Frontier Airlines filed plans on Wednesday to add a simulator training center for new flight attendants to the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, a windfall for the hotel that will result in consistent meeting and guest room reservations by the airline.
Located at 12205 S. Apopka Vineland Road, the 490-key hotel lies at the northeast corner with Palm Parkway, just a few blocks north of an entrance to Walt Disney World.
The modular simulator building would have 864 square feet of conditioned area, look fairly non-descript from the outside and be placed in the southeast corner of the property's parking lot.
Frontier was the fastest growing airline at Orlando International Airport in 2016, employs 700 in Orlando, and the market now ranks as the company's second largest outside of its base in Denver.
Frontier did not have a pre-existing relationship with the Sheraton last year for staff layover stays in Orlando. The airline was "looking for a well-run property that would be willing to partner with us on this, and the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista have been great partners throughout," spokesman Richard Oliver told GrowthSpotter.
The new Orlando simulator facility will be for all new flight attendants that join the company and have to go through a three-and-a-half week training program to pass FAA-required safety tests, Oliver said.
It will also be the new hub for annual re-certification training for Frontier attendants based in Orlando, Chicago and New Jersey. The airline will also regularly rent meeting space at the Sheraton for larger presentations and training that won't fit in the small modular simulator building, Oliver said.
The company's Denver-based training center will remain for crews based in Denver and Las Vegas. In mid-July, the airline announced via press release it was adding eight new cities to its Orlando roster of flights, and would introduce the new Orlando training center by September.
Pending permit approvals by the county, Frontier now expects the new training center to open in October, Oliver said.
SK Consortium filed the change determination request with Orange County to update the Sheraton resort's last expansion Development Plan from 2011 to include the new Frontier simulator building.
Hilborn, Werner, Carter & Associates from Clearwater was civil engineer on the modular building plans.