The City of Orlando offered Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma $2.25 million dollars to purchase the venue and make it into a permanent memorial. Poma initially agreed to the deal, but backed out on Monday.
“This decision truly came just from my heart and my passion for Pulse, and everything it’s meant to me and my family for the past 12 years,” Poma said in a press conference. “So I think the struggle was you know, letting it go, and it’s just something I could not come to grips with.”
Poma founded Pulse in honor of her brother who died of AIDS-related complications.
In response, Mayor Buddy Dyer wrote in a statement:
We understand that this was an incredibly difficult decision for the owners and we respect their decision and are hopeful the Pulse site will continue to be a place of hope and healing that honors the victims.
We believe it is important for the community to have input into a memorial that honors the victims and pays tribute to the resiliency of Orlando. City staff will continue to research and understand how other communities have approached the memorial process.
As we better understand that process, and after engaging with our commissioners and community partners, we’ll update the community on the next steps.
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