Friday, June 26, 2020

Orlando-area malls are recovering faster than ones in Miami or Las Vegas

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 1:04 PM

  • Photo via the Mall at Millenia/Facebook

The climb out of the economic downturn is just beginning, but new data shows Orlando is recovering more slowly than nearly any major city in the state – though faster than most other tourist destinations around the nation.

Location intelligence research company Ubimo has created a dashboard monitoring movement within a 264-foot radius of more than 340,000 Out-of-Home (OOH) properties sorted via designated market areas (DMA). The numbers show that the Orlando DMA, which includes all of the Orlando metro along with Volusia and Brevard counties, bagan the year slightly below its baseline, then saw an uptick within the first two months of the year. By April 13, though, the nation saw a nearly 40 percent decrease in traffic compared to the first seven weeks of the year. In Florida, things were even more dire, with Orlando 9 percentage points lower than the nationwide numbers, in a practical tie with the Gainesville DMA (-49.16%) for the worst in the state.

click image florida_dmos.png

The only market in Florida to see numbers better than the national average was Panama City, reporting movement near OOHs nine-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national average. Even with these slightly improved numbers, the Panama City region is still expecting to lose hundreds of millions due to spring break crowds opting not to travel during the pandemic.

Despite multiple back-to-back days of more Americans dying from COVID-19 than were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, by late April, Florida officials began pushing for the state to reopen. In the first week of May, the Orlando area started seeing movement near malls, where almost zero movement had been dedicated since mid-March.

The most recent data available shows that for the week ending on June 14, a national recovery is happening with movement off just 5 percent from the beginning of the year.

In Orlando, malls have seen nearby movement increase, though traffic is still half of what it was in the first seven weeks of the year. Tampa has seen mall traffic nearly identical to Orlando’s, while Miami is trailing both. Miami, reporting a decline of movement near malls of 65 percent, still beats many other tourist destinations, including Las Vegas, with 73.5 percent; Los Angeles, 78 percent; and Washington D.C., with 84.5 percent.

click image IMAGE VIA UBIMO
  • Image via Ubimo

As of May 25, the Miami DMA, which also includes Fort Lauderdale, was higher than the national average for movement near malls, with every single DMA in the state reporting movement levels recovering faster than the national average.

Movement in Florida is picking up. The week of June 8 saw movement in Orlando off by 19.8 percent, less than half of the 42 percent decline seen in Vegas. Orlando, and Florida as a whole, saw higher levels of movement near OOHs far later than many other metro areas.

click image IMAGE VIA UBIMO
  • Image via Ubimo

Florida is rebounding faster, but it is unclear, based on the Ubimo data, if that increase in movement is thanks to locals or tourists. An official with Ubimo explained, “We are seeing what looks like the start of a potential recovery with the data below, with a few DMAs in Florida already seeing close to normal foot-traffic levels as folks feel more comfortable being out and about over the past couple weeks. Given the foot-traffic we are already seeing in Florida, and the added bounce back in air travel [TSA saw its busiest weekend since March in early June], this could be the light at the end of the tunnel for tourism and retail in Florida. We will be closely following the data to see just how many people feel safe enough to bring some magic back into their lives.”

Studies show that tourists want to travel, just not yet, which means all of the increased movement near Orlando’s malls may be locals.

The question remains if Florida’s quick bounce-back will remain sustainable. By June 22, Florida had surpassed 100,000 total infections and more than 3,100 deaths. The past two weeks have seen new infection numbers skyrocket.

  • Photo via the Mall at Millenia/Facebook
Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

August 5, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation