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April 22, 2018

Business Florida 2018 - The Regions

Breaking New Ground

| 9/22/2017

East Central

LIFE & LEISURE

Beyond the bright lights
This region’s theme parks are the best to be sure, but with 72 miles of Atlantic coastline, including the Canaveral National Seashore, and the 1,000 or so inland bodies of water that give Lake County its name, East Central Florida has plenty of natural beauty to enjoy. Check out rare albino alligators at Wild Florida in Kenansville. Take a drive on the sands of Daytona Beach. And say hello to the real Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center and to her neighbors, the bald eagles at Merritt Island National Seashore.

Sunset over Lake Minneola in Clermont

Tech savvy
Brevard County, birthplace of America’s aerospace industry, attracts 11 patents for every 10,000 workers, according to the Brookings Institution. And with 56 U.S. utility patents granted in 2016, University of Central Florida placed 20th among U.S. public universities and 41st worldwide. Elsewhere in the region: Four East Central high schools earned gold medals in U.S. News & World Report’s “2017 Best High Schools” ranking — two were among the nation’s top 50; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ranked No. 1 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list of “Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees” and, at No. 32 on the U.S. University Employability Survey 2016, Florida Institute of Technology tied with Cornell and Carnegie Mellon among best universities in the U.S. for producing graduates employers want to hire.

Tennis, anyone?
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) opened its $100-million, 60-acre national training center in Orlando’s Lake Nona community in January 2017. It includes 100 courts — 32 that use the same hardcourt as the Australian Open, eight that use an identical surface to the U.S. Open and six that feature the same red clay as the French Open — and eight courts designed for kids. Although created primarily to serve as headquarters for the USTA’s Player Development and Community Division, the facility is open to the public with court rental starting at $12 an hour. Within a few weeks of opening, more than 100 events had been booked through the end of the year.

USTA National Campus rendering

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Celebrity Edge, where dining really is on the edge
Celebrity Edge, where dining really is on the edge

Le Petit Chef, a tiny animated chef who creates a whimsical dessert, is a key ingredient in what Celebrity Cruises calls an immersive fusion of entertainment and dining on its newest ship, Celebrity Edge, debuting in Fort Lauderdale.

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