National tour operator seeks tax incentives to make Orlando its co-headquarters

Los Angeles-based American Tours International is considering Orlando for a new co-headquarters, and is seeking $47,000 in tax incentives from the City of Orlando over the next six years. 

ATI offers Visit USA programs that include group bus and air tours, and has offices in New York, Beijing, Honolulu and in Orlando at 5787 Vineland Road in the Shoppes of Portofino retail plaza, where it leases roughly 1,000 square feet. 

The company is considering Orlando and Nevada as locations for a new co-headquarter facility. If the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) program incentive is made available to the company, ATI would create 47 new-to-Florida jobs by Dec. 31, 2021, paying an average annual wage of $50,472, which is at least 115 percent of the 2014 Orange County annual wage, according to a summary report provided to Orlando's City Council. 

ATI’s total capital investment is estimated to be more than $300,000 in construction and equipment for an Orlando office expansion, per the summary report.

The company would likely seek new, larger office space in Orlando for that expansion, though such details weren't provided to the city.

JNS Property Management, owner and operator of the Shoppes of Portofino, declined to confirm on Wednesday when the tenant's lease is set to expire. Officials with ATI did not respond to requests for comment. 

The state of Florida would provide a total of $235,000 to American Tours under the QTI program, which includes the city's local financial support.

City staff are recommending approval for the city to provide the local 20 percent QTI match, up to $1,000 per job created, paying an average annual wage of $50,472. Under this arrangement, the City of Orlando would provide $47,000 as an incentive over a six-year period. 

The City Council is expected to vote on the proposal at its Feb. 27 meeting.

City staff are recommending the match because ATI is a targeted growth industry, creating 47 new jobs, investing over $300,000 in construction and equipment, and considering other states for relocation.

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