Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings released a statement in response to Disney announcing that it will not be continuing forward with a major move of staff to a campus in Lake Nona. The news stops any progress that was still happening on the $1 billion campus which was also going to lead to 2,000 jobs being transferred to Florida by Disney. It could also impact future Disney investments of $17 billion which could lead to 13,000 jobs in the state.
In the statement, Demings said it was “unfortunate” that the Lake Nona move wouldn’t be continuing forward. He also acknowledged that “these are the consequences when there isn’t an inclusive and collaborative work environment between the state of Florida and the business community.”
While the state of Florida may not want to collaborate with Disney, Mayor Demings indicated that Orange County would continue to “work closely with our valued partners at Disney.”
Here is the full statement from Mayor Demings:
“It is unfortunate that Disney will not be moving forward with construction of the Lake Nona campus. However, these are the consequences when there isn’t an inclusive and collaborative work environment between the state of Florida and the business community. We will continue to work closely with our valued partners at Disney.”– Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor
The cancellation of this project comes a week after Disney CEO Bob Iger asked “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?” This came as controversy continues in Florida regarding the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. This has led to the replacement of the district with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, lawsuits, and legislation as DeSantis continues to retaliate from Disney’s opposition to a “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2022.
As the feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney has continued to heat up, concern has grown that businesses will be hesitant to invest in Florida. At this point what the future for business and Disney in Florida looks like is unknown. Disney has previously announced that it intends to invest $17 billion in Florida and create over 13,000 jobs. In a letter to cast members, Josh D’Amaro said, “I hope we’re able to do so.”
Daps Magic will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.