Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

« Jeb Bush: GOP presidential candidates should "categorically reject" birthers | Main | Documents offer insight into Rubio's family history but new questions arise »

Commercial builders counter Florida Chamber and endorse resort casinos

Just as the Florida Chamber of Commerce was announcing its opposition to resort casinos last week, the Associated Builders and Contractors’ South Florida Chapter voted unanimously to support the proposal -- and work for its passage.

The trade group, which represents commercial, institutional and industrial contractors including those who are members of the Florida Chamber, see the proposal as a salve to the South Florida economy, said Peter Dyga, president and CEO of ABC South Florida chapter. Their resolution is here: Download ABC Destination Resorts letter

“There is a lot of hope that it would have an impact not just on immediate jobs but on the long term impact on the economy,’’ he said. “A lot of people take a lot of pride in South Florida and believe it would be a natural boon if something like this took off.”

The unanimous vote by the board on Oct. 17 came after several members urged the association’s leadership to take a strong position on the issue, even though the group had already formed its legislative agenda, Dyga said.

“This really started at the grass roots,’’ he said. “There were a couple of skeptics, concerned about the negative things surrounding gambling, but there wasn’t a ‘no’ vote.”

As for the opposition to the measure pledged by the Florida Chamber, whose incoming chairman is Anthony Connelly chief financial officer of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S., Dyga said “the vast majority of our members are in disagreement with the chamber’s position. The more skeptical of them believe the chamber is more heavily influenced by its affiliation with Disney.”

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has joined the Florida Chamber in opposition to the “destination resort” proposal.