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Can Kissimmee’s US Highway 192 Tourist Strip be Revived?

Updated: 15 May 2013 09:05:33 AM

Once Orange County’s enormous convention center was just a dream at the end of a dead end road called International Drive, and US Highway 192 was where most tourists searched for affordable accommodations and meals and the doorstep for Walt Disney World.

For years now, with economic recessions and hurricanes, the area known as the “Kissimmee-St. Cloud Resort Area” has deteriorated.

Motels

Some motels are doubling as homeless shelters or housing tourism workers and low-income locals.

There are a number of empty restaurants and shops, and smaller attractions are doing all they can to hang on.

The situation has improved some since the last recession, but hotels are only filling six out of every ten rooms in the US Highway 192 corridor while Orlando hotels are filling seven out of every ten.

It doesn’t help that Disney World Resort  has added more than 4,700 lower priced hotel rooms close to this corridor.

Business Owners

Osceola may have to start one of the most intensive redevelopments and consider how they want to refurbish US Highway 192, and business owners are now questioning the need of convention space.

There was the $1 billion dollar World Expo Center proposal, which never happened, and a variety of other plans to build a center capable of drawing in business and tourists, but nothing has passed the proposal stage to develop.

Osceola County has hired a consultant to develop a new vision for 192 to determine the direction to develop the area, but until they develop a direction and a plan, it seems there may not be any major changes soon.

Consider staying at one our timeshare resorts near Disney!

By Marie Ospina

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