Orange Commissioners must continue pushing for deep cuts to Visit Orlando

Today, Orange County Commissioners sat through a briefing from Visit Orlando, the area’s tourism agency, to consider making cuts to their $100 million dollar budget. More than Visit Florida spends to promote the entire state.

They went through the same special interest dance that other industries like real estate and and development go through. They pulled a bunch of their employees from work to say nice things to lawmakers, and lined up all of their business partners to say more nice things.

That, along with more disorganization from county staff brought them some additional time. There will be negotiations over how much to cut.

But its my opinion that Orange County Commissioners must continue pushing aggressively for those cuts.

We learned some unfortunate things. Visit Orlando is using Orange County dollars to promote business outside of Orange County. They admitted this during the briefing.

Their Magical Dining program is embarrassingly underwhelming only bringing in $2.2 million in 14 years. This was on the slides of their presentation.

And one commissioner with a marketing background, pointed out that Las Vegas, our biggest convention competitor, has more accessible information and is making better use of their dollars.

As I sit here typing this with nowhere affordable to live in my own hometown, I’m both saddened and furious that our tourism agency is so clumsy with the money we earn them working in their hotels.

There must be cuts. I heard a pull of $25 million dollars the meeting.

That should be the floor.

This organization has taken so much and given back so little, while demonstrating an extremely poor return of investment.

We should all be saddened and furious that we couldn’t make change happen today.

Unfortunately, they’re very rich and can buy more time.

But we can’t quit. We have to keep pushing until they serve our community properly like they’re supposed to.

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