Westgate Resorts asks Osceola Commission to rethink Nationals plan

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

Commissioners in Osceola County are under increased pressure to scrap plans for a proposed spring training facility for the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Many don't realize it but a lot of hotels along U.S. 192 in Osceola County are home to families.

James Mexicott's family lives in a hotel. He said it costs about $150 a week for the hotel room. He said that hotel room keeps them from being homeless.

Several of the hotel residents have heard the news that some Osceola leaders want to spend millions of dollars in tourist tax money to lure the Washington Nationals to town for spring training.

"With all that money they could help a lot of families in need," said Mexicott.

Westgate Resorts sent an open letter to county commissioners asking that the money be spent to help get families without homes out of tourist hotels.

"Me and my wife work, the kids go to school, it's the part of trying to get help to get that one lump sum for a down payment," said one motel resident.

The father of one family living in a motel said that with so many families living in motels and hotels, tourists tended to stay away.

"They don't like to be in these hotels, they like to go to the others," he said.

That is one of the points made in the Westgate letter.

There are nearly 70 school bus stops along U.S. 192 to pick up children who live in hotels.

No one from the Westgate Resorts would comment on the letter.