Florida is home to four of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the entire United States, but one of these seems to be going at a pace far quicker than the rest. Orlando is situated perfectly in the center of the state, but it’s the tourism industry that continues to bring so many different people every single year. In spite of Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld, Orlando is home to so much more, and continues to develop in many ways. This is one of the reasons we have selected to put our headquarters in Orlando.
Business and Future Growth
With education, entertainment, and sports, Orlando has continued to be a destination for not just tourists, but also residents. More people move to Orlando every day than any other city in the state. What comes along with more people are increased job opportunities, new ideas, and an ever changing landscape. Orlando is quickly becoming a business hub; with its immediate access to MCO (Orlando International Airport) and therefore incoming international businesses, there’s no shortage to the exposure that any business can have here.
You can drive down any street in Orlando and see construction being done on either the buildings or the roads itself. With the influx of people coming in, and the boom of business, the roads must widen and new homes must be built. While it seems never ending for the locals, the constant growth only causes more growth, and the city of Orlando will continue to draw the attention of so many people each year.
Orlando is an expansive city, and on the outskirts of the city limits lays the second largest university in the entire country. University of Central Florida, the Knights, call the eastern side of the city home. This school continues to develop quickly, and in the last few years has seen their enrollment surpass 60 thousand students. In order to accommodate more students, the school has continued to develop new programs to entice them. UCF got its start as Florida Technical University and was the premiere location for engineering students and similar technical fields. It has since become a nationally recognized university and has added many different focuses to their curriculum, the biggest and most recent of them being their nursing program.
While UCF is the second largest school in the country, it’s not the only school in the city. Rollins and Stetson are two private universities that are in the region, and have thousands of students who study there. These schools have produced many very successful people, and continue to grow just as UCF does.
It’s an interesting societal belief that in order to be a big city you need to have sports teams. It just so happens that Orlando is home to two major league teams, and a simple walk down Church Street in downtown will let you see them both. The Orlando Magic, starting in 1989, is a NBA team that has had great success in the city of Orlando. Appearing in the NBA Finals twice since their inception, and posting multiple 60+ win seasons, the Orlando Magic are the heart of the city, and that signifies their placement geographically. The Amway Arena is right on the corner of Hughey and Church Street, and just seconds away from multiple Interstate 4 exits. No matter where you are in the city, you’re never too far from the arena.
More recently, Orlando obtained a MLS team, the Orlando City Soccer Club Lions. While they began as a minor league team years before hand, the success they had gained the attention of the higher ups in the MLS. After bidding and making their case, the city of Orlando won the rights to be one of the two expansion teams in 2014. Ever since, the city of Orlando has bleed purple, and the heartbeat of the city is the drums found within the stadium.
No discussion on Orlando could be complete without mentioning the tourist area, literally dubbed “tourist town” by the locals. An entire section of land just outside the city itself was purchase back in the late sixties for a very small sum at the time. The purchaser of the land had a grand idea to create another location for his wildly successful venture that was started in California. Walt Disney set that large expanse of land as his own, and began work on Disney World. Since the late sixties, Orlando continues to draw in large swaths of people who visit these parks daily. Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot are the four flagship destinations for Disney goers, not to mention the myriad of resorts and hotels that were created alongside them. Orlando owes its growth almost exclusively to Disney, and while the city would likely have continued to thrive, it would not be the city it is today without Walt Disney.
However, while Disney is the household name, there are other forms of entertainment in the city as well. A simple drive down the heavily trafficked Interstate 4 (I-4) you’ll pass by two other world renowned theme parks in Universal and SeaWorld. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (and the soon to be Volcano Bay) are two of the largest tourist attractions in the country. Ever since creating the two Harry Potter themed areas, the theme parks have seen incredibly large attendance. Lastly, but certainly not least, is SeaWorld, the home of Shamu. While Shamu is a controversial subject, the people behind SeaWorld work tirelessly to make animal’s lives better. The proceeds from the park go directly to funding rescue efforts all around the country. SeaWorld holds a special place in the hearts of Orlando natives, and is just as impactful as either Disney or Universal.
Orlando is a young but incredibly powerful city in this country, and it may very well become one of the most impactful locations in the world. By continuing to have the influx of tourists and residents, we can rest assured that the landscape of Orlando will be ever changing. It will be interesting to see where it goes in these next few decades.