Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Press Release: Mount Dora Lodging Association

May 3rd, 2009

For immediate release

Contact: Mount Dora Lodging, Inc.

(352) 735-3110

Mount Dora Village Merchants and Business Association Lends

Support to Mount Dora B&B businesses...

MOUNT DORA, FLORIDA: The Mount Dora Village Merchants and Business Association Board of Directors and 60 members have signed a petition to show their support of the B&B’s who want to expand their businesses during these hard economic times. The MDVMBA supports these requests in part due to contributions innkeepers have made to the community generating nearly $5 million in tourist spending over the last two years since they have come together in a mutual incorporation.

Proposed ordinance changes the innkeepers are requesting include the ability to host small events of 35 people or less depending on the maximum occupancy load of each inn as deemed appropriate by the City Fire Marshall. Secondly, with appropriate licenses, innkeepers are requesting permission to serve beer and wine to visiting guests attending events at their inn who are not overnight guests.

It is the second victory in five months for the innkeepers. Mount Dora City Council members recently approved a motion to allow Bed & Breakfast innkeepers to purchase state beer and wine licenses which permits them to serve complimentary drinks to their paying overnight guests. Additionally, innkeepers in certain zoning districts are now allowed to expand their room inventory based on the size of their property.

This show of support comes as innkeepers find their plans scrutinized by less the 2% of the residents. A petition circulated by residents opposed to the prospect of hosting special events, innkeepers believe most of the opposition stemmed from misinformation. Residents were being told that inns would transform into noisy bars or crowded restaurants. “We've put too much time, care and expense into our homes to let that happen” innkeepers shared. “When residents learned we were simply trying to continue hosting small gatherings appropriate for size of an inn, things started to calm down.”

Innkeepers believe the support of City Council and the Merchants Association speaks eloquently to the fact that Mount Dora B&B owners have been good neighbors, good for the community, and good for the economics of Mount Dora, people just needed to know the facts.

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