UPDATED: March 7, 2016 9:16 AM — Less than a year after opening its first hotel property, Legoland Florida Resort owner Merlin Entertainments Group is pursuing a second hotel on 58 acres it acquired outside the boundaries of the 150-acre theme park.
Merlin plans to build a 166-key resort property and 12,145-square-foot clubhouse on the west shore of Lake Dexter, on the opposite side of Cypress Gardens Boulevard from the theme park property.
The company received a construction permit in late February and application approval from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for the plans.
The resort will occupy 20 acres of a 58-acre parcel behind the Winter Haven Square shopping center, which Merlin bought for $4.6 million from an affiliate firm owned by state representative John Wood, R-Winter Haven.
Designs submitted to SFWMD display 83 duplexes that total 166 units, along with 11 retention ponds totaling 3.15 acres.
Merlin did not respond to media requests for further details on the project.
The site of the new hotel lies within Winter Haven city limits. The city is working to annex the main Legoland Florida Resort property into its jurisdiction.
The theme park opened its first hotel in May 2015, the 152-room Legoland Florida Hotel. The new park expansion called Heartlake City also opened in June of last year.
The hotel marked a significant shift for Legoland Florida from a day attraction to a multi-day resort destination. It's located at the front entrance of the park and features an interactive play area, pool and restaurant.
Location: Legoland Park in Winter Haven, with the second hotel to be located east of the park property on Cypress Gardens Boulevard
Owner: Merlin Entertainments Group
Start Date: undetermined
End Date: undetermined
Project Budget: undetermined, though Legoland has declined to comment on past project budgets
General Contractor: undetermined for the new hotel project; Whiting and Turner was GC on the first hotel, and Williams Company Southeast for Heartlake City