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Author: KLStorey

A message from Ken Storey

As most are now aware, last week I posted an unfortunately worded tweet that has since gone viral for all the wrong reasons. I first want to apologize for all those I’ve hurt with my words, that was never my intention. I also want to thank all of those who’ve reached out to me during this extremely difficult time, your words of support helped me more than you could ever imagine.

While my focus is now on my future, I wanted to take a few minutes to answer some questions regarding the future of Orlando Tourism Report. The show will continue. We are no longer affiliated with WPRK, meaning our FM radio show #OTRonFM is currently off-air until I can find a way to return to local airwaves.

The podcast via the RSS will continue. When I began OTR over three years ago, I wanted to create a place where bloggers, competitors, could find common ground to share their news and analysis of Orlando’s largest industry. From the very beginning, OTR has been dedicated to being a welcoming place for numerous opinions, often times opposing views. I value the importance of open dialogue, and that includes dialogue that individually we may disagree with.

What I said is not a reflection on anyone except myself. I accept what I did was wrong, but I also believe one bad decision shouldn’t ruin a person. I’m more than ever focused on making OTR the best it can be.

Myself and the team at OTR are still dedicated to reporting on all aspects of Central Florida tourism.

I will be taking a few weeks off as I refocus. Orlando Tourism Report will begin regular episodes via the podcast at the end of September.

Thank you,

Ken Storey

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Ep 120- Steve Glum of Ace Cafe and the odd story of the fertility statues

Steve Glum, the Chief Marketing Officer, Ace Cafe North America, joins us in the studio to talk about his role at the motorcycle-focused café in downtown Orlando. He shares stories from his time at Ripley’s including a run-in with the famed fertility statues, his time at Hard Rock, and what it was like being part of the opening staff at WDW’s Pleasure Island.

We also discuss TASTE! Central Florida. The annual event that helps raise funds for Second Harvest Food Bank and Coalition for the Homeless. Taking place August 19, 2017, at the World Center Marriott on 536 TASTE! is the premier foodie event of the year and this year is no exception. We also get new details on BOTH Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ joints coming to Central Florida and hear new details on future of the Ace Café brand.

Hosts

Recording Date- August 18, 2017, on WPRK 91.5 Winter Park (10AM-Noon)

IMPORTANT LINKS

TASTE! Central Florida

Tickets to TASTE! Central Florida

Ace Café Orlando

Orlando Park Pass

WPRK

Adventures in Charity Adventurer’s Club reunion

Joel Manby’s Tampa Bay Times interview

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Ep 119- Earnings Reports, BG Rumors, and a Double Murder

With new Quarterly Earnings Reports from Disney, SeaWorld, and Merlin all within the last few weeks. Ken looks at the numbers and the news surrounding each company. He touches on the Merlin Busch Gardens rumors, talks about the below estimate revenue coming out of Disney, and all the no good, very bad news coming out of SeaWorld.

Kevin Yee talks about The Great Movie and Universe of Energy and Ken shares his thoughts on hotel security. Plus a gruesome double murder at a resort shocks a small Florida community that hasn’t seen a single murder in nearly two decades.

Hosts

Recording Date- August 11, 2017, on WPRK 91.5 Winter Park (10AM-Noon)

Show Notes

DIS (The Walt Disney Company)

  • Revenue below estimates: $14.24 billion vs. the expected $14.42 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Earnings Per Share above estimates: $1.58 vs. the expected $1.55
  • Operating Income
  • Media and networks: $1.84 billion vs. $1.99 billion expected, 22% decline YoY due to ESPN issues
    Parks and resorts: $1.17 billion vs. $1.09 billion expected (18 percent year-over-year growth)
    Studio: $639 million vs. $636.6 million expected
    Consumer and interactive: $362 million vs. $394.6 million expected
  • “Operating income growth for the quarter reflected an increase at our international operations, while results at our domestic operations were comparable to the prior-year quarter. Segment results benefitted from the timing of the Easter holiday, which fell in the third quarter of the current year compared to the second quarter of the prior year.”
  • Disney point to “to labor and other cost inflation, increased operations support costs, new guest offerings and the dry-dock of the Disney Fantasy in the current quarter” for their higher output. This was offset by increased guest spending related to “increases in average ticket prices for sailings on our cruise ships and admission to our theme parks, as well a higher daily average hotel room rates and food and beverage spending”.

 

SEAS (SeaWorld Parks and Resorts)

  • 353,000 fewer visitors in the first half of 2017
  • $373.8 million in revenue vs. expected $394 million
  • Net loss of $237.0 million for the first half of 2017 includes a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $269.3 million.
    The company expects to achieve targeted $40 million in net cost savings by the end of 2018, is identifying additional areas for cost reduction.
  • Net loss of $175.9 million for the second quarter as admission revenue fell 6%
  • Annual passholders increased by 15 percent
  • March ‘17 – Total Debt of $1.61 B
  • Joel Manby speaks to Tampa Bay Times

 

MIINF (Merlin Entertainment)

  • visitors increase by 6.2 percent to 29.7 million
  • revenue up 19.4 percent to $893 million (£685 million).
  • Pre-tax profit unchanged at $65 million (£50 million).
  • London attractions saw domestic visitation “immediately and significantly reduced” following attacks but “cautious on international visitation over the key summer trading period given the lag between international bookings and visitation.”
  • Merlin chief financial officer Anne-Francoise Nesmes regarding Busch Gardens buy – “It takes two parties to do a deal so we do not know what SeaWorld’s intentions are but we do believe that those assets are interesting and we could certainly do a lot with them particularly around accommodation, so to us it’s about having the right discussion with a willing partner and making sure we have the right financial return.”

 

  • Six Points include grow current attractions, make them destination resorts, synergize, new midway and Legoland attractions, and acquire.

(Could we see a Six Flags/Merlin bidding war?)

Other comments for the show-

Double murder at Zota Beach Resort in Longboat Key

Goodbye to GMR and UoE

New batch of CPers in town, is this the most vlog friendly batch yet?

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Ep 118 – Restaurant Round-up and Reviews

In this restaurant news round-up, Ed and Ken discuss all the latest rumors and news about area tourism foodie news. We discuss everything from Meg Crofton joining Cracker Barrel to new Arby’s and much more. Plus reviews from Satu’li Canteen, Planet Hollywood, and many more.

Hosts

Recording Date- August 4, 2017, on WPRK 91.5 Winter Park (10AM-Noon)

Restaurants in the Tourist District  

TASTE! Central Florida

Meg Crofton joins Cracker Barrel

Taste! Saturday, August 19, 2017 6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

2 WDW pastry chefs on Dessert Professional magazine list of Top 10 pastry chefs in America

IAAPA flyer, gourmet doughnuts

Lucky’s Market will open four new Central Florida locations

 

North I-Drive

Simon Premium Outlets I-Drive ($1,100 sales revenue per sq ft) and Taubman Mall at Millenia ($1,360 sales revenue per sq ft)

Grand National– Starbucks, Mission BBQ, Bahama Breeze and LongHorn Steakhouse (plus 2 hotels)  http://www.cityoforlando.net/city-planning/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2017/04/MPBStaffReport2017-04_MPL2017-00007.pdf

BB opened at The Loop in May

Street name change http://www.cityoforlando.net/city-planning/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2017/08/MPBProjectOverview2017-09_SNC2017-10003.pdf

Pollo Tropical at Artegon (7/11 going in beside it) http://millenia-partners.com/wp-content/uploads/OM-6.12.17.pdf

Andy’s Frozen Custard- Beside Sonic, looks like the Sanford one except for ice cream cone thru roof instead of on the wall. Both under 1,500 Sq ft

Arby’s on Kirkman

(Boot Barn moving across the street from here)

Waffle House at Dowdy

http://www.cityoforlando.net/city-planning/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2017/08/MPBProjectOverview2017-09_MPL2017-10005.pdf

Circo at Hollywood Plaza

Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando Touts Major Dining Awards Streak – Plus New Dinner Show Features and The Arrival of Chef Angel Ramirez

Uncle Julio’s at 360

Flamecraft bar at SWO

 

WDW

DS- Wolfgang, PH review, HoB rumors, star wars vr

Grand Ave, BaseLine Tap House at DHS

 

Wdw tower restaurants

Edible cookie dough shop coming to Celebration this August

New hooters east of JYP near The Loop

Magic place breaking ground on 192

PDQ- Winter Park, Hunter’s Creek

Habit Burger coming to WP, SoDo,

Dragon Challenge = Project 942

HP sit down

Brewery Hops Boss in Winter Park

Fuddruckers coming to Mills50

Shots Bar coming to downtown

Nightlife Czar appointed in downtown

Parramore’s soccer stadium bar district is shaping up

Spanish Mill at the springs

Cocina 214, Landshark opening in Daytona Beach

5 breweries, hard cider

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Op/Ed- TASTE! shouldn’t be a thing, but it is, so let’s support it until we no longer need it!

I often cover issues related to pay and the struggles of Central Floridians in the local tourism industry here on Orlando Tourism Report and if any if you have even listened even once then you know that I’m passionate about ensuring we have a strong tourism workforce. But that can only happen if they’re healthy, happy, and willing to stay here.

In Central Florida, 1 in 6 people struggle with food insecurity. 44.5% of Florida households cannot afford basic needs such as housing, childcare, food, health care, and transportation – the vast majority of these families are working. As we work to ensure better pay in the hospitality industry, and in return better pay across the board in Central Florida. there is something else we can do to ensure that ALL Central Floridians are able to fall asleep every night with full stomachs.

The newly re-branded TASTE! Central Florida is this Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. I’m convinced this is the BEST foodie event of the year in Central Florida. If you’re a fan of the various food and wine events at the local theme parks you’ll love TASTE! It has well over 100 local restaurants who showcase the amazing creativity of their chefs with bite-sized dishes using the finest of ingredients.

Yes, tickets at $150 are a bit pricey but that’s honestly less than I spent at Epcot’s Food & Wine fest last time I went there and the proceeds from this go to a great cause. Both the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida are supported by the event. Approximately 498,000 individuals turn to Second Harvest’s food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their family each year.

This year’s event will include OTR favorites like Yak & Yeti, Universal Orlando, STK, Satu-Li Canteen, SeaWorld, Raglan Road, Paddlefish, and tons of other local restaurants.

The food (and wine!) isn’t the only reason to go to the event. A silent auction has plenty of amazing Central Florida focused items with donations from many of the area’s hospitality leaders. A wine ring toss, the Edible Orlando Giving Tree, a wine cellar giveaway, and many more events take place throughout the evening helping make this one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year. And unlike the parks you don’t have to stand outside when going from booth to booth.

There’s a lot more we can and should be doing to ensure that the 113 million more meals needed per year to fill the hunger gap in our community is a thing of the past but TASTE! is a great first step in that direction. This year, instead of a hot and muggy day of food and wine in a theme park (or on top of it), why don’t you visit the air-conditioned foodie wonderland of TASTE! Central Florida.

TASTE! Central Florida takes place this Saturday, August 18 from 6:45-10:00PM at the Orlando World Center Marriott (the world’s largest Marriott!).

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BUY TICKETS HERE

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