I moved to Orlando from Las Vegas. There is a lot of similarities between the two. Both are dependent on tourism dollars to keep the economy running. The closest thing Orlando has to the Strip in Las Vegas, is International Drive. And yet, it appears that the potential of I-drive, as it’s called in Orlando, is largely untapped or ignored.
Orlando Sentinel Columnist Mike Thomas sees the same thing.
Empty storefronts spread in the strip shopping centers. The Festival Bay Mall was supposed to lead a revitalization but also has succumbed to a growing cancer of vacant spaces.
As a Category 4 recession approaches, you have to wonder how far the contagion will spread along one of the nation’s top tourism strips.
They could have encouraged tourism, added a better transit system, make it pedestrian friendly (ie, Air Conditioned malls like they built in Vegas). But instead it’s now a bit of a blight on Orlando, and tourists may stay there over night, but their money is being spent elsewhere.