Despite efforts to diversify Sarasota County’s economy, the region continues to rely heavily on tourism to fuel economic gains. Winter, especially, marks a time when many visit the area from colder locales. Fortunately, tourism statewide has been on an upward trajectory for several years and Sarasota has kept pace or exceeded Florida’s gains. As a result, hotel rooms and rental properties are full. Retail shops and restaurants remain busy. Businesses are expanding. This growth, in turn, has led to modest improvements in the much maligned downtown, Class A office market and other sectors. The office availability rate, for instance, has decreased to 16.3%, as compared to the 17.6% of the market that was available at our last reporting.