Las Vegas' recent unseating of Orlando as U.S. tour champ has a
certain logic to it. The frenetic pace and wildly varied approach
to development in Las Vegas has transformed the gaming oasis into a
kind of big-bucks freak show.
But will Orlando have the last laugh? Could be. By borrowing a
page from the Vegas play book, what was once a one-mouse town is
slowly reinventing itself. And while it's still more wholesome than
Della Reese on a church picnic, recent developments indicate that
Orlando is getting a little jiggy with it.
Upstart Universal has been buying up every available hectare in
order to compete with patriarch Disney. By opening up Islands of
Adventure, Universal grabs the thrill-ride crowd while the new
CityWalk pulls in the club-types.
Now comes Discovery Cove by Seaworld, which, when it opens next
year, will give visitors an opportunity to swim with dolphins and
other exotic marine creatures. And with a strict reservations
policy, there won't be any lines! So watch out Vegas. I mean, with
this kind of sophistication, can bingo be far behind?