The Brightline has been a long-awaited service for many businesses in Central Florida, hoping that more tourists means more money to be spent in the area.
What You Need To Know
- Brightline started running trains from Orlando to Miami and back on Friday
- The service has been a long time coming for Central Florida
- Experts estimate that Brightline will create an estimated $6.4 billion in direct economic impact to the state
Visit Orlando does not have official projections just yet, but officials say they believe the train will open up Orlando to more international travelers coming through South Florida.
Many people were on hand Friday morning to welcome Brightline's first train from Miami to Orlando. Among them was Dan Giordano, the general manager of Rosen Shingle Creek, which hosts thousands of guests daily.
“It's a great day for our region," he said. "A great day for Orlando — it is super exciting."
Giordano said he's hoping the new service to and from South Florida will bring big business back to the hotel.
“Any time you move people from one place to the other its really beneficial," he said. "Mobility is a really important concept wherever you go."
According to Brightline, independent studies show that the combination of construction and operations for its newly expanded rail service will generate more than 10,000 jobs, 2,000 of them permanent, and more than $6.4 billion in direct economic impact to the state.
“This will provide not only more economic benefit to all of us, but I think the international visitors from South Florida will come visit us here, our guests here will potentially visit down south, so its a lot of give and take," Giordano said. "So I think net, it is a really great addition to our marketplace."
Giordano said he believes it is still too early to estimate how much Brightline will boost his hotel's bottom line, but he is hopeful.
“Now is when the real word-of-mouth begins, because when you have actual travelers, that is some of the best marketing," he said.
Giordano said he is also very excited that eventually the Sunshine Corridor project will take Brightline passengers from the airport straight to International Drive, bringing them even closer to the hotel.