ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With the kick-off of the Conservative Political Action Conference starting Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, local restaurants said they are hoping to see the economic impact.
Tatiana Millan is the executive chef at Mia’s Italian Kitchen located off International Drive, not far from the Hyatt Regency.
“I’m already seeing today some people walking around, so we’re really hoping for more business this weekend,” she said.
Millan said large events like CPAC are important to the survival of surrounding businesses.
She said for an event like a volleyball convention, they see large crowds at the restaurant, and she’s hoping to see the same from those attending CPAC.
Dr. Sean Snaith, the director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting in the College of Business at the University of Central Florida, said while CPAC isn’t a major convention, it is an event that will attract a large number of people.
He said every major event brings dollars into the region’s economy.
“I think it’s a welcome boost to a segment of our tourism sector that was still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Snaith said.
Snaith added that the type of crowd an event like CPAC might draw, which includes politicians and lot of adults, should bode well for restaurants.
“Typically, the older the crowd is, you’re looking at a higher income level and some more disposable money to spend, so you know, I think it’ll benefit a wide range of businesses in the area, but particularly those that serve a relatively more affluent clientele,” Snaith said.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings didn’t have the exact projections but said he expects the impact to be significant.
“It’s a multi-million dollar economic impact, I can tell you that,” Demings said.