ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.
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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ A P R I L 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 38 F L O R I D A Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is adding a 15-story tower with 500 guest rooms and rooftop dining. This addition will bring the number of guest rooms at Walt Disney World's 27 resort hotels to nearly 30,000. In Fall 2016, the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Disney Springs Area debuted its rebranding and extensive multi-million-dollar renovations. An official Walt Disney World hotel, it has 1,011 guest rooms and 92,000 square feet of event space to accommodate groups of up to 2,000 guests. A 54-room boutique property, The Delaney Hotel, opens this year in downtown Orlando with a private dining room that can accommodate up to 100 guests. The 304-room Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista has completed a major guest- room renovation. The hotel has 2,900 square feet of event space in four meeting rooms. The 353-room DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport, which has 15,000 square feet of event space, is expected to complete $8 million in renovations later this year. In 2016, the 1,004-room hotel add- ed 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, bringing its total to more than 100,000 square feet. Rosen Hotels & Resorts, the largest inde- pendently owned hotel operation in the Orlando market, has more than 6,300 rooms and suites across seven properties. Connected by skybridge to the West Building of the Orange County Con- vention Center (OCCC), the Rosen Centre Hotel has 1,334 guest rooms and suites, nine dining options and more than 150,000 square feet of event and meeting space. The hotel can host up to 2,700 for banquets or 5,000 guests for receptions. Set on 230 acres, Rosen Shingle Creek has 1,501 guest rooms and 490,000 square feet of indoor event space plus 40,000 square feet outdoors. It also has a full-service spa, 15 dining options, four pools and a nature trail. Located on Inter- national Drive, the 800-room Rosen Plaza can host groups of up to 2,800 people and is adjacent to the OCCC. Also, Rosen Inn International has 728 guest rooms, Rosen Inn has 315 guest rooms, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando has 1,029 guest rooms and Rosen's Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista has a 2,400-square-foot ballroom and outdoor pavilion. (For more information, see the Breakout spotlight on page 41.) Additional Orlando Meeting Space • Orlando World Center Marriott: 2,009 guest rooms; 450,000 square feet of event space; four ballrooms, including the 105,000-square-foot Cypress Ballroom; eight dining options; four large outdoor function spaces • Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge: 70 guest rooms in lodge; 9,000 square feet of meeting space; Golf & Tennis Academy • Holiday Inn & Suites Across From Universal Orlando: 390 guest rooms; two The big news in Ocala/Marion County is that a new hotel is in the planning stages for the downtown square, on the site of the old Chamber of Commerce building. The Ocala City Council has approved a plan to move forward with Downtown Ocala LLC for a mixed-use hotel, retail, restaurant and residential complex to begin construction in August 2017. Phase I will consist of 90 hotel rooms, approximately 10,000 square feet of meeting space and 7,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Phase II will feature 2,000 square feet of retail space and 8,000 square feet of residential space. Phase I should be competed in March 2019, with Phase II to follow. Ocala and Marion County are full of unique meeting venues. According to Ash- ley Dobbs, sales and marketing coordinator for Ocala/Marion County CVB, the bureau can put together a program that takes full advantage of Ocala's gently rolling hills, unique springs, its famous horse country with more than 700 horse farms, and the Ocala National Forest. Silver Springs State Park provides both meeting opportunities and group activities, including the Springs' iconic glass-bottom boats. The Paradise Ballroom at the park offers two dramatic glass walls: one overlooking the vast expanse of lawn and the other featuring the headspring and the glass- bottom-boat dock. The room is 5,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 300 meeting attendees. The CVB actively courts new meeting and convention business, offering an incentive program called Meet and Save in Ocala/ Marion County that provides up to $1,500 to groups that book a new meeting through the bureau. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Ocala/Marion County Contact: planners.ocalamarion.com Silver Springs State Park Orlando Eye