The expansion will bring the total convention, meeting and pre-function space at Gaylord Palms to approximately 490,000 square feet.
The expansion will bring the total convention, meeting and pre-function space at Gaylord Palms to approximately 490,000 square feet. (Blur Workshop)

Construction on the $150 million expansion at Kissmmee's Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center will start in this year's third quarter with the first of two parking decks, according to a Nashville-based REIT that owns the hotel.

Ryman Hospitality Properties formally announced the expansion project on Thursday, which was first reported May 18 by GrowthSpotter. Osceola County Commissioners unanimously adopted the amended marketing agreement that allows the hotel to keep the majority of bed tax revenue generated on-site.

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In the release, Ryman CEO Colin Reed added more details about the project and construction schedules. He said the hotel will add 303 new rooms, which will bring the total room count upon completion to 1,719.

This rendering shows the expanded pool deck and lazy river at Gaylord Palms.
This rendering shows the expanded pool deck and lazy river at Gaylord Palms. (Blur Workshop)

The 90,000-square-foot convention center expansion will be divided equally among a new ballroom, breakout space and carpeted pre-function space. There's also a new events lawn, Reed said.

"Gaylord Palms is ideally positioned in one of the most attractive convention and leisure destinations in the country," he said. "Much like our recently-completed Gaylord Texan expansion, we believe this expansion will allow us to meet the increasing demand we are seeing from large group customers seeking additional high-quality meeting space in a way that takes full advantage of our existing resort infrastructure."

Gaylord Palms & Osceola County reach deal for $150M expansion of Kissimmee hotel

Early insight on the $150 million hotel expansion, the timeline for construction and what the county government stands to gain.

Construction on the meeting space, rooms expansion and pool enhancements is expected to begin following completion of the parking structure in the spring of 2019. The planned expansion is expected be completed during the spring of 2021.

The project architect is Blur Workshop, which also designed the Gaylord Texan expansion and new Riverfront Ballroom at Gaylord National Harbor Hotel in Prince George's County, Maryland.

The project will be funded with cash on hand, borrowed funds under the company's revolving credit facility and proceeds of a 1 percent hotel tax special assessment that begins in July and continues for 30 years.

The convention center expansion includes a 30,000 square-foot ballroom, plus break out space and pre-function space. There's also a new event lawn.
The convention center expansion includes a 30,000 square-foot ballroom, plus break out space and pre-function space. There's also a new event lawn. (Blur Workshop)

The revised marketing agreement with Osceola County also guarantees a return of $49.6 million through the TDT reimbursement over the life of the agreement.

"We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the leadership of Osceola County, which has given our company the confidence to continue our investment in this market," Reed added.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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