by Jason Garcia
Updated 3 yearss ago
Full Sail University, the for-profit entertainment industry school in Winter Park, opened a $6-million arena for video gaming competitions that school executives say is the largest e-sports arena on any college campus in the country.
Dubbed the Fortress, the 11,200-sq.-ft. arena will have room for up to 500 spectators. It will serve as a home base for Full Sail’s own e-sports team, the Armada, and a customizable learning space for students in a variety of disciplines. The school expects the facility will become a recruiting magnet for prospective students. Full Sail plans to host e-sports competitions, which are growing into significant spectator events.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis removed John Miklos as chairman of the St. Johns River Water Management District after years of complaints from environmentalists and others because Miklos runs a company that helps clients secure permits from the district.
- Former Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel, who resigned as Florida Secretary of State after photos surfaced of him wearing blackface, was hired by the Seminole County elections office as a consultant.
- Walt Disney World says the Star Wars-themed land it is building at Disney Hollywood Studios will open Aug. 29. A version being built at Disneyland in California will open May 31.
- Orange County tourist development tax collections dropped 2.5% to $23.3 million in January, the first monthly year-over-year decline in more than two years. The local tourism bureau attributed the decline to the impact of a large trade show that was held in Orlando in January 2018 but not in January 2019.
- SeaWorld Entertainment says attendance rose 8.6% to 22.6 million in 2018 across its 12 theme parks. The company also announced that it is replacing all polystyrene foam plates, trays and bowls from its parks with products made from biodegradable materials.
- Invel, a Brazilian company that makes infrared-emitting clothing, opened its first U.S. office in Orlando, beginning with 10 employees. It plans to double its workforce within a year.
- Lake County commissioners rejected plans to allow a sand-hauling operation in a 3,600-acre conservation area near Eustis.
- Orlando hotel magnate Harris Rosen donated $12 million to a brain cancer research initiative at the University of Florida.
- Winter Park-based Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group says same-restaurant sales at company-owned locations rose 1.4%. The average check size grew 1.7% in 2018.
- The Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office hired a blockchain director who will serve as a liaison between the county and the state as the Legislature studies using the technology for government transactions.
- Website developer Solodev plans to expand its Orlando headquarters and add another 10 to 15 employees to the current 25.
- Firefly Aerospace, a Texas-based rocket-building startup, plans to spend $52 million to build a manufacturing facility and launching operation on the Space Coast. The company says it will employ more than 200.
- Illinois-based developer Banner Real Estate Group has begun construction of Radius Apartments, a 13-story, 389- unit building overlooking Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.
- In a rarely used maneuver in local government, the mayor of Winter Springs in Seminole County vetoed a city council ordinance that would have imposed a three-month moratorium on apartment construction and most new commercial development.
- An Orange County Circuit Court judge blocked a local developer’s bid to build homes on the now-closed Windermere Country Club golf course.
Read more in Florida Trend's May issue.
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