The International Drive resort area continues to change, revitalize, and increase its presence as a major player in Central Florida's booming hospitality industry.
The past year was a game-changer for the tourism corridor with the opening of highly anticipated new projects including new offerings within the very popular I-Drive 360 area and the approval of "VUE at 360" and the nearby $500 million SKYPLEX entertainment complex. There are even more offerings coming soon.


ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER (OCCC) NEWS
For the first time in its history, the OCCC will have the ability to serve edibles grown on property in an all-natural, chemical-free environment. In a few months, an aeroponic structure consisting of 2,000 square feet, will be installed in the Westwood Lobby ready to foster herbs, edible flowers, vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, and squash). Eighty-one towers will cultivate 44 planting spots in each tower and the process will produce herbs and vegetables for meals prepared at the OCCC.

And the OCCC is in full swing with its Capital Improvement Plan, representing the largest renovation project in the venue’s history. Taking place primarily within the OCCC’s West Building, the plan includes adding new spaces like the new Tangerine ballroom, upgraded meeting rooms, and boardrooms.

NEW ATTRACTIONS OPENING LATER THIS YEAR (2016):

  • Main Event Entertainment, a state-of-the-art bowling experience, will open this November at Pointe Orlando with 48,000-square-feet of space. It features bowling, multi-level laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, billiards and interactive and virtual video games, with dining experiences ranging from fast-casual to chef-inspired casual.
  • Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours plans a December 2016 opening at Orlando Crossings Mall.
NEW HOTELS AND RESORTS OPENING LATER THIS YEAR (2016):
  • Hyatt House expects to open on I-Drive this year. The $28 million property will have 175 rooms.
  • Homewood Suites plans to open with 134-rooms on 3.5 acres.
  • Oasis at Grande Pines, a 282-unit luxury apartment community, will open soon.
  • Axis West, a 268-unit luxury apartment complex estimates completion in late 2016. The property will include four buildings of four stories each with elevators and secure-entry, interior corridors. They will surround a central pond and resort-style pool with grilling stations, playgrounds. The ground floor units would have attached garages, and all units would have gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.
  • Westgate Lakes will add 25,000 square feet of meeting space and 25,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space within the existing parking garage. The two projects are part of “The Village Shops at Westgate Lakes,” which will include a steakhouse, Draft’s sports bar, marketplace, arcade and meeting/banquet space.
  • TownePlace Suites Orlando at SeaWorld, a 188-room hotel, will open in December 2016.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando at SeaWorld will also open December 2016.
NEW ATTRACTIONS OPENING IN 2017:
  • Andretti Indoor Kart Racing & Games plans a 2017 opening with 95,200 square feet including multi-level go-karting, laser tag, rock climbing, bowling and more.
  • The Hollywood Plaza Parking Garage to open in 2017 with a 10,500-square-foot high-end Italian rooftop restaurant, Circo Orlando and 9,500 square feet of ground-level retail outlets. The facility is north of Mango’s Tropical Cafe.
  • Cabana Bay Beach Resort will open two new towers with 399 rooms in Spring 2017. 
  • South of Cabana Bay, Universal's third water park, Volcano Bay, will also open in 2017.
  • iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving will open in the first quarter of 2017, featuring a one-story, 14,000-square-foot building with two wind tunnel tubes.
  • Vue at 360 will open Starflyer, the world's tallest spinning swing ride at 425 feet.
  • Topgolf Orlando expects a Fall 2017 opening for its 65,000-square-foot entertainment center.
NEW HOTELS AND RESORTS OPENING IN 2017:
  • Staybridge Suites Orlando at SeaWorld plans to open in March 2017 with 95 rooms on six floors.
  • Residence Inn Universal Studios, plans a five-story, 145,000-square-foot, extended-stay hotel with 196 rooms. Expected opening is late 2017.
  • Ancora Apartment Homes estimates a 2017 opening of its 289 units. Features include large floor plans, luxury finishes, four story, elevator-serviced buildings. Unit interiors will feature imported Italian cabinetry with granite countertops, wood plank-style flooring, oversized garden tubs in the master bathroom, walk-in closets, energy efficient appliances and additional premium upgrades. Featuring 1, 2 and 3 bedroom layouts, ranging in size from 645 square feet to 1554 square feet, with optional garage parking and storage space.
  • Cambria Hotel & Suites plans a seven-story, 140-room hotel. Expected opening in 2017.
NEW ATTRACTIONS OPENING IN 2018 AND BEYOND:
  • iSquare Hotel and Mall Complex plans to open its 600 luxury hotel rooms and suites, spa, retail mall, rotating rooftop restaurant and helicopter pad.
  • SKYPLEX Entertainment Complex will open with Skyscraper, the world’s tallest roller coaster at more than 500 feet. Also: plans include a record-breaking drop tower, observation tower, open air promenade, indoor arcade, hotel, restaurants, and retail.
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