I-Drive Resort Area Development Updates

International Drive Resort Area in Orlando Plans
More than $2 Billion in Current and Upcoming Development Projects
More than $2 billion in current and new development projects will bring more accommodations, shopping, mixed use development, dining and a major new themed ride at one of the area’s world-famous attractions…all to the International Drive Resort Area.
“As we work our way through a changing economy and look toward the future, the commitment to these new projects is a very positive sign for business in the I-Drive-area,” says Luann Brooks, executive director of the International Drive Master Transit & Improvement District.
“We continue to work with our industry partners to provide a quality experience for visitors whether they are attending a meeting or enjoying a vacation in this destination. It is the continuous new development that encourages our guests to return again and again to enjoy new experiences and receive top value for their money.”
The I-Drive area includes six theme parks, more than 550 designer outlets, more than 200 restaurants and entertainment complexes, more than 100 choices in accommodations from luxury to budget, the second largest convention center in the country and the I-Ride Trolley Service.
Summary of 2008 development
The past year brought major expansion to I-Drive shopping, the completion of three resort properties, the opening of SeaWorld’s new water park and a “super stop” transportation transfer point. These include:
Prime Outlets completed additions and renovations in summer 2008 bringing a total of 175 luxury brand-name outlet stores to the center. Investment: $250. Details: www.primeoutlets.com or 407-352-9600.
Orlando Premium Outlets completed the addition of 40 new stores, bringing the total to 150 upscale outlet shops. Investment: $50 million. Details: www.premiumoutlets.com/Orlando or 407-238-7787.
Pointe Orlando opened in winter 2008 with an exciting collection of outdoor shopping that includes 40 retailers, entertainment and dining options in a tropical setting. Investment: $50 million. Details: www.pointeorlando.com or 407-248-2838.
Point Orlando Resort on Universal Blvd. opened this boutique hotel in winter 2008 with 144 suites. Investment: More than $250 million. Details: www.thepoint-orlando.com or 407-956-2000.
Westin Imagine Orlando opened its 315-room, art-deco inspired property in 2008 across from the North/South concourse of the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center. Investment: $100 million. Details: www.westin.com/orlando or 407-233-2200.
The Fountains Resort on Lake Eve opened the last phase of its two-bedroom resort villas in fall 2008. Investment: $52 million. Details: www.bluegreenresorts.com or 407-905-4100.
Destination Parkway “Super Stop“ was dedicated in summer 2008. The stop serves as a transfer point for transit, private carriers and Convention Center shuttles for visitors as well as employees of I-Drive. The facility is the first step in enhancing multi-modal transportation in the I-Drive area and is commitment to Orange County’s “Orange to Green” program. Investment: $2 million. Details: www.orangecountyfl.net.
Aquatica by SeaWorld opened its family water park in March 2008. Investment: $90 million. Details: www.aquaticabyseaworld.com or 407-351-3600.
Summary of 2009 openings
So far in 2009 openings include two new hotels, a retail office complex near Aquatica, SeaWorld’s new roller coaster, additions to a hospital that will serve the tourist corridor and a new restaurant. These include:
Holiday Inn Express & Suites opened on International Drive in January with 203 guestrooms and suites. Investment: $12 million. Details: www.ichotels.com or 407-535-4100.
Lake Eve Resort completed its 176 luxury, all-suite property in a lakeside setting this winter. Investment: $50 million. Details: www.lakeeveresort.com or 407-597-0370.
Vista Cay at Harbor Square continues development of its luxury vacation resort community with townhomes and condos. Investment: $35 million. Details: www.vistacayresort.com or 407-997-0733.
Piazza Roma Retail Center opened in March with 60,000-square feet of mixed use retail/office space near Aquatica water Park. Details: www.sterlingcommercial.com or 407-571-2234.
SeaWorld Orlando’s much anticipated opening of its Manta roller coaster took place in May. Investment: $16 million. Details: www.seaworld.com/orlando or 407-351-3600.
Dr. P. Phillips Hospital completed work on this facility that serves southwest Orange County and the area’s tourist population. This state-of-the-art facility includes emergency services. Details: www.orlandohealth.com or 407-351-8546.
Friday’s restaurant opened in May near SeaWorld. Investment: $3 million. Details: www.tgifridays.com.
Spring Hill Suites at Sea World with 200 suites. Investment: $26 million. Details: www.marriott.com or 407-354-1176.
Fairfield Inn & Suites at SeaWorld with 152 suites. Investment: $25 million. Details: www.marriott.com or 407-354-1139.
Benihana Restaurant opening at Orlando Premium Outlets. Investment: $2. Details: www.benihana.com.
Hilton Hotel Convention Center with 1,400 rooms and 175,000-square-feet of meeting space, this property features an open walkway to the North/South concourse of the Convention Center. Opened: September 2009. Investment: $350 million. Details: www.orlandohilton.com or 407-313-4300.
Planned for 2010…
The Peabody Orlando plans to open its much anticipated $420 million expansion in fall 2010:
  • 1,641 luxurious rooms, including 120 suites
  • 210,000- square- feet of meeting space, all conveniently located on three levels, featuring the pillar-free 55,000 square-foot Peabody Grand Ballroom
  • 80 deluxe breakout rooms with full multi-media capabilities
  • Three new swimming pools, including a heated Olympic-style swimming pool, grotto pool, each with pool bar, fully-equipped poolside cabanas featuring high-speed Internet access, and a children’s pool with cascading waterfall
  • Napa Valley wine-themed restaurant with an enclosed patio overlooking the grotto pool
  • A new Express restaurant in the convention area, offering a variety of light fare selections to go
  • 7 story parking garage for 2,100 cars
  • 22,000- square-foot, full service, luxury spa
Details: www.peabodyorlando.com/newdevelopment or 407-352-4000.
Visitors to Universal Orlando Resort will become immersed in the adventures of the world’s most popular wizard when the much anticipated Harry Potter opens at Islands of Adventure. Details: www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter.
Future renovations and expansions…
Rosen Hotels & Resorts plans a $100-200 million expansion and renovation of six of its I-Drive hotels within the next seven years. The plan began in February 2009 and the project is scheduled for completion by 2011.
The company also will add 100,000- square-feet of meeting space each to the Rosen Plaza and Rosen Centre hotels, as well as parking garages and walkways connecting each hotel to the Orange County Convention Center. The additional meeting space at each hotel is expected to be completed by 2012, bringing Rosen Plaza’s meeting facilities from currently 60,000- square-feet to 160,000- square-feet and Rosen Centre’s from currently 106,000-square feet to 200,000- square- feet. Upon completion of those projects, Rosen will add 400-700 rooms to Rosen Plaza by 2016. Details: www.rosenhotels.com or 407-996-1706.
For additional information on the International Drive Resort Area development and detailed maps, please visit www.InternationalDriveOrlando.com.