If you watch the Super Bowl, at the end of the game, some of the players are paid to say they are going to Disney or Walt Disney World in Florida. If you go back into history, Disneyland theme park was set in Anaheim, California but soon outgrew the space it was located in. Walt Disney looked at the hotels and other attractions that settled around the theme park, which he did not control or own and said never again. When Disney became more successful, Walt went looking for a space somewhere in the US and settled on the Orlando area. Walt Disney ensured the company bought more land that they needed, truthfully more land than they would ever need, they have 25,000 acres. The extra land, most of it swamp land was put into an entity called Reedy Creek Improvement District after the creek which went through the property. The Reedy Creek Improvement District had all the rights of a city and its bonds are backed by the full credit of the Disney Corporation.
Disney is one of those master marketing machines which is designed to cater to any group with the money to spend at Disney. It has enough attractions to cater to all faiths and ethic nationalities with very few incidents that the public knows about. There have been books and videos about the Disney customer service levels and the theme park is open every day of the year. If you have not been to Disney, it is worthwhile as a visitor or to learn about.
Disney opened the park to the LGBT groups with many having duel incomes, no kids or money to spend, the days were successful.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did not like Disney which is the largest employer in Florida and is the primary reason why the Orlando area and airport draw millions of tourists to Florida every year. The Governor decided to take control of the Reedy Creek Improvement Area which was set up in the 1960’s and controls the land decisions for the future operations of Walt Disney World. Similar to corporate organizations, Reedy Creek Improvement Area has a Board of Directors and according to the bylaws has an election every year. Governor DeSantis picked some people to be on the Board. Disney did not like it and at their last meeting, which was held in public, the old Board passed amendments to give control of Reedy Creek Improvement Area undeveloped lands to Disney and retain the roads, fire department and garbage department. For a long time, Disney was doing these services, but they were not what they really wanted to do – the services are public services. At the meeting, Reedy Creek gave Disney the control of the land for 30 years plus 21 years after the death of the grandson of the present King of England.
As they say in England, Governor DeSantis was not amused and sent a letter to his Inspector General to investigate the changes. Disney called the Governor acting in a manner which was not pro-business and noted at its AGM, over the next decade Disney expects to spend $17 billion in the Reedy Creek Improvement District creating 13,000 jobs.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, every large organization has to work with the government and giving the role Walt Disney World has in the economy, it is rare for the government not to cooperate. too get along and not be interested in photo ops than fighting the company. Normally an announcement by a company to create thousands of jobs would get the interest of the Governor. Profitable businesses tend to outlast politicians who tilt at windmills.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.