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Industry Briefs
ORLANDO ANNOUNCES EXCITING GROWTH AT CONVENTION CENTER, MEETING HOTELS

The second largest convention center in the country and area hotels growing to meet demand


America's most-visited destination is growing its capacity for meetings, conventions and events as it announces significant new developments at the Orange County Convention Center and surrounding convention hotels.

The Orange County Convention Center is moving forward with a $605 million campus improvement plan that will bring expansions and new meeting and exhibit space in the North and South concourses, further increasing the center's seven million square feet of total function space.

The expansion includes the Convention Way Grand Concourse, an enclosed connection between the North and South concourses which features additional meeting space and an 80,000-sq. ft. ballroom with a grand entrance to the North-South building along Convention Way. The 200,000-sq. ft. Multipurpose Venue is a flexible, divisible, column-free space with a combination of retractable and floor seating to accommodate between 18,000-20,000 guests. This project will also incorporate connectivity between the North and South concourses.

The center brings more than 200 conventions and events and hosts 1.4 million attendees each year.

"As a leading meeting and convention destination, Orlando is known for continually investing in the region's growth, and this next phase of the Orange County Convention Center is another testament to our commitment to this industry," said George Aguel, president & CEO of Visit Orlando. "The expansion at the center will create a wealth of new opportunities for groups of all sizes, and will serve as a catalyst for additional development throughout our convention district including new hotels, restaurants and entertainment options."

This new growth comes on top of five years of previous growth at the center which enhanced walkability and connectivity between the convention center and surrounding convention district. There are now five pedestrian skybridges connecting more than 5,200 hotel rooms to the convention center. Within two miles of the convention center, attendees now have access to more than 75 restaurants and attractions.

And, growth continues at meeting hotels throughout the destination, adding to the destination's hotel room and meeting space inventory.

HOTEL GROWTH

  • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is constructing a 15-story tower to add more than 500 new rooms to the property, as well as new meeting space and a roof-top restaurant with a plan to renovate all existing rooms and suites.
  • The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress has broken ground on 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible ballroom space. With its expansion, the resort will offer a total of 102,000 sq. ft. of flexible, indoor and outdoor meeting space. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by fall 2019.
  • Scheduled to open in early 2019, Margaritaville Resort Orlando will offer 40,000 sq. ft. of technology-forward spaces perfect for meetings, conventions and corporate retreats.
  • Universal's new Aventura Hotel offers 600 rooms, rooftop dining and easy access to the nearby convention district and all three Universal Orlando Resort theme parks.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal has completed a $30 million renovation, refreshing the lobby, guest rooms and its 62,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space.
  • The Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center recently completed an $8 million renovation, and offers 150,000 sq. ft. of flexible space.
  • Following a $13 million redevelopment project, Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort has an upscale, contemporary feel, complete with 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space.
  • Having completed a significant expansion, DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld now has 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including a new, 20,000- sq. ft. ballroom and outdoor event venue.
  • With a $5 million renovation complete, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek has a new, 3,500- sq. ft. ballroom, a 2,155-square-foot meeting room as well as a wraparound balcony and terrace overlooking the resort's 10-acre lake.
  • Disney's Yacht & Beach Club recently unveiled 28,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including a 16,000 sq. ft. ballroom. 
  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has completed a $140 million renovation project, including a redesign for all 2,267 guest rooms, a complete transformation of the Dolphin Resort lobby, and a makeover of the resort's 332,000 square feet of meeting space.

Orlando's hotel inventory is expanding every year, with more than 122,000 rooms - 7,300 of which are within a 1-mile radius of the convention center - at over 450 hotels and resorts, including 150-plus meetings hotels.

"Attendees from around the country and the globe will appreciate how much growth Orlando has experienced in the past few years, and how thoughtfully it has grown in every arena," added Aguel. "We know all of these new offerings will give planners and attendees another exciting reason to come back and experience even more in our destination."

For more information on what's new in meetings, go to OrlandoMeeting.com.

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