Central Fla.: How Bad Is It?
Orlando International Airport
"Airlines are reducing their capacity, which is directly attributable to the cost of fuel, but ... we still have the ability to carry the same number of passengers we did last year (almost 36.5 million). In July, traffic was down 2.7%, but year-to-date in July, passenger traffic was up 2.73%. ... We expect, with cautious optimism, we should be somewhere near 35 million to 36 million passengers for the year for arrivals and departures. ... We’re excited about international traffic, which was up almost 22% through July. ... Last fall we added major carriers to international markets (Panama, Ireland, Germany), and Tam Airlines out of Brazil is starting daily service in November. ... Certainly economically we all look to international because of the exchange rate."
— Carolyn Fennell, spokeswoman, Orlando International Airport, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
Hoping for the Best
"The attractions are up, so some of the restaurants around them are doing well. ... But as soon as you step outside of that element, they’re hurting. They’re just trying to hold on. ... Restaurants are paying more for fuel, more for food, a higher minimum wage, higher health insurance for employees. ... Chains definitely are surviving but have shut down stores or closed off growth plans. They’re saying, ‘If we break even right now just to get through these tough times, we consider
it a victory.’ "
— Carol Dover, president and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Tallahassee