Local residents call Clermont, Florida, the "Gem of the Hills" because the town is located in one of very few Florida areas that have hills. Founded in 1884, Clermont is located in South Lake County, about 25 miles west of Orlando and approximately 25 miles northwest of Walt Disney World. The city has a population of approximately 23,000 and encompasses more than 11 square miles.
The growing community of Clermont is in close proximity to Orlando, making it a logical place for businesses to settle. Many Clermont residents also commute into Orlando for work.
Clermont began as an orange orchard and remained that way until recently. With the population boom in nearby cities, Clermont has experienced rapid growth. The addition of major retailers such as Target and Kohl's has kept the population on the rise. Now overcrowding and pollution are of concern to those living in this once tiny town.
Construction is a large part of Clermont's industry. There are numerous industrial plants and factories creating many repair and construction needs. Flooring, paint, cabinets, counters and other needs for building homes are manufactured here and shipped all over the country.
The major employers in this part of the state are South Lake Hospital, Lake County School System, Super Wal-Mart, City of Clermont and Publix.
Besides factory-related jobs, Clermont is known for its large tourist attractions, while still maintaining a small-town feel. For families wanting to avoid the hustle and bustle of a city like Orlando, Clermont offers a quieter alternative, with plenty of dining and lodging establishments.
Clermont accommodates more than 4,500 houses, of which over 4,200 are occupied. Of these, more than 3,000 are owner-occupied; renters occupy around 1,200 houses.
The crossroads of Florida, Clermont is located at the intersection of State Road 50, which runs east and west across the state and U.S. Highway 27, which runs north and south through the center of the state. Clermont is on a chain of 16 lakes connected by the winding Palatlakaha River in the Ocklawaha Basin of the tributaries of the St. Johns River, the only river system in the United States that flows north.
Downtown Clermont is located next to Lake Minneola and is undergoing a revitalization project to preserve the neighborhood's historic character. Downtown is home to several local businesses, as well as the city's weekly farmers market.
Two newspapers serve the Clermont area: The News Leader, which has a circulation of more than 60,000, and South Lake Press, a weekly newspaper owned by HarborPoint Media Group.
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