might be more homes and less demand – be that a pricepoint, an area or a property type. To figure absorption rate, we look at 2 numbers: the # of target sales in the last 6 months x 2 and the # of currently available target properties. We look at 6 months and multiply by two to get an annual figure because too much can change over a true 12 month period. (Sometimes, in a very dynamic market, we might instead look at 3 months and multiply by 4.) Point is, you want a big enough time period that it won’t be skewed by one-off nuances but recent enough to still be valid for today’s market.

Here’s an overall market example: We have 2,671 active residential properties as of the writing of this article. This includes properties under contract that have not closed. In the past 6 months we have closed 6,341 residential properties. 6,341 x 2 = 12,682 We project a burn rate of 12,682 residential properties a year under the current buying demand. That number, expressed as a monthly rate of sale, would be 12,682/12 or 1,056.8 or 1,057 sales per month. If we have 2,671 active residential properties and we are burning through 1,057 per month, our absorption rate is 2,671/1,057 or 2.5 months. Expressed as a statement: Our current buying demand is of a level that, if no new properties come on the market, all currently available inventory would be completely absorbed in 2.5 months. Absorption rate formula: currently active monthly rate of sale (monthly rate of sale = sold last 6 months x 2, divided by 12) But what about Pensacola Beach condos? What is the absorption rate in that specific market? There are currently 39 condos listed for sale on Pensacola Beach and 118 have sold in the past 6 months. 118 x 2 = 236 projected annual burn rate. Divide 236 by 12 and we get 19.6 condos a month as our monthly rate of sale. If we have 39 active and we are burning through 19.6 per month, our absorption rate is 39/19.6 or 1.99 months. So what does that tell us? At this moment in time, the Pensacola Beach condominium market, at less than 2 months of inventory, is even more competitive than the residential Pensacola market as a whole, at 2.5 months of inventory.

If you are waffling between buying a condo or buying a house, you may have more buying power right now with a detached residence. If you have a condo and a house to sell, the condo may be the stronger sell right now. You could dig a little deeper into those subsets and their data to find out for sure. Addictive, huh? Ok - maybe just for us real estate nerds. Regardless, absorption rate is a key indicator that can tell us a lot about the temperature of market and its subsets and, when tracked consistently over time, can be a valuable source of insight and prediction on future market behavior and direction. Remember, there is a difference between selling and selling well. Seemingly small things, like understanding how to calculate, interpret and use positioning strategies that take advantage of absorption rates and other key market indicators, can make big bottom line differences for our clients. If your go-to agent doesn’t know what absorption rates are, how to calculate them and how to use them to your advantage… well, you just might want to reconsider what you expect from your go-to agent. Expect Better.

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UNEXPECTED SPACES Surprising Home Upgrade Ideas Not all great things come in big packages, and home upgrades are an example of the truth in this wisdom. Unexpected, smaller spaces may not get the same attention as high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms and living areas, but their impact can be just as powerful. Get inspired to make improvements to the lesserused areas of your home with these tips from the home decorating experts at Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.: ENTRYWAY It’s the impression that welcomes guests into your home, so even if the space is small, your entryway warrants some TLC. Focus on making it open and inviting by removing any unnecessary furnishings. Some functional storage, like a bench with integrated coat hooks, can serve a practical purpose, and if you have the space, some built-in cabinetry with an eye-catching countertop can incorporate stylish storage. LAUNDRY ROOM Getting motivated to do chores like laundry is easy when you have a beautiful setting for getting to work. Introducing pops of color in nontraditional places, like the cabinetry, adds a high-end elegance. Water-inspired and earthy hues like Midtown Matte Tidewater or Arcadia Chiffon Cypress are perfect for the laundry space. Both are options in Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.’s Aspire Series, which features concealed hinges with self-close functionality and matching interiors for a high-class look, even when the doors are open for business. CLOSET A cluttered closet may not be the first thing a guest notices, but it’s

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a space you visit daily. Improving the organizational features can streamline your morning routine and put you in a more positive frame of mind to start each day. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to closet design, but using cabinetry in place of open shelving and rods lends a more luxurious feel. Plan for adequate hanging and closed storage, and if space allows, be sure to plan for shoes and accessories since these items can easily contribute to a closet’s disarray. MINI BAR If you fear you don’t have room for a mini bar, you may be surprised. Reimagining a larder cabinet, like the ones Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. offers in 30-, 33-, 36- and 42-inch widths, can create an instant bar out of just about any wall space where you can fit a cabinet. Install it as a coffee bar or traditional bar, or add the optional Appliance Pullout shelf for more versatility. PANTRY Guests may not find themselves in your pantry very often, but you likely use this space every day. Transform your pantry for heightened utility in simple ways like using clear plastic bins for small boxed foods or stylish wicker baskets to hide away snacks. For a more permanent solution, take advantage of unused space on the back of the pantry door with thin shelves for items like seasoning packets and smaller canned goods. GUEST BATHROOM Swapping out a tired vanity and countertop is a relatively affordable upgrade that can completely change the style of a secondary bathroom. Be sure to also update the fixtures for a more contemporary look and, if budget allows, replace the flooring. Finish the project with a fresh coat of

paint in a light, airy shade and add new textiles and a few decorative touches to complete the job. Find more ideas for updating unexpected spaces in your home at HIDEAWAY STORAGE SPACES One feature that enhances virtually any space is more storage. Having convenient places to tuck away all your stuff makes rooms feel more open and inviting. Hidden storage solutions are often better because you can enjoy the functionality they add to the space without interrupting your design aesthetic. Here are some clever ideas for keeping necessary items tucked out of sight but within easy reach: Built-in Step Stool: If you love the look of tall cabinets but struggle to reach the top shelves, a practical addition is a hidden step ladder in a pullout caddy. Specially designed ladders that fold down extra narrow and feature nonslip rubber treads make this a handy addition you’ll reach for again and again.

Paper Towel Pullout: Keep paper towels hidden but close by hiding them in a pullout cabinet such as Wellborn Cabinet Inc.’s 12-inchwide model, which features a built-in paper towel holder and bottom shelf ideal for organizing cleaning products. There’s also a space behind the paper towels that’s perfect for storing sponges and other kitchen supplies. Drawer Dividers: While you can find many after-market options to organize the insides of your drawers and cabinets, choosing organizers designed to work seamlessly with your cabinetry creates a more polished look (and saves the headaches of measuring and guesstimating the fit). Tray dividers are useful for sorting cookie sheets and baking pans, while you can find dividers in a variety of heights to match drawers below the oven or where you store your cutlery. Another option that serves a similar purpose is pegs, which keep fragile items from shifting when drawers are opened or closed.

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4 STEPS TO PREP YOUR ROOM FOR CLEAN PAINT LINES A home painting project can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a beginner. However, if you do the right prep work, the painting process doesn’t have to be so intimidating. By following these steps, you’ll set yourself up for clean paint lines and amazing results, no matter your skill level. 1. PURCHASE PROPER SUPPLIES. Before the prep work can even begin, it’s vital to purchase the proper supplies. Create your list by considering the steps you’ll take to complete your project: cleaning the wall surface, taping off edges and then of course, applying paint. As you shop, remember that affordability doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality tools. Use new sandpaper and sponges so the surface is smooth and clean to start. Fresh brushes and rollers will lead to professionallooking results, and a high-quality, costeffective painter’s tape, like Duck Brand Clean Release, will help with achieving clean paint lines. Despite what many DIYers believe, using a primer is a necessary step, and shouldn’t be considered optional. Primer acts as 58 | AUGUST 2022

a barrier and prevents old paint from showing through, so it really can make all the difference. In most cases, you’ll only need one coat of new paint if the surface is properly primed. Once you’ve chosen your primer, don’t forget the paint! Select the color and finish you prefer; then, purchase a sample and paint a small area to ensure it meets your expectations. 2. DECLUTTER THE SPACE. Once you’ve grabbed your supplies and decided on the paint color and finish, remove as much out of the room as possible to avoid any damage during painting. Small, easyto-move furniture should be temporarily relocated to another space. Heavy, hard-tomove furniture can at least be pushed away from the wall and protected with covers. Switch plate covers, window treatments and light fixtures can be removed and stored until your paint has dried. 3. MAKE THE SURFACE SMOOTH AND CLEAN. For the perfect smooth finish, start by lightly sanding your walls to eliminate any existing imperfections. This will likely cause dust and debris to fall throughout the room, so vacuum and wipe down walls after you’re finished sanding, as the paint will apply more evenly if the surface is clean. The walls can be wiped with a sponge and a mixture of dish soap and warm water.

4. TAPE AND PROTECT. The final step to prepare your room for paint is to tape the walls and protect the floors and any other areas you want to keep paint-free. When applying Duck Brand Clean Release or other painter’s tapes, keep the pieces one to two feet in length for the easiest application and securest seal. For an extra-tight hold, use a tool such as a putty knife to smooth down the edges and help prevent paint bleed. As for the floor, cover the surface with an old sheet or protective film to catch any paint drips or spills, taping down the edges if needed to make sure no paint leaks through the edges. Once you’ve followed these steps, you’re set up for success and prepared to begin painting! Time to pick up your brush and start that room transformation.



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4. MOWING While it’s nice to have a routine of mowing your lawn once a week, you need to watch how your lawn grows to determine how often it needs a trim. During hot, dry periods, your lawn may only need mowing once every two or three weeks. During cool, damp periods, your grass may grow quicker and need mowing twice a week. Remember, lawns grow at different rates depending on the season, weather, region and species. No two lawns are the same. Learn how yours grows so you don’t under- or over-mow it. 5. INSECT CONTROL


The ultimate guide to lawn care


mid a pandemic and a potential recession, Americans went on a near-record homebuying spree over the last couple of years. Many were first-time homebuyers and, according to Realtor. com, more buyers searched for homes out of state in 2021 than the previous year. If you’re a first-time homebuyer or buying a home in a new city, you know what an exciting and overwhelming experience it can be. Knowing which home maintenance projects are the most important can make things a lot easier. “When making a house a home, many homeowners often focus on the interior. However, the exterior of the home is equally important,” says Brian Feldman, senior director of technical operations at TruGreen. “A green lawn is often the first place you will see as you make your way to the front door, and to keep your outdoor living space looking its best, you’ll need to know key seasonal maintenance practices to achieve a lush, healthy lawn.” Whether you’re a first-time homeowner who may not have had a yard before or are moving to a new home in a different climate, it can be tough to know how to care for your lawn. TruGreen, the nation’s leading lawn care provider, highlights six maintenance tasks homeowners can follow to help learn the basics of lawn care and start creating a healthy outdoor living space.

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1. AERATION AND OVERSEEDING To ensure a healthy, thicker lawn, you’ll need to aerate your lawn. And if you have a cool season grass, we recommend you overseed at the same time. While this is an often-overlooked step in lawn care, it can help prevent weeds during the warmer months. In many areas of the country, homeowners should aerate and overseed in late summer heading into the fall (August through October) to reap the rewards the following spring. 2. CONTROLLING WEEDS Weeds can be a huge nuisance for homeowners, and fighting them off early is critical. Before you begin your war on weeds, find out what type of weeds are on your lawn and learn the best ways to control them. If removing weeds leads to more complicated projects, consider hiring a professional to help. 3. FERTILIZATION Many homeowners dream of a green lawn, but your lawn needs nutrients to look its best. The best way to give your lawn the nutrients it needs for healthy growth is through fertilization. But with several complicated names and a range of fertilizing options, it can feel like a lot to take on. To ensure your outdoor living space gets the proper care, consult an expert to determine what best suits your lawn and soil conditions.

Many common lawn-damaging insects can rapidly overtake your grass and other plants, so it’s best to be vigilant when examining your outdoor living space. They can cause significant damage, making your outdoor living space much harder to manage. New homeowners should educate themselves about their area’s various insects so they can better care for and invest in their lawns. This knowledge can save you significant time and money in the long run. 6. WATERING As a rule of thumb, it’s time to give your lawn a drink when it starts to take on a dull hue. Most lawns need an inch of water per week. To achieve optimal results, you’ll want to perform long, infrequent watering one or two times per week. Remember to always be respectful of water restrictions if they are present in your community. Whether your new house will be your home for the next few years or your forever home, living happily ever after is far more possible when you consider hiring a professional to help. If you have questions about lawn care or could use an extra set of hands to achieve the results you’re looking for, consult a lawn care professional. To learn more about lawn care maintenance and speak with an expert, visit

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Tips for Building a Ground-Level Deck Whether you want to create a picturesque setting for al fresco dining, establish the perfect outdoor entertainment destination, or simply want a place to enjoy relaxing weekends, building a ground-level deck is an ideal way to maximize any outdoor space. Also called a “floating” or “platform” deck, a ground-level deck is a relatively easy and affordable DIY project. Due to its low profile, this type of structure doesn’t typically require safety railings or stairs, so the costs are comparatively lower than building an elevated deck in terms of both materials and labor. If you’ve got the skills, time and ambition, the experts at offer these helpful tips for how to build a ground-level deck that will transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis: PLANNING AND PLACEMENT A successful deck build starts with proper planning. While a ground-level deck typically does not require a permit, it is a good idea to check with your local builder’s office to confirm the building codes in your area before you get started. Next, consider how you plan to use your deck to determine the best location for it. Will you be hosting friends and family? If so, you may want to position your deck near the house. Are you envisioning a quiet outdoor oasis? Then, a secluded area of your yard might be best. FOUNDATION AND VENTILATION Once you know where you plan to build, assess the terrain to ensure proper water run-off and ventilation. Sustained dampness

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on a deck can lead to mold, rot and decay. If you live in a location where the ground does not freeze, you could have the option to build the foundation with concrete deck blocks. Most areas where the ground freezes, you may need to use traditional concrete footings to build your deck foundation. It’s also recommended to install gravel under the structure to provide better drainage. Next, put stakes in the ground and string the perimeter to ensure the deck outline is level and square. INSTALLING THE BEAMS At this stage, you should be able to see your deck starting to take shape. Lay the deck beams on top of the footings, making sure they are high enough off the ground to allow for ventilation. Measure diagonally and tap the beams to line them up. Consider

using temporary supports to hold your beams in place. Add additional gravel to level out the ground, if needed. ATTACHING ANCHORS AND JOISTS Once the framing beams are level, attach angle brackets at the corners of the deck for additional support where the joists and beams meet. Use joist hangers to fasten the inner joists to the beam faces at regular intervals, using the spacing recommended by the decking manufacturer, as well as local building code regulations. This provides stability and gives you a good idea of how the decking will lay. LAYING THE DECKING Align the first length of decking with the outside edge. Once you’ve ensured that it’s even, install the remaining deck boards perpendicular to the

joist. Make sure the boards are well-secured and gapped according to the decking manufacturer’s guidelines for proper ventilation. This is also important for preserving the warranty that may come with your decking material. FINISHING AND ENJOYING Once your decking is installed, use a circular saw to trim any overhang for clean, finished edges. After you’ve admired your hard work, make the space your own by adding plants, furniture and decorations to bring your outdoor oasis to life. For more deck building ideas and information, or to find a professional deck builder near you, visit

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IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS: 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO INSTANTLY BOOST YOUR HOME’S CURB APPEAL With the summer months finally here, now is the perfect time to spruce up your home – both indoors and out. It’s a wellknown fact that homes with strong curb appeal not only tend to sell faster, but also have higher perceived home values – as much as 7 to 14 percent more. While there are many large-scale renovations that can add curb appeal to your home, there are just as many simple refreshes you can make without spending a lot of time or money. Here are five easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal – and its value – in as little as a few hours: 1. CLEAN OR REPAINT YOUR FRONT DOOR Since your front door is exposed to the elements, simply washing away some of the built-up dirt and grime can breathe new life into this focal point of your

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home. For an affordable, more eye-catching upgrade, consider painting your front door a bold, vibrant hue that coordinates with the rest of your home’s color palette to help draw buyers in. You can also add visual interest with a simple seasonal wreath. 2. ENSURE YOUR DOORS, WINDOWS AND SIDING ARE SEALED With warmer months there often comes rainy and wet weather, so now is the perfect time to ensure your doors, windows, siding and other exterior surfaces won’t fall prey to water leakage during the next summer storm. Perfect for exterior touch-ups of any size, DAP’s AMP All Weather Window, Siding and Door Sealant delivers a 100% weatherproof and waterproof seal for windows, doors, siding, trim, gutter, flashing and concrete. It outperforms silicone

in key performance attributes such as wet surface application, paintability and crystal-clear clarity, while also offering exceptional weatherability, durability and mold and mildew resistance, providing maximum performance for every project. It also has a 30-minute paint and rain/water ready time - making even the smallest touch-ups a breeze while giving you added peace of mind. Additionally, the sealant line includes a kitchen and bath-specific formulation perfect for all your interior touchup needs as well. 3. UPDATE OUTDOOR HARDWARE AND LIGHTING House numbers, the entry door handle and porch light fixtures are all elements that add style and interest to your home’s curb appeal, whether you realize it or not. Replace old house numbers with a customized or DIY number display, or simply choose larger, more modern numbers for a few dollars each. Also consider updating your porch light fixtures for added appeal and safety. Be sure to consider your home’s style and the fixture’s configuration to ensure it illuminates your walkway or porch adequately, and for added time and money savings, choose fixtures that use the same mounting system as your current ones. Complete your entryway upgrade by choosing a new entry door handle or lockset that complements your house numbers and light fixtures for the most cohesive look. For all three, bronze finishes often look best with traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more modern ones. 4. REPAIR ANY UNSIGHTLY CRACKED CONCRETE Driveway, sidewalk, patio, and other outdoor concrete cracks

are both common and inevitable given they are in high-traffic areas and are susceptible to the annual freeze/thaw cycle. Without proper attention and repairs, these cracks are not only unsightly, but can lead to more serious issues or worse, pose safety concerns. Thankfully, fixing them doesn’t have to be a costly headache with the help of Textured Concrete. This premium latex sealant simulates concrete with the durability needed to properly move and flex with heavy-trafficked concrete surfaces while providing a longlasting, crack-resistant seal. Perfect for use on concrete, mortar, brick, metal, stone, stucco, grout and textured walls, it’s easy to use and apply, won’t stain or bleed, and can be cleaned up with just water if needed. While most latex sealants require a 24-hour dry time before painting, this one is ready to paint in just two hours so you can perfectly match any substrate and move onto your next project in record time. 5. ADD COLOR WITH FLOWERS OR PLANTS From adding flowers around your mailbox or planters on your porch, to installing window boxes for an added pop of color, this is an easy and affordable afternoon project that instantly makes your home look more welcoming, approachable and modern while adding to its perceived value. Be sure to choose varieties that will get enough sunlight based on where they’re planted and mix and match colors based on your home’s color scheme for the best results. For more tips to help tackle your home improvement projects, visit


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