Orlando preps for surge in large-scale hotel construction — despite demand uncertainty
- Orlando is getting ready to see the construction of three large hotels in the next few years, defying the market trend of small to mid-size lodging, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
- The massive hotel projects — ranging from 450 to 600 rooms — are close to or on International Drive, which cuts through the area's prime tourist location and is near the Orange County Convention Center. The International Drive area gave the region 40% of its $1.3 billion hotel revenue in 2016.
- Despite seeing record numbers of visitors in 2015, tourist demand for Orlando-area hotels is expected to decline or remain flat over the next few years.
In the competition for lucrative convention business, cities around the country are upgrading not only convention center facilities, but also the lodging options nearby. In Los Angeles, for example, a developer recently filed plans with the city for a new 53-story hotel development across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center.
A little more than a few hundred miles south along the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade, developers are also focusing their attention on the hotel sector. The Triple Five Group and the Graham Cos. won preliminary approval in January from the Miami-Dade County Commission for a $3 billion-$4 billion "retail theme park" mall and mixed-use complex that they say will draw twice the number of Walt Disney World visitors.
When complete, the American Dream Miami development will be the biggest mall and amusement park in the country, offering 2,000 hotel rooms, 3.5 million square feet of retail space, 1.5 million square feet of entertainment space and 6 million square feet of commercial space. The project is expected to generate 46,500 jobs — 32,000 construction and 14,500 permanent — and add $230 million in yearly county revenue, but critics of the project argue the massive project will put too much stress on already-stretched county services.
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