Downtown Orlando task force not seeking tourists

Downtown Orlando task force not seeking tourists

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The committee of "Orlando's Downtown Task Force", or DTO, which is in charge of recommending ways to bring tourists back to downtown says it will not focus on that task much at all. John Crossman is the Chair of the "Urban Lifestyle and Tourism Committee" and says bringing back the old days when Church Street Station was flooded with visitors is not what his committee will focus on.

"Tourism last because I think it's really important that we serve our core customer first which is our downtown resident."

Crossman wants to concentrate on quality of life issues for downtown residents. He says they should concentrate on them instead of trying to get 59 million tourists to take day or night trips to downtown.

"You've got the best tourism people in the world with Disney, Universal, Sea World, that whole crew. It doesn't make sense to try and compete with them head to head. That just doesn't make sense."

John Crossman and the task force say they don't want tourists to see downtown as "fake".

"If you go the reverse and you focus on the tourist first, you can make your downtown not feel real and natural."

Instead we are hearing the latest buzzwords from the committee, like "growing downtown organically". Crossman says he wants the suburbanites to come back to downtown first.

"We have great events, and you can think about for the Magic, and we have soccer coming up, and we've got the Dr. Phillips Center. We've got a lot of cool events downtown. Big scale events are going to happen, and then I think the second thing is I think that we're going to have cooler smaller events coming, happening downtown."

Each of the committees will turn in their reports on downtown to the Mayor and City Council in the Fall.

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