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 40 F L O R I D A According to Experience Kissimmee, several lodging properties are completing or planning expansions and updates for 2017. Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate breaks ground this year on a $40 million expansion that will include a new 93-room villa building, an additional 100,000 square feet of expanded event lawn and conference center space, and 23,000 square feet of additional pool deck. The resort currently has 720 guest rooms plus two- and three-bedroom villas and 128,000 total square feet of event space. The first phase of Margaritaville Resort Orlan- do is set to open in late 2017. The $750 million resort will have 187 guest rooms and 1,300 vacation homes and timeshares. Also new is the 412-room Red Lion Hotel-Lake Buena Vista South, with 1,800 square feet of meeting space; the 200-room GreenPoint Hotel Kissimmee; and a newly renovated 198-room Comfort Suites Maingate East. New and updated attractions include a new wooden roller coaster at Fun Spot America; new outdoor adventures at Gatorland, one of the area's oldest attractions; and a new waterslide complex at Gaylord Palms Resort. In April, Universal Studios Florida unveils the 3-D experience "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" and the new 30-acre water park Volcano Bay will open at Universal Orlando Resort in May. Also in May, the World of Avatar opens at Disney's An- imal Kingdom and a virtual-reality roller coaster comes to SeaWorld Orlando this summer. Additional Kissimmee Meeting Space • Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center: 1,406 guest rooms and suites; 65 meeting rooms in 406,662 square feet of event space • Reunion Resort: lodging for up to 320; 25,000 square feet of event space in 19 rooms • Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa: 1,184 guest rooms; 8,545 square feet of event space • Bohemian Hotel Celebration: 117 guest rooms; 5,000 square feet of event space • Holiday Inn Orlando SW Celebration: 444 guest rooms; 5,043 square feet of event space • Ramada Kissimmee Gateway: 507 rooms; event space for up to 460 guests • Kissimmee Civic Center: 16,000 square feet of event space • Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park: 33,946-square-foot arena Lakeland/Polk County Located just off Interstate 4 between Orlando and Tampa, Lakeland is home to The Lakeland Cen- ter, Central Florida's main entertainment, sports and convention complex, (For more information, see the Breakout spotlight on page 46.) and Rock- ing H Ranch, a 100- acre residence that blends classic Western flair with 21st century originality. The Barn has 4,800 square feet of seating area and the Veranda offers an additional 2,400 square feet of space. Lakeland's home town charm is supported by a variety of arts and cultural op- portunities. Florida Southern College hosts the largest on-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, while the Polk Museum of Art is popular with history buffs and art lovers. Flight enthusiasts can't miss the annual SUN 'n FUN Fly-in. Also, in the heart of downtown, Lake Mir- Situated on 28 acres in the heart of Orlando's famous attractions and close to the Orange County Convention Center, the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld is "branching out" with a multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion. According to Director of Sales and Mar- keting Steven Green, the changes feature an all-new 20,000-square-foot Majestic Ball- room and an extensive transformation of the property's outdoor event space, creating the new Palm Promenade with four distinct out- door venues. Once the project is completed, the property will offer 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space that will be suitable for busi- ness meetings, social events and conferences that can accommodate up to 2,000 participants. With a total of 1,020 guest rooms and suites, the resort offers accommodations amongst its tropical landscape or in its 17- story tower, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Green pointed out several additional as- pects of the property that make it a premier Orlando meeting and event destination. For starters, meeting destinations will get to enjoy the exclusive benefits of an Official SeaWorld Hotel. In addition, the property offers a number of high-end resort amenities, including several large swimming pools and a pool bar; a Kids Lounge with a game area and miniature golf; several on-site dining options and a spacious fitness center. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : DoubleTree By Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld Contact: www.doubletreeorlandoseaworld.com