Destination resorts supporters make their case (hint: ‘it’s the economy, stupid’)

With Tallahassee debating the prospects of bringing destination resorts to Florida, supporters of the legislation are making their case with a strong economic/jobs message at the core. Below, noted economist Tony Villamil offers his projections of the economic impact of destination resorts while small business owners sound-off on how an influx of new tourists (and their dollars) will provide much needed relief to their bottom line. Read on…


Economist J. Antonio Villamil:
Destination resorts would have a positive impact

Few legislative sessions in Florida’s history have had the economic growth opportunity that lies before the Legislature this year. As Florida’s leaders search for ways to balance the budget, restore the state to a sustainable fiscal condition and create jobs, legislators have a historic opportunity in front of them — the creation of destination resorts in Florida.

The Washington Economics Group, in partnership with the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development at the University of West Florida, recently conducted a study based on the preliminary business plan for Resorts World Miami. The study concluded that a private-sector funded investment of $3.8 billion utilizing an “export business model” could directly support approximately 45,000 new Florida jobs and attract affluent visitors from as far away as Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Read the full article at

Video: Florida businesses speak out on the need
for destination resorts

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