SECTION: CENTRAL FLORIDA BUSINESS; D; Pg. 4
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HIGHLIGHT: PHOTO: Users often make airbnb reservations on mobile devices. Reservations rose in Central Florida during the first quarter.OhmZ/Getty Images
Airbnb use in Central Florida has been growing exponentially, according to statistics the company has provided.
In Osceola County, there were 67,794 people using airbnb in the first quarter of 2017 – a 104 percent increase from the prior year.
In Orange County, there were 53,967 people using the service – 82 percent growth.
In Seminole County, there were 2,252 users – a 98 percent increase.
Airbnb and other services help homeowners rent out their property on a short-term basis to travelers seeking an alternative to traditional hotels.
Though there are hundreds of local listings in the Orlando area, the city and Orange County consider short-term rentals a code violation in many residential areas. Both governments cite short-term renters only after receiving complaints. Creating a policy to more specifically govern these services is complicated by a 2011 state law that restricted cities’ abilities to regulate vacation rentals, officials say.
ITEC helps open theme parks
Orlando-based ITEC Entertainment Corp. has completed the design and integration of ride control systems in six attractions for Motiongate and Bollywood Park, two theme parks at Dubai Parks and Resorts.
ITEC was brought on to design, build and commission the ride show supervisor systems for the more complex and integrated attractions at the two theme parks.
“ITEC was honored to be selected for the project and excited to take on the challenge of designing and building such a large number of systems simultaneously on an aggressive schedule,” said Steve Alkhoja, vice president of entertainment technology for ITEC, in a news release. “ITEC’s engineering team worked closely with Dubai Parks and Resorts to streamline the design and fabrication processes, while maintaining our standards for safety and quality.”
In order to ensure a successful delivery of the systems on a tight schedule, ITEC partnered with Wartsila Funa International on the project. Wartsila Funa International was the provider for all of the audio and video systems for both of the parks as well as for Riverwalk, the entertainment and shopping complex at the entrance to the parks.
“The Dubai Parks project was a massive, 18-month effort that tested the best of us in terms of being flexible to the ever-changing site conditions,” said Paul Weber, Managing Director, Wartsila Funa Solution.
Reedy Creek board member selected
A former public affairs executive with The Walt Disney Co. was selected Wednesday to replace Betty Duda on Reedy Creek’s board of supervisors.
Reedy Creek is the Disney-controlled government entity that handles emergency services, planning, building codes and other services.
Duda passed away last year at the age of 84.
Jane Adams is vice president of university relations for the University of Florida, where she is responsible for government relations, public relations, marketing and external relations at the national, state and local levels.
Adams joined the University of Florida in October 2004, after serving as a public affairs executive with The Walt Disney Company for more than 10 years. Her positions included vice president of government relations and manager of media relations for Walt Disney World and director of communications and public relations for Disney Cruise Line. She also helped to create and served as administrator for the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, which provides annual grants to environmental and wildlife conservation organizations worldwide.
Donald R. Greer and Wayne Schoolfield were both re-elected to the board of supervisors for four-year terms.
The Reedy Creek board of supervisors also on Wednesday awarded a $14.1 million agreement for construction services to Jon M. Hall Co. to construct the Western Way roadway extension project. The construction improvements consist of about 1.75 miles of divided roadway, the construction of pedestrian tunnel, storm water ponds, storm water piping, underground utilities, traffic signalization, roadway lighting and signage. The extension will go from the Flamingo Crossings development to Avalon Road, or County Road 545.
LOAD-DATE: May 31, 2017
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