Skip to comments.Universal to get state money to build road to new Epic Universe park | Exclusive
Posted on 08/27/2019 11:59:52 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A few days before Christmas last year, after he was elected to the U.S. Senate but before hed left Tallahassee for Washington, former Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave a $16 million gift to Orange County.
It was a grant to help pay for an extension of Kirkman Road in the countys International Drive tourism corridor, and it had been pulled from a pot of economic development money known as the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. It was the biggest grant Scott had ever awarded through the fund, which he and the Florida Legislature established in 2017 amid promises to end corporate welfare.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, for one, was thrilled. In a prepared statement issued by Scotts press office, Demings said the Kirkman Road extension would support the economic growth of our various industries here in Orange County, including aerospace, defense and tourism.
Neither Scott nor Demings mentioned the biggest beneficiary of the project: Universal Orlando, the giant theme-park resort that generates more than $2.4 billion a year in revenue, according to state records. Most of the 1.7-mile Kirkman Road extension will run alongside or through the 760-acre property upon which Universal plans to build a new theme park, dubbed Universals Epic Universe, plus new hotels and other facilities.
The $315 million road extension will provide a crucial link between Universals existing parks and hotels on the northern end of the I-Drive corridor and the new park at the southern end. Its so important to Universals expansion plans that the resort will, according to a preliminary agreement with Orange County, design, engineer, permit and construct the publicly owned road itself -- and get public sources to help foot the bill.
(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...
Is it a road that other businesses can build off of and use as well? Will the businesses - Universal and others - pay property taxes and gas taxes needed to pay back and maintain the road?
If the answers to these questions are “yes”, then I don’t have a big problem with government in general building the road - that’s one of the legit functions of government. I might quibble with the level of government this is taking place at, and other contract details.
It is, fortunately. Lockheed Martin could benefit as well, along with a couple of state-run entities. That’s about the only upside. But the road will still benefit Universal (which hires butt-loads of kooky actors who hate America) a great deal.
Rick Scott - i think he is a real dirt-bag. Held my nose every time I voted for him. The dems he has run against have been worse. But I think Rick Scott is right at home in the sleazy cesspool of Washington DC.
That is chump change from what Orlando gets from tourists.
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