by Lisa A. Grimaldi | July 01, 2018

Local Update

 The Hilton Orlando will unveil a 13,000-square-foot outdoor meeting and event space this summer. The new area is adjacent to the pool and will accommodate up to 500 attendees. The property, which recently renovated all 1,417 guest rooms, includes two restaurants and four bars/lounges, a full-service spa and a 24-hour fitness center.

 Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee will undergo a $150 million expansion that will add 303 guest rooms to the resort's current 1,416-room inventory, and 90,000 square feet of meeting and prefunction space, which will result in a total of 490,000 square feet of meeting space. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2019 and be completed by spring 2021.

 The 516-room JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort will open in 2020 at Bonnet Creek, a 482-acre mixed-use resort community. The hotel will have approximately 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 23,000-square-foot ballroom. Other property offerings include an indoor/outdoor restaurant, a rooftop bar, two pools,  a spa and a fitness center.

 The 2,267-room Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort has unveiled a three-year, $140 million renovation. The project included upgrades to all guest rooms and 332,000 square feet of existing meeting space. A new venue, the 2,800-square-foot Lake View room, was added, while a new restaurant and a bar opened at the Dolphin.

 A 28,000-square-foot expansion of the convention center at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort will give the property a total of 100,000 square feet of meeting space upon its debut this summer. The expansion will include a 16,000-square-foot ballroom, three prefunction areas and two gathering rotundas designed to promote networking. The resort has 1,910 guest rooms.

 The 1,910-room Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is adding 545 new guest rooms and expanding its current 220,000 square feet of meeting and event space with the addition of two multipurpose meeting rooms and a boardroom. Both projects are slated to take place over the next two years.

 The 187-room Margaritaville Resort Orlando is scheduled to open later this year with 30,000 square feet of meeting and function space, 200,000 square feet of retail space, a dining and entertainment district, a 12-acre waterpark and a wellness center. The 300-acre complex also will include 1,000 residences.

Meeting Hotels: Properties within walking distance of the Orange County Convention Center include the 1,639-room Hyatt Regency Orlando, 1,417-room Hilton Orlando, 1,334-room Rosen Centre Hotel and 800-room Rosen Plaza Hotel.

To find and compare Orlando-area and other properties, and to send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Orange County Convention Center; exhibit space, 2.1 million square feet; number of meeting rooms, 74; (407) 685-9800 or (800) 345-984

Airport Transit: Orlando International Airport, 13 miles southeast of downtown Orlando and 14 miles east of the Orange County Convention Center/International Drive. Transfer cost by taxi, $38-$45 to downtown, $38-$45 to the convention center, $52-$68 to the Disney Resorts area; by shuttle, $20-$32 to downtown, $21-$33 to the convention center, $23-$37 to the Disney Resorts area

Taxes: Orlando/Orange County: room tax, 6%; sales tax, 6.50%; total taxes on hotel rooms, 12.5%

Walt Disney World Resort hotels in Orange County: room tax, 6%; sales tax, 6.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.5%

Contact: Visit Orlando, (800) 643-0482