Looking ahead to the future of the Florence Center

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – As Disney On Ice kicks off this week at the Florence Civic Center, soon to be the Florence Center, officials say there’s a lot more in store for the new year.

The arena where Disney on Ice takes place is all about entertainment and what general manager Paul Beard says enhances the quality of life for people in the area.

As for the convention center area, that’s where the economic impact comes into play. It’s what brings thousands of people in from outside of the Florence area and during their visit, they help to boost the economy.

“These bring thousands of visitors from outside the Florence region to this region. It’s heads in beds, hotel and motel, food and beverage, gasoline, shopping,” Beard said. “So it creates an economic impact drive that provides a tax base from the hospitality fees and the food and beverage taxes that then supports the arena side of the operation, as well as the economic driver for a lot of construction that you see going on around the downtown area now.”

This past fiscal year, Beard said the Florence Center generated a $42 million economic impact for the city and the county. Leaders hope to drive that number beyond $50 million once the expansion is complete, which is anticipated to be mid to late December.

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