Friday, July 25, 2008

One Quick Article for the Road...

We've discussed how the Las Vegas business model (air-centric travel with millions of feet for conventions and thousands more rooms) is pretty much doomed in the new era of expensive energy.

Well, to a lesser but still troublesome degree, Orlando is facing similar problems.

Granted, unlike Las Vegas, at least Orlando does have rail access to much of the population-heavy Northeast corridor. However, even that access is limited and, of all things, comes in the form of a car train (what a strange creation that will one day be looked back on as).

This recent Orlando Sentinel column discusses how one major portion of Orlando's tourism empire--International Drive--is facing major viability problems:
The north stretch of International Drive is crumbling into blight.

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.