Kissimmee is a thriving city located in the heart of Florida, only about 30 minutes away from the major tourist destination of Orlando. It has a flourishing economy that includes well-known names like Walt Disney and Walmart, providing a healthy job market for locals. Between the historic downtown district and the numerous modern shopping centers, Kissimmee has plenty of amenities to offer.
The History of Kissimmee
Local historians agree that although the city's unusual name is nearly impossible to trace, it most likely has origins in the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area. Although the town was called Allendale for quite some time, it was renamed Kissimmee when it was incorporated in 1883.
The city itself started off as a trading post and was later sold to the state of Florida for just 25 cents per acre. In the 1900s, the population had several sharp increases due to the Florida land boom, sustaining itself on the flourishing industries of citrus until two deep freezes nearly destroyed the industry. As the local economy shifted to cattle ranching, the population continued growing. Disney World opened in 1971 and established a significant tourism and development industry that still serves as a foundation of Kissimmee today.
Living in Kissimmee
Kissimmee has shown excellent job growth over recent years, which is good to hear if you're planning to join the local job market. Major local industries include entertainment, recreation, arts, retail, wholesale and services. Unsurprisingly, the Walt Disney Co. is one of the largest employers in the area, followed closely by several major retail chains. The School District of Osceola County, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center and Osceola Regional Medical Center also provide thousands of jobs in Kissimmee.
As a resident of Kissimmee, you'll enjoy the perks of living in a popular vacation spot: excellent climate, year-round entertainment and dining options, and easily accessible amusement parks like Disney World and Universal Studios. Kissimmee itself has been listed as a Playful City USA for its innovative parks and recreation offerings, including civic centers, a water park, a marina and a variety of trail systems and water recreation opportunities.
Kissimmee is included in the School District of Osceola County. The district operates several traditional schools in Kissimmee, as well as a technical education center and an arts-focused campus. You can also choose from several private schools in the area, most of which are faith-based.
The city has a few conveniently-located campuses if you're thinking about working toward your degree. You can enroll at the local campuses of Valencia College or the University of Central Florida, or at the city's private university, Johnson University Florida.
Resources for Moving to Kissimmee
Here's some basic information to help you get settled in Kissimmee:
Utilities: The Kissimmee Utilities Authority supplies electricity and natural gas to the area, while the Toho Water Authority manages water and sewer services.
Garbage and Recycling: The city collects trash, recyclables and yard waste on a regular basis. You will be provided with a disposal can for each type of waste.
Transportation: Lynx is the public transportation network that serves most of central Florida, including Kissimmee.
Due to warm Florida weather and the city's proximity to Orlando, Kissimmee attracts many retirees and tourists. However, housing prices have remained reasonable, with an average home price that's less expensive than both state and national averages.