Orlando Sentinel : 2019-02-11



| D1 Monday, February 11, 2019 Orlando Sentinel CENTRAL FLORIDA Tourism SeaWorld, Visit Orlando leaders land new roles By Gabrielle Russon Orlando Sentinel Two Orlando tourism leaders are getting new jobs. SeaWorld executive vice president Jim Dean was named interim president and CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the Tampa Bay Times reported. “He brings a wealth of experience in the tourism industry,” Pinellas County administrator Barry Burton said in the story. Dean told the Times he plans to apply for the permanent post. He was the park president at SeaWorld Orlando until he moved into the company’s corporate office in 2018. He also previously led Tampa’s Busch Gardens and Adventure Island becoming coming to Orlando. Dean left shortly before SeaWord Entertainment appointed a new CEO. Gus Antorcha, who previously was a Carnival Cruise Line executive, takes the helm of the Orlando-based theme park operator on Feb. 18. Meanwhile, former Visit Orlando executive Peter Cranis was tapped to be the new executive director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism, according to Florida Today. The newspaper reported if the Brevard County Commission approves his assignment later this month, he starts March 4 at the job that pays $115,000 annually. Cranis previously worked as vice president of global consumer and convention marketing for Visit Orlando rom 1999 to 2016 and was the head of marketing at the Orlando Eye from 2016 to 2017, the story said. Hotel tax generates $23.5 million The Orange County tourist development tax generated $23.5 million in December, about 1 percent more than the previous holiday month in 2017, according to numbers released last week. “Although [the] TDT only saw a 1.3 percent increase this month, we had two very good months before that,” Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond said in a news release. “So, we are still off to a good start for the fiscal year.” The holidays are a particularly busy time in Orlando’s tourism market as tourists travel to the theme parks which offer special events. The 6 percent tax is charged on short-term rentals, which are mostly hotels and motels. The money helps grow local tourism from bringing sporting events into town to expanding the Orange County Convention Center. State Sen. Linda Stewart recently filed a bill that free up some of the hotel tax dollars to bring back incentives for film and TV production in Florida. “All our movies and all our filming has gone to Georgia or Louisiana, and they’re making a fortune,” Stewart, D-Orlando, told the Sentinel. “Films and movies are huge economic drivers.” The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, which was against changes that would have allowed the tax money to be used for tourism-related infrastructure Please turn to AQUATICA, D4 Ask An Expert Lucky’s Market selling Second Harvest items Q: My wife now requires memory care in an assisted living facility. If she ends up eligible for Medicaid, will she have to be moved to a different facility? — Shoppers can now buy soups, honey and cookies from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in grocery stores. Lucky’s Market became the first retail partner to pick up the items made by Second Harvest, following 4 Rivers restaurants, which has been selling them since their launch in October. Lucky’s and Second Harvest announced the deal at the opening of the Lucky’s Market at South Orange and Pineloch Avenues in Orlando on Wednesday. Lucky’s also opened a store at 11601 Regency Village Drive near Disney World on Wednesday. Lucky’s Market, known for carrying dozens of local products from gelatos to hot sauces, is now partnering with the food bank. The Spoonful of Hope line was created by the culinary team at Second Harvest in Orlando, which trains disadvantaged aspiring cooks for careers in the culinary industry. The products don’t use M.L., Clermont A: That is a possibility in the event the facility does not have availability to accommodate a so-called Medicaid resident. In that case moving to a facility with Medicaid availability would be necessary. — John Pinkley Q: My husband rebalanced his 401(k) and it included his company stock, an ESOP option. It’s now $2,200 more than last month. Is this a problem? — D.G., Kyle Arnold Windermere A: Restaurants & Retail Not at all. If the ESOP is listed as an investment option, and if the rebalance options include it on the plan administrator’s website, you did it right. Well done. donated ingredients. The items include a tomato basil Soup for Good, local honeys in mangrove, orange blossom, palmetto and wildflower varieties, as well as a shortbread called Cookies for Good. The Spoonful of Hope products will be available at all Lucky’s Markets in the Orlando area. — Dennis Nolte Have a question? Email [email protected] Include your name (only your initials will be printed), hometown and phone. Questions are answered by Certified Financial Planners from Financial Planning Association of Central Florida. Answers are for educational purposes only; you should also consult a financial professional. Questions and answers may be edited for space considerations. Morphe Cosmetic store Morphe has opened at Florida Mall, specializing in a variety of professional-style makeups Please turn to TOURISM, D2 Please turn to ARNOLD, D3

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