Bill and Anne France
Bill and Anne France are most notably credited for building Daytona International Speedway — the “World Center of Racing” — and the foundation for NASCAR. Bill France, aka “Big Bill,” had a mind for business, and his wife owned a knack for finance. Anne France played a huge role in the family business. He organized and promoted races and she took care of the financial end of the business.The pair teamed to create what today is one of the largest and most popular sports in the world.
Formed by a family’s vision on the Daytona beaches more than 65 years ago, the NASCAR business model continues to be the envy of sports entities around the globe, attracting world-wide attention and a positive shining light on the state. Driven largely by tourism, the economic impact of that vision numbers in the billions and creates tens of thousands of jobs, nearly a billion dollars annually in labor income and hundreds of millions in tax revenue. According to a survey in 2012, 61% of the attendees of the Daytona 500 travel to the Florida event from out of state or out of country; and 40% of the attendees traveled more than 500 miles and stay in Florida for 5 nights or more. In July 2013, new plans to invest in a massive facility and surrounding areas upgrade to the Daytona International Speedway resulted in more jobs, economic impact and construction-related state revenues, on the lead up to even more tourism for the state of Florida.