After being in business for a year and being ready to grow and design new adventures, it was time to rethink our company name. Before we jump into the new name, let’s talk about how it all began with Mosquito County Tours.
Mosquito County Tours: The Story Behind the Name
The idea for the business name came from the original county name of this area: Mosquito County (sometimes spelled "Musquito"). The original Mosquito County covered all of Central Florida, including the present-day counties of Orange, Osceola, Lake, Polk, Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Seminole, and Palm Beach. Mosquito County was founded December 29, 1824, later disestablished March 14, 1844.
I started Mosquito County Tours about a year ago, with the idea of creating a walking tour business that focused on seeing the REAL Orlando. I wanted to focus not just on Orlando, but all of Central Florida, to incorporate history in the tours.
Creating a company name rooted in the original history of this place seemed like the perfect name for a business that celebrates the area and its history.
Reactions to the Name
I received a lot of questioning and criticism over the original business name, Mosquito County Tours, right from the start. People would hear the name and immediately ask, "Are you sure that you want to give your business that name?"
I was set that this was the perfect name, and I was not going to change. I was determined to teach people about our history.
Over the course of the last year I’ve spoken with friends, family, tour guests, and other tour owners about the name of the business. I have told the story of Mosquito County and of the history of this area.
Common Misconceptions + Representing the Experience
I discovered that people absolutely love the history and the story behind the name...once they’re on a tour and they see how cool the experience is. However, for people looking online for something to do and coming across "Mosquito County Tours," the name does not represent their tour experience at all.
The name brings up questions of mosquitoes, as many people are not from Central Florida and think we have a lot of bugs. Many guests ask if the bugs are a problem and if they need to bring bug spray on the tours.
Growing the Mosquito County Tours Business
As the business grew, I began bringing in more team players to help expand tour engagement.
The first person I brought on was Robert Soviero. He and I have known each other for years, and we’ve worked on many events together in the past.
Rob and I have recently been discussing a rebrand to take this business in a new direction for whatever’s next. We wanted to create a name that when people hear it, they get a feel for what this business is about.
Our New Name
We decided on “Around Orlando Tours” as the new business name. We like the word "Around" because it incorporates all of Central Florida. When people hear the name, they’ll have a better understanding of what the business is about.
Mosquito County Tours will continue to be the business name. We're adding Around Orlando Tours as the name of the tour side of the business, and The Floridabilt is our venue inside Church Street Train Station.
Introducing Timothy Williams
We are excited to tell you all that we have brought on Timothy Williams as the role of Around Orlando Tours Manager!
At the same time Rob and I were developing a logo, we were also on the hunt for someone to help us to grow and manage the tours. With being ready to expand, we needed to find someone who can be an amazing tour leader and train up and coming tour guides, as well as grow and develop new tours.
Timothy Williams brings a diverse set of skills and a vast range of experience to the Around Orlando team. A professional stage actor, director, corporate host and voice over artist in the Central Florida area for over thirty years, Timothy has also guided tours for the Walt Disney World Company in Orlando and assisted in developing the service training program for Pebbles Restaurant in Winter Park, Florida where he showed his aptitude for leadership in the role of head trainer.
An educator in the academic world, Timothy is an adjunct theater professor at Valencia College and serves as the acting coach and staging director for Opera Orlando’s Youth Company.
Tim has already started building the foundation for what is to come next with Around Orlando Tours.
Unveiling Our New Logo
When it was time to develop a logo, I wanted to include elements from Orlando’s history into the logo. Although Orlando is no longer a top producer of citrus, it was our city’s largest industry before tourism took over. Inspiration from old citrus company labels helped formulate the color scheme and feel for the logo.
We kept the orange colors in the background - symbolizing the fruit and the sun - and added a representation of our new building, the historic Church Street Train Station. The train station is where our offices are housed, also the location where we are opening up the second part of the business: The Floridabilt. The train station was built in 1889, carrying a lot of significant Orlando history.
The county name changed from Mosquito County to Orange County, which is the current name of this area (downtown Orlando and surrounding areas). The logo captures the past and the present by incorporating Mosquito County and the orange all in one image.
The original Mosquito County logo had a rainbow. Second to the mosquitos, the rainbow received many questions. The Pulse nightclub shooting took place on June 12, 2016 in our city, leaving 49 victims dead and changing Orlando forever. In honor of the victims and the LGBTQ+ community, our city responded by displaying rainbow flags all over town. Numerous slogans and campaigns later incorporated the rainbow flag, celebrating Orlando. These symbols showed the world that we're strong, everyone is welcome here, and we will not let hate win.
The rainbow has now become a symbol of Orlando - a community forever changed, where all walks of life are welcome. While the oranges and the train station may represent our history — the rainbow represents our future. Orlando is forever changed, and we are heading down a new road of love of acceptance. I am proud of what Orlando is becoming and I want the world to see who we are by proudly telling our story.
Although the new logo does not have the rainbow, we do have a rainbow version of our new logo that we will be using to show our Orlando pride!
Time to Grow
Now that we have our new logo and a manager, we’re ready to begin our next step of looking for incredible tour guides to join our Around Orlando family!
Our tour guides are caretakers of the stories of Orlando’s diverse past and champions of its rapidly growing future.
In addition to being engaging storytellers and dynamic public speakers, Around Orlando Tour Guides must also be skilled in hospitality, provide superior guest service and care, and possess a passion for the history of Orlando’s community and heritage. This is an opportunity to be an ambassador of Orlando’s flourishing cultural and culinary identity, and to host uniquely crafted experiences of a thriving city that exists outside the realm of theme parks and outlet malls.
If you're interested in becoming a member of our Around Orlando family, visit our website to submit your application.
What's on the horizon for Around Orlando Tours?
In addition to improving our tours and bringing on a team of amazing guides, we're also expanding our tour offerings.
We're developing tours and experiences in new locations all around Central Florida. We are creating some fun, unique hands-on experiences for you to try for the first time!
Our home base is at The Floridabilton Church Street. Now, we're working to greatly expand the variety of tours and experiences available in Downtown Orlando.
We have always offered custom and private tours and experiences, such as family reunions, birthdays, corporate outings, and more. Now, we’re expanding your options to create even more unforgettable experiences.
Follow Our Journey!
We can't wait to share all of our exciting news and announcements over the next few months as we launch Around Orlando Tours to Orlando, Central Florida, and the world!
Join us on our new social media accounts to stay up to date on everything happening with Around Orlando Tours. Follow us on Instagramand Facebook, and let us know what you want to see with Around Orlando Tours!