I am Reality

Economic Development

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36 minutes ago, jrs2 said:

I agree.  But Downtown is making a comeback.  It's had it's ups and downs accounting for the recession for sure, and is still chugging right along.  Casey's is gone too I think.

I think I get you now.  You feel that too much focus has been placed on tourism and not enough on building more of a corporate presence here independent of the tourist industry.

Perhaps.  I haven't done or read any economic studies on what companies have come here because of tourism, or because of an influx of immigrants from overseas because of tourism.  But there have been some positive business moves discussed in other threads in recent years.  I know GOAA has been pushing hard pushing for new direct routes to OIA.  I know Seminole has really been pushing hard., and Osceola as of late.  As for downtown, Creative Village and the Soccer stadium, DPAC, and Amway and the renovated Citrus Bowl are the main things I've seen the past 8-10 years.  And a bunch of new residential and mixed use residential as well, which is always a huge plus.

And to keep it in perspective, from the '60's to the '90's, the only other large US city other than NYC with a large downtown residential population was Chicago.  That helped Chi-town tremendously to keep developing consistently downtown.  Orlando is getting those residential units.  It may not have the corporate HQ's, but the live work climate in downtown is good and keeps growing.  That's one of the things companies look for in relocating offices.  That can't be ignored.

 

You are right on. I just want more of a corporate industry apart from tourism. Orlando has a lot going for it:

-Great weather 

-Great people 

-It's forward-thinking 

-It's local politics jive with tech & professonal job growth (that is a big, big thing in the new economy)

-It is willing to spend to be great (Amway, Convention Center, etc)

-I LOVE the UCF move to downtown 

-People here are hungry for more (better restaurants, more downtown energy, etc)

-It's new (it's not trying to turn around a failing economy or erase years of bad-decision-making; it's newness should be an ***advantage*** to building a better economy)

For whatever reason, it hasn't been able to capitalize more on its advantages. It's priorities are messed up. Instead of putting another $1 billion into the convention center...why couldn't Orlando have set aside a few million and lobby more for Amazon HQ2 (even AFTER we didn't make the Top 20?). We obviously would not get  it. But other companies we appreciate our effort and see that Orlando will NOT take "no" for an answer. And those other companies will remember Orlando when they are relocating or expanding. Sure it's symbolic, but it puts us in the spotlight. We would win by losing. 

Want to be totally innovative? Give tech startups free office space. If we have have a $1 billion for a convention center, we can find a way to help startups. Every startup in the nation would come here.  Give tax abatements to build downtown. That's what large cities have done and it has been hugely successful.  Tech company Jabil is building a new HQ in St. Pete. The city is helping, in exchange for a promise to keep 800 jobs onsite. Why can't Orlando do something like that? I just read Hard Rock is moving its HQ from Orlando and is taking 200 corporate jobs. Couldn't the City do ANYTHING to keep it?   With the lack of HQs here, the city should have fought like hell to keep it. 

These ideas are not difficult to act on.  I agree with everyone on here...everyone wants to have a vibrant downtown.  It creates a sense of community.  I personally would love to see a much, much larger version of the East End Market downtown. I've spent entire days wondering around other food markets in other cities. That, to me, is a great time. With all the freaking Publixs in town, are you telling me Orlando couldn't support a large indoor artisan food market? Of course it can.  Why are all the good  restaurants down on Sand Lake Rd?  Move them downtown.  

Let's start focusing on us and not the tourists.

 

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https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2017/06/15/orlando-ranks-among-20-hottest-cities-for-tech.amp.html

Orlando has also been subsidizing tech startups in places like The Exchange (in fact,a bit of a brouhaha developed as some of the startups complained that some were getting more attention than others.

In addition to the startups, the CRA offered tax abatements to make sure there were plenty of Creative Class high rises to live in. The TDT (thank the tourists) also financed much of the Arena and DPAC so the hipsters have plenty of urban amenities within walking distance. To say the city (and even the county) haven't been doing anything is somewhat wide of the mark.

44000 people live in the greater downtown area, with an average household income of $66000. 40% have an associate degree or higher. That compares very favorably with other growing Sun Belt cities like Austin, Nashville and Charlotte.

 

Edited by spenser1058
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7 hours ago, idroveazamboni said:

I created a thread a while back on Orlando’s Metro largest publicly traded companies and currently 6 have revenues over 1 billion.  Most of them are timeshare which Orlando is the Wall Street of Time Shares, SEAS-sea world parent who has been declining for years, Tupperware which Is not growing,  and finally Darden. The other ones mentioned above are subsidiaries of other companies or private companies like Adventist.  

Since you mentioned Adventist, Adventist is #6 (last I checked) on largest non-profit hospital systems in the nation (most hospital systems are non-profits).  While a "private" company, they are more than likely the most important HQ in town. 

And just for fun - Florida Hospital downtown is the 2nd largest hospital in the nation. while ORMC is the 7th largest. 

My 2 cents on this whole discussion - anyone that doesn't see the tremendous growth and opportunity in this city needs to get their eyes checked. 

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3 hours ago, popsiclebrandon said:

All we need is to #bringbacktheswing

If Mako's opens back up, downtown will be saved!

That one swing place... what was it?  Black Cats?  Fat Cats?  Something like that.  I went there a bunch of times with my downstairs neighbors who were *big-time* swing scene girls.  Went in full 40s clothes, makeup, and hair.  I basically was their designated flipper.  I wouldn't say I was a good swing dancer, but I'm tall and strong enough to easily flip them around.  I learned a dozen moves and was basically there to reap the spoils of trying.  Win-win!  So much win.

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56 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2017/06/15/orlando-ranks-among-20-hottest-cities-for-tech.amp.html

Orlando has also been subsidizing tech startups in places like The Exchange (in fact,a bit of a brouhaha developed as some of the startups complained that some were getting more attention than others.

In addition to the startups, the CRA offered tax abatements to make sure there were plenty of Creative Class high rises to live in. The TDT (thank the tourists) also financed much of the Arena and DPAC so the hipsters have plenty of urban amenities within walking distance. To say the city (and even the county) haven't been doing anything is somewhat wide of the mark.

44000 people live in the greater downtown area, with an average household income of $66000. 40% have an associate degree or higher. That compares very favorably with other growing Sun Belt cities like Austin, Nashville and Charlotte.

 

I'll see your ZipRecruiter & raise you a WalletHub survey.

In terms of tech job opportunities, Orlando ranks worse than the typical big cities and smaller cities such as:

Raleigh

Austin

Salt Lake City

Richmond, VA

Denver

St. Louis 

Pittsburg

Madison, MI

Grand Rapids (!!!!)

Harrisburg, PA

Cincinatti 

Colorado Springs 

Minneapolis 

San Jose

Charlotte 

Albany, NY

Hartford, CT

Orlando is ranked 65th out of the top 100 metro areas in terms of tech "friendliness."

 

 

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1 minute ago, I am Reality said:

I'll see your ZipRecruiter & raise you a WalletHub survey.

In terms of tech job opportunities, Orlando ranks worse than the typical big cities and smaller cities such as:

Raleigh

Austin

Salt Lake City

Richmond, VA

Denver

St. Louis 

Pittsburg

Madison, MI

Grand Rapids (!!!!)

Harrisburg, PA

Cincinatti 

Colorado Springs 

Minneapolis 

San Jose

Charlotte 

Albany, NY

Hartford, CT

Orlando is ranked 65th out of the top 100 metro areas in terms of tech "friendliness."

 

 

Survey's like that aren't what's actually happening. For every list calling a city great, there will be one saying it's horrible for the same thing. 

 

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1 minute ago, bqknight said:

Survey's like that aren't what's actually happening. For every list calling a city great, there will be one saying it's horrible for the same thing. 

 

Agreed. Anyone can find any survey that say anything they want. That is the flaw of the original OBJ article.

58 minutes ago, leondecollao said:

Since you mentioned Adventist, Adventist is #6 (last I checked) on largest non-profit hospital systems in the nation (most hospital systems are non-profits).  While a "private" company, they are more than likely the most important HQ in town. 

And just for fun - Florida Hospital downtown is the 2nd largest hospital in the nation. while ORMC is the 7th largest. 

My 2 cents on this whole discussion - anyone that doesn't see the tremendous growth and opportunity in this city needs to get their eyes checked. 

I have never lived in a city with no hospital. Have you?  Hospitals are not exactly unique to Orlando. Ok, Orlando has a big one. Other places have smaller ones. What does that prove?

Let me tell you something very personal. When my son had very serious health problems, I was able to take him to the top hospital IN THE WORLD.  Not the city.  Not the state.  Not the U.S. 

In the world.

If you know anything about hospitals, they are not judged by size.

 

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36 minutes ago, I am Reality said:

Agreed. Anyone can find any survey that say anything they want. That is the flaw of the original OBJ article.

I have never lived in a city with no hospital. Have you?  Hospitals are not exactly unique to Orlando. Ok, Orlando has a big one. Other places have smaller ones. What does that prove?

Let me tell you something very personal. When my son had very serious health problems, I was able to take him to the top hospital IN THE WORLD.  Not the city.  Not the state.  Not the U.S. 

In the world.

If you know anything about hospitals, they are not judged by size.

 

I thought we were discussing the size of companies headquartered here?  I didn't realize we were discussing the quality of healthcare......

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50 minutes ago, leondecollao said:

I thought we were discussing the size of companies headquartered here?  I didn't realize we were discussing the quality of healthcare......

Fair enough. I'll give you 4 local companies in the Forbes 1000 (even though Adventist is private and a non-profit and doesn't even qualify for the Forbes list). But for the sake of argument, I will give it to you. 

Now we we only need 12 more to catch up to Charlotte (same same size; just as new)!!!!  Oh wait....Charlotte has 16 companies in the Forbes 500, NOT the Forbes 1000. My bad....

Good point though.  I'm just awfully glad Orlando has hospitals, as opposed to everywhere else.....

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Just now, I am Reality said:

Fair enough. I'll give you 4 local companies in the Forbes 1000 (even though Adventist is private and a non-profit and doesn't even qualify for the Forbes list). But for the sake of argument, I will give it to you. 

Now we we only need 12 more to catch up to Charlotte (same same size; just as new)!!!!  Oh wait....Charlotte has 16 companies in the Forbes 500, NOT the Forbes 1000. My bad....

Good point though.  I'm just awfully glad Orlando has hospitals, as opposed to everywhere else.....

If you can somehow rationalize a 5th local company on the Forbes 1000, let me know. We'd be that much closer to catching up with Charlotte and Austin and Portland and  Pittsburg, etc. 

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1 hour ago, I am Reality said:

Fair enough. I'll give you 4 local companies in the Forbes 1000 (even though Adventist is private and a non-profit and doesn't even qualify for the Forbes list). But for the sake of argument, I will give it to you. 

Now we we only need 12 more to catch up to Charlotte (same same size; just as new)!!!!  Oh wait....Charlotte has 16 companies in the Forbes 500, NOT the Forbes 1000. My bad....

Good point though.  I'm just awfully glad Orlando has hospitals, as opposed to everywhere else.....

Apples and oranges, my friend. 

Same size?  Look at the photo...and... Charlotte city limits has 840k people.  Orlando doesn't even break 300k (277k).  And it's NC's largest city

Orlando/Orange County is technically the 5th most populous in Fla behind Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough.  The 5th!  Charlotte also grew because of the efforts of banking moguls' aggressive takeovers; Nationsbank; BOA; Wachovia; etc.  The big banking center in Fla is Miami.  The insurance center is Jax.  Orlando was barely getting dollars for infrastructure when Miami-Ft.L was getting billions for roadway improvements back in the '80's, which was when Charlotte's banking prominence was emerging.  Orlando was a sh!t stain on the side of the road back then. 

Suntrust is based in ATL.  Suntrust Fla is based in Orlando.  Suntrust almost got absorbed like those other banks in NC.  And Sunbank was absorbed by (Spenser1058 said it) the "Trust" entity in ATL more than 25 or 30 years ago. 

Even Vegas has and has always had a larger city population. 

Same with PItt- steel town and Mellon Bank, Pitt right downtown, and major sports teams since God knows when.  300k city and 2.35M metro.

Austin's city population is over 930k, over 2M metro.  And it's the state capitol.

Portland has about 900k city limits and 2.35M metro.  It's the largest city in OR.

I'm sorry, but your examples are not good.  All of these places are larger than Orlando by alot.  Metro numbers are misleading; it's the city numbers that matter.  And each of these places is larger than Orlando downtown, larger city population, which trumps metro numbers spread out amongst a bunch of border counties. 

Orlando is just not that big.

Based on these comparisons, of these other "cities" being like 3x the population of Orlando proper (sans Pittsburgh), then Orlando having  maybe 1/3 the corporate HQ's that they have sounds about right.

And Charlotte is not newer than Orlando in this respect.

Keep it real.  This isn't a pissing match.

Charlotte_Skyline_2011_-_Ricky_W.jpg

Edited by jrs2

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6 hours ago, I am Reality said:

For whatever reason, it hasn't been able to capitalize more on its advantages. It's priorities are messed up. Instead of putting another $1 billion into the convention center...why couldn't Orlando have set aside a few million and lobby more for Amazon HQ2 (even AFTER we didn't make the Top 20?). We obviously would not get  it. But other companies we appreciate our effort and see that Orlando will NOT take "no" for an answer. And those other companies will remember Orlando when they are relocating or expanding. Sure it's symbolic, but it puts us in the spotlight. We would win by losing. 

The thing is the taxes and fees collected as a direct result of the convention center pay for the expansion of it. It brings in money to support these other things you want, money isn't being taken from property or sales taxes and being sent to the convention center at all. You don't invest into it, you lose the conventions to Vegas, who is investing much more then us in the convention center right now, and you just are spending a billion less in Orlando, period. And as I mentioned in the other topic, this is a major reason many companies that are located in Orlando chose Orlando, they want to have a team close to the convention center who knows their product and can setup at the various conventions throughout the year. That was the reason my first employer out of UCF gave for locating a secondary office in Orlando

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6 minutes ago, jrs2 said:

Apples and oranges, my friend. 

Same size?  Look at the photo...and... Charlotte city limits has 840k people.  Orlando doesn't even break 300k (277k).  And it's NC's largest city

Orlando/Orange County is technically the 5th most populous in Fla behind Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough.  The 5th!  Charlotte also grew because of the efforts of banking moguls' aggressive takeovers; Nationsbank; BOA; Wachovia; etc.  The big banking center in Fla is Miami.  The insurance center is Jax.  Orlando was barely getting dollars for infrastructure when Miami-Ft.L was getting billions for roadway improvements back in the '80's, which was when Charlotte's banking prominence was emerging.  Orlando was a sh!t stain on the side of the road back then. 

Suntrust is based in ATL.  Suntrust Fla is based in Orlando.  Suntrust almost got absorbed like those other banks in NC.  And Sunbank was absorbed by (Spenser1058 said it) the "Trust" entity in ATL more than 25 or 30 years ago. 

Even Vegas has and has always had a larger city population. 

Same with PItt- steel town and Mellon Bank, Pitt right downtown, and major sports teams since God knows when.  300k city and 2.35M metro.

Austin's city population is over 930k, over 2M metro.  And it's the state capitol.

Portland has about 900k city limits and 2.35M metro.  It's the largest city in OR.

I'm sorry, but your examples are not good.  All of these places are larger than Orlando by alot.  Metro numbers are misleading; it's the city numbers that matter.  And each of these places is larger than Orlando downtown, larger city population, which trumps metro numbers spread out amongst a bunch of border counties. 

Orlando is just not that big.

Based on these comparisons, of these other "cities" being like 3x the population of Orlando proper (sans Pittsburgh), then Orlando having  maybe 1/3 the corporate HQ's that they have sounds about right.

And Charlotte is not newer than Orlando in this respect.

Keep it real.  This isn't a pissing match.

Charlotte_Skyline_2011_-_Ricky_W.jpg

Let's not be defensive.  I've clearly been comparing MSAs.  I've said as much several times. You are right...Orlando's border-defined population is small.  I have been talking about metro areas though. 

 

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7 minutes ago, I am Reality said:

Let's not be defensive.  I've clearly been comparing MSAs.  I've said as much several times. You are right...Orlando's border-defined population is small.  I have been talking about metro areas though. 

 

It's not a fair comparison and you know it, yet you're focusing on MSA population to prove your point.  City or Orlando doesn't have the kind of dollars that, say, Seminole County has, to lure businesses there.  And tourist tax dollars aren't going to go to the City to lure a company downtown into a high rise.  

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19 minutes ago, jrs2 said:

It's not a fair comparison and you know it, yet you're focusing on MSA population to prove your point.  City or Orlando doesn't have the kind of dollars that, say, Seminole County has, to lure businesses there.  And tourist tax dollars aren't going to go to the City to lure a company downtown into a high rise.  

You're joking right? 

Washington doesn't have the $ that Northern Virginia has

LA doesn't have the $ Newport Beach has

Philadelphia doesn't have the $ that the Main Line has.

Miami doesn't have the $ Miami Beach has.

I don't feel obligated to explain metro areas right now. 

As for your argument that Charlotte is so different than Orlando:

Charlotte MSA 1980: 855,538 (per the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce) - when you say the banks moved to Charlotte

Orlando MSA 1980: 805,050 - when banks for ignoring Orlando 

Their current MSA populations are nearly identical right now.

It's obvious you and I are not going to agree on anything. Let's just agree to disagree. Honestly, it's just not that important to me.

I have a very clear viewpoint.  The economy here is heavily-reliant tourism and things can be better.  It's a pretty non-controversial thing.  We have ALOT of low-paying tourism jobs. You can agree with me or don't.  No difference to me.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, I am Reality said:

It's obvious you and I are not going to agree on anything. Let's just agree to disagree. Honestly, it's just not that important to me.

I have a very clear viewpoint.  The economy here is heavily-reliant tourism and things can be better.  It's a pretty non-controversial thing.  We have ALOT of low-paying tourism jobs. You can agree with me or don't.  No difference to me.

If that's the case, why have you been hammering on it incessantly since your first post, even to the point of starting the argument back up again after we had all moved on to other subjects? 

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One of reason for banks moving to Charlotte, was because NC had Interstate Banking Laws that allowed them to expand over state lines, as well as the repeal of Glass Steagall laws which allowed banks to get into trading, insurance and other lines of business and lead to a record number of acquisitions in the banking industry. BOA bought Nations Bank which bought Barnett Bank. 

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3 hours ago, I am Reality said:

You're joking right? 

Washington doesn't have the $ that Northern Virginia has

LA doesn't have the $ Newport Beach has

Philadelphia doesn't have the $ that the Main Line has.

Miami doesn't have the $ Miami Beach has.

I don't feel obligated to explain metro areas right now. 

As for your argument that Charlotte is so different than Orlando:

Charlotte MSA 1980: 855,538 (per the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce) - when you say the banks moved to Charlotte

Orlando MSA 1980: 805,050 - when banks for ignoring Orlando 

Their current MSA populations are nearly identical right now.

It's obvious you and I are not going to agree on anything. Let's just agree to disagree. Honestly, it's just not that important to me.

I have a very clear viewpoint.  The economy here is heavily-reliant tourism and things can be better.  It's a pretty non-controversial thing.  We have ALOT of low-paying tourism jobs. You can agree with me or don't.  No difference to me.

 

 

No one is debating whether this is a tourism based economy or whether tourism is heavily focused on. What I am disagreeing on are your examples.

How do you figure Miami has less money than Miami Beach?  Miami has the revenue from Port of Miami, all the banks and tons of condo towers and Coconut Grove and Jackson Memorial, etc.  Miami has outpaced Miami Beach in development the past 20 years by a factor of 6 to 1, and has 3-4 times their population.

Washington, as in DC?  They got all the money and the power that there is.

LA?  LA has over 3.9M people or more, LAX, and Port of LA, movies studios, industry, etc.  And Newport Beach, in Orange Co, does not.  It only has 86k people.

All anyone has to do is look at different cities; look at the city proper’s population; look at it’s development amount; and compare it to cities of lesser population.  You will then see that city proper population dictates CBD development.  

Again with the MSA numbers with Charlotte...  Charlotte’s 1980 population was 315k, Orlando’s was 128k.  Orlando still doesn’t have 315k and it’s been 38 years since then.  And, Charlotte is and was the largest city in NC; Orlando is only the 4th largest city in Fla, and doesn’t have the advantage of a coastline like those other cities, which also have revenue from large industrial ports.  So, Orlando plays 4th fiddle in this state and sometimes 5th while Charlotte is king of the hill in NC.

What is there to disagree on?  Just look at Louisville, Cincinnati, Nashville, Memphis, Indy, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, etc.  They all have larger city populations than Orlando and they all have more developed downtowns than Orlando.  And Orlando’s MSA is larger than most of those places mentioned.  Show me a city over 277k that is less developed downtown than Orlando.  Juneau is not a legit example.

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I'm not going to jump into this fray again, except to say that by and large everyone's discussion of the Downtown Nightlife scene is horribly misguided.  Downtown Orlando's nightlife (largely populated by the tens of thousands of people living downtown) is what most places thrive for.  No, we don't get throngs of tourists, but it's self-sustaining.  You can easily have a whole weekend in and around Downtown and never hit the same bars.

Friday, start off happy hour with 3 for 1s at Latitudes, grab some Pita Pit on your way to SHOTS for half-off before 9.  Head upstairs to Joysticks for some games and drinks, then either have a relaxing few cocktails at Mather's if you're attired, Attic if you want to club, or Harp/Celt if you just want a pub.

Saturday start off with Brunch and beers at WoB, head around Lake Eola to Relax for some beers in the sun while the weather is still nice.  Hit all the classic downtown spots.  Lizzy's for a pudding shot, Finn's for a pickleback, Lodge for... well, Lodge.  Bounce over to Tin and Taco for some dinner, before continuing.  Have a nice post-dinner drink upstairs at Woods or Courtesy.  Wander down and celebrate the season at Frosty's.  Head back up to see what the kids are up to at Saddle Up before dancing at The Patio / Aero (Eye Spy).  Never hurts to stop for Pizza or Street Meat before heading home.  Gringos if you dare time it right.

Sunday can't go wrong with starting Brunch at Stubborn Mule.  Head up the block and stop by Jax for a drink and pickles!  Go see Brandon and have a popsicle at The Pop Parlour.  Wash it down with a tiki drink at Aku Aku.  Go into the basement for music or pool at Stardust.  Stop by Stagger Inn for some tall boys and free grilling.  Swiggs will have a DJ and be partyin.  Duck down to Basement for a Alcoholic Capri Sun.  Jump into Crow for a drink in the Crow's nest, end the night on Casey's patio with a strong double and C-Lane playing live music.

I just spelled out a FULL weekend, with *WAY* too much drinking.  Even with all of that, we never stopped by WALL STREET of all places.  Or the Orange corridor of Avenue/Underground/Dapper Duck/Pourhouse.  Or dumpster dives and pole dancing at StigmaEmber probably has the best patio downtown.  Magnolia Market has a big beer selection and 3 places to get food from.  Artisan's Table is the most underrated restaurant downtown AND has tequila-infused coffee.  I largely didn't mention the real clubs (V, Vintage, ONO).  Cleo's is smoky but has pool, Tanqueray's is smoky but is an institution and has live music.  Celine just opened and has a rooftop.  I also didn't mention the Pine street stretch of Bullit and BauhausElixir and Sly Fox and Beachem and Other Bar and Sideshow all got left of from the more north part of Orange section.  We barely touched Church Street... Harry Buffalo is largely the last traditional Sports Bar in the area, despite being a chain Hamburger Mary's feels like part of the Orlando family, Ferg's has brought life to the historic train station, Ceviche's tapas (especially on Tuesday) can't be beat, Lion's Pride is another great use of a previously dead storefront, Graffiti on Church combines with Ferg's for one big outdoor area, The Chillers people opened Irish Shannons and it seems to be thriving, Jager Haus is the best German without having to travel to Sanford, who can say to to a liter of Spaten and Spatzel?!.  Oh, and this is without stepping foot in the traditional Thornton Park area, so apologies to that Graffiti, Burtons, Falcon, and Anthonys.  All this and I didn't mention the sushi places (Shakai and Shari both have amazing happy hours), Ace Cafe is a brilliant addition hopefully starting to anchor a more northern end of downtown and add a different clientele.  Plus hats off to Muddy Waters, Magnolia, Big Belly, Bar B and who knows what else I've forgotten off the top of my head.

Anyone that has a problem with Downtown's bar scene is dead wrong.

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30 minutes ago, AndyPok1 said:

I'm not going to jump into this fray again, except to say that by and large everyone's discussion of the Downtown Nightlife scene is horribly misguided.  Downtown Orlando's nightlife (largely populated by the tens of thousands of people living downtown) is what most places thrive for.  No, we don't get throngs of tourists, but it's self-sustaining.  You can easily have a whole weekend in and around Downtown and never hit the same bars.

Friday, start off happy hour with 3 for 1s at Latitudes, grab some Pita Pit on your way to SHOTS for half-off before 9.  Head upstairs to Joysticks for some games and drinks, then either have a relaxing few cocktails at Mather's if you're attired, Attic if you want to club, or Harp/Celt if you just want a pub.

Saturday start off with Brunch and beers at WoB, head around Lake Eola to Relax for some beers in the sun while the weather is still nice.  Hit all the classic downtown spots.  Lizzy's for a pudding shot, Finn's for a pickleback, Lodge for... well, Lodge.  Bounce over to Tin and Taco for some dinner, before continuing.  Have a nice post-dinner drink upstairs at Woods or Courtesy.  Wander down and celebrate the season at Frosty's.  Head back up to see what the kids are up to at Saddle Up before dancing at The Patio / Aero (Eye Spy).  Never hurts to stop for Pizza or Street Meat before heading home.  Gringos if you dare time it right.

Sunday can't go wrong with starting Brunch at Stubborn Mule.  Head up the block and stop by Jax for a drink and pickles!  Go see Brandon and have a popsicle at The Pop Parlour.  Wash it down with a tiki drink at Aku Aku.  Go into the basement for music or pool at Stardust.  Stop by Stagger Inn for some tall boys and free grilling.  Swiggs will have a DJ and be partyin.  Duck down to Basement for a Alcoholic Capri Sun.  Jump into Crow for a drink in the Crow's nest, end the night on Casey's patio with a strong double and C-Lane playing live music.

I just spelled out a FULL weekend, with *WAY* too much drinking.  Even with all of that, we never stopped by WALL STREET of all places.  Or the Orange corridor of Avenue/Underground/Dapper Duck/Pourhouse.  Or dumpster dives and pole dancing at StigmaEmber probably has the best patio downtown.  Magnolia Market has a big beer selection and 3 places to get food from.  Artisan's Table is the most underrated restaurant downtown AND has tequila-infused coffee.  I largely didn't mention the real clubs (V, Vintage, ONO).  Cleo's is smoky but has pool, Tanqueray's is smoky but is an institution and has live music.  Celine just opened and has a rooftop.  I also didn't mention the Pine street stretch of Bullit and BauhausElixir and Sly Fox and Beachem and Other Bar and Sideshow all got left of from the more north part of Orange section.  We barely touched Church Street... Harry Buffalo is largely the last traditional Sports Bar in the area, despite being a chain Hamburger Mary's feels like part of the Orlando family, Ferg's has brought life to the historic train station, Ceviche's tapas (especially on Tuesday) can't be beat, Lion's Pride is another great use of a previously dead storefront, Graffiti on Church combines with Ferg's for one big outdoor area, The Chillers people opened Irish Shannons and it seems to be thriving, Jager Haus is the best German without having to travel to Sanford, who can say to to a liter of Spaten and Spatzel?!.  Oh, and this is without stepping foot in the traditional Thornton Park area, so apologies to that Graffiti, Burtons, Falcon, and Anthonys.  All this and I didn't mention the sushi places (Shakai and Shari both have amazing happy hours), Ace Cafe is a brilliant addition hopefully starting to anchor a more northern end of downtown and add a different clientele.  Plus hats off to Muddy Waters, Magnolia, Big Belly, Bar B and who knows what else I've forgotten off the top of my head.

Anyone that has a problem with Downtown's bar scene is dead wrong.

Whats funny is I don't drink, but every firday night I go downtown and drive/walk around just to see the thousands of people out and about. I live in the tourist area so the energy is different. I'll also say this, there are plenty of small clusters in and around the metro where the energy is buzzing on friday nights, thursday nights, etc.  I Love that. I love Tampa and St. Pete and neither comes close to what downtown Orlando has , yet their downtowns are taller, and have the advantage of natural water. Orlando's downtown is doing well.

We should really focus on this high rise though!

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5 hours ago, jrs2 said:

   No one is debating whether this is a tourism based economy or whether tourism is heavily focused on. What I am disagreeing on are your examples.

How do you figure Miami has less money than Miami Beach?  Miami has the revenue from Port of Miami, all the banks and tons of condo towers and Coconut Grove and Jackson Memorial, etc.  Miami has outpaced Miami Beach in development the past 20 years by a factor of 6 to 1, and has 3-4 times their population.

Washington, as in DC?  They got all the money and the power that there is.

LA?  LA has over 3.9M people or more, LAX, and Port of LA, movies studios, industry, etc.  And Newport Beach, in Orange Co, does not.  It only has 86k people.

All anyone has to do is look at different cities; look at the city proper’s population; look at it’s development amount; and compare it to cities of lesser population.  You will then see that city proper population dictates CBD development.  

Again with the MSA numbers with Charlotte...  Charlotte’s 1980 population was 315k, Orlando’s was 128k.  Orlando still doesn’t have 315k and it’s been 38 years since then.  And, Charlotte is and was the largest city in NC; Orlando is only the 4th largest city in Fla, and doesn’t have the advantage of a coastline like those other cities, which also have revenue from large industrial ports.  So, Orlando plays 4th fiddle in this state and sometimes 5th while Charlotte is king of the hill in NC.

What is there to disagree on?  Just look at Louisville, Cincinnati, Nashville, Memphis, Indy, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, etc.  They all have larger city populations than Orlando and they all have more developed downtowns than Orlando.  And Orlando’s MSA is larger than most of those places mentioned.  Show me a city over 277k that is less developed downtown than Orlando.  Juneau is not a legit example.

Yes, everyone IS denying that Orlando's economy is tourism based. That has been the arguement the past few weeks. I say Orlando has a disproportionate number for of low-wage jobs and people disagree. I say that Orlando needs to better diversify its economy and people disagree.

Are there good-paying jobs in Orlando. Of course there are. There are good paying goods in Huntsville and Omaha and Oklahoma City too. But can there be more high-wage jobs in Orlando, given its size? Hell yes.

As for my examples, I am going to unfortunately have to explain MSAs. I had really hoped to avoid it.  But people obviously do not understand.

MSAs are the standard measure for urban economic activity. The federal government - not me - compiles GRDP (Gross Regional Domestic Product) to gauge a city's economic activity. To compile GRDP,  the federal government - not me - uses MSA as a standard unit. That is why Disney revenues are included in the Orlando MSA economic data. That makes sense, rights? Disney is part of the Orlando metro area. The federal government could gave chosen a different standard unit (such as all economic activity within a city's borders), but it did not. In any event, the federal government uses the GRDP for every city to compile the national GDP.

If you disgree with that approach, talk to the people in DC.  Don't criticize me for it. 

MSAs are also used because central cities are typically Employment hubs for entire regions. People typically work downtown and commute from home. That is why someone in Orlando needs to be in the same economic unit as someone in Altamonte.

MSA are also used for government services across a metro area, transportation (regional modes like the Central FL Expressway Authority and Sunrail) and federally-licensed radio/tv broadcast rights. Again, it makes sense to our people in Orlando, Oviedo, Kissimmee and Winter Garden in the same unit. 

Also, I am well-aware that Newport Beach is smaller than LA.  My point was that cities typically hold only a certain % of a metro area's wealth. Suburbs hold a lot of wealth also (which explains why some cities have commuter taxes). Newport Beach has more wealth PER CAPITA than LA. Bryn Mawr has more wealth PER CAPITA than Philly.

i am seriously disappointed I had to even explain any of this. It couldn't be more basic. There is a serious lack of fundamental understanding about EVERYTHING on this website. It's embarrassing.  Everyone should just keep thinking about tall buildings. And jerk yourselves off when they see a food truck (because that makes them feel big-city and edgy). And thank your lucky stars we have hospitals in Orlando (as opposed to people elsewhere). Leave the real talk to people who know what the hell they are talking about. And please please please...never run for office. Because you know crap about anything.

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Regardless of the argumentative nature this thread has become, one thing for sure on a per capita basis Orlando should have way more Fortune 500 & 1000 to match it’s population. It’s median income is below the national average and it’s GMP-Gross Metro Production per capita is lower then the national average. 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-cfb-brinkmann-hard-rock-20180302-story.html

Edited by idroveazamboni

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