ORLANDO, Fla. - The Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were gunned down in what became the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, will reopen at a new location, according to the club’s owner, Barbara Poma.
Poma told Channel 9 anchor Greg Warmoth that she is actively looking for a location for two reasons; to fill a community need and to make sure hate doesn’t win.
Twice a week, Poma returns to the site, which is now adorned with tributes for the victims.
“Some days, I can go to clean, (bring) flowers, candles,” she said. “If I don’t go, I get anxious.”
Poma said she has heard from people who said the club should be torn down, while some believe it should reopen at the same location.
In a few weeks, there will be a town hall meeting to discuss a Pulse memorial, which will be created at the site of the club.
“It will be something other than a nightclub. Whatever structure, space, my hope for it, is eternity,” said Poma.
But the Pulse nightclub will reopen, just in a different spot.
"By reopening it, same name, same format that we had, it just proves, you know, that hate will not win," Poma said. "We will not let him win."
Pulse survivor Orlando Torres agreed with the idea of reopening Pulse.
"It's something to start new memories, as we've creaetd many memories here at the old Pulse," he said.
Poma is actively looking at sites that have plenty of parking, are not in a residential area and are affordable.
She said she has lost thousands in income because of the shooting, but said that will not stop her from proving that hate will not win.
"It's like family here, you know? We all know each other. We all look forward to seeing each other and spending time with each other," Torres said. "As the saying goes, keep dancing, Orlando."
Information on OnePULSE Foundation town hall
When: Wednesday, Sept. 6
Where: The Orlando Repertory Theater
Tickets: Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained through Eventbrite because seating is limited
Survey: The foundation’s public survey to get public input on the future of the Pulse club site will go live the same day as the town hall. Access the survey at www.onePULSEfoundation.org.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.