Icy white out conditions up north cause cancellations at OIA

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ORLANDO, Fla. - A massive winter storm blanketed almost half the country just three days into 2014, and central Florida is feeling the storm's impact.

There were roughly 80 cancellations and delays at Orlando International Airport on Friday, and officials said some travelers will be stuck until Monday.

Anyone expecting visitors to Orlando from Boston and New York may have to wait a while as many flights have cancellations because of the icy whiteout conditions in some northern states.

Airlines have issued advisories letting travelers know they can change their flights without paying hefty fees if they had a flight scheduled within the last few days.

Fortunately, for anyone leaving Orlando, if their flight is canceled, the weather in central Florida won't force them to hunker down at the airport.

While the delays and cancellations may be bad for tourists, they're a good thing for central Florida's economy.

Hotel demand through November was up 3 percent versus the same time in 2012.

And in 2012, visitors spent more than $33 billion in central Florida, and the numbers in 2013 are expected to be even more than that with an estimated economic impact of $52.4 billion.

The Capital One and Russell Athletic bowls from last weekend are also estimated to have brought in $70 million for the local economy.

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