The Osceola County Commission voted last night on spending $98 million and providing free county land for a new spring training home in Kissimmee for the Washington Nationals — whose old home in Viera is, omigod, almost 20 years old, and can’t be replaced who struck out on getting a new one in Fort Myers because Lee County already owes $234 million for all the other spring-training stadiums it’s been building — and lo and behold, they voted it down, 4-1. Who in the state has the pull to outrank spring-training baseball, self-proclaimed savior of Florida tourism?
Leaders in Osceola’s tourism industry expressed concern that the deal would commit too much of the county’s tourist-tax money to allow adequate funding of Experience Kissimmee, the area’s convention and visitors bureau, and would preclude the county from pursuing any other tourist development projects.
Well, that’s interesting. So apparently local business leaders can recognize opportunity cost — the lost possibilities of doing something else with a sum of money — when the opportunity being cost is something they’re interested in. Or maybe after years of having to watch the Houston Astros play spring games in Kissimmee, local restaurateurs are tired of throwing money at an attraction that just makes people lose their appetite.