UPDATED: National hotelier acquires Hilton flag near Sea World

MCR, the nation's sixth-largest hotel operator, made its Orlando market entry this week with the $30.8 million purchase of the Hilton Garden Inn Orlando at SeaWorld.

The 224-room hotel at is located at 6850 Westwood Boulevard, within walking distance to the theme park. The hotel offers free shuttle service to all Disney parks, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, and it has a shuttle stop for the I-Drive trolley. 

"We're very excited about it," said Matt Kinley, MCR's regional director of operations. "The hotel has a great relationship and partnership with SeaWorld. We're right in their back yard."

Hotel guests get to skip the lines at all SeaWorld rides and coasters. Kinley said MCR expects an increase in family travelers at the hotel next year when the park opens its Sesame World section. 

Built in 2001, the hotel features at 24-hour fitness center, business center and convenience store. It also has 4,700 square feet of flexible event space. Outdoor amenities include a pool, whirlpool and firepit.

"Over the next couple of years we will fully renovate the property to keep it current and competitive, because there's a lot of new product opening in the area," Kinley said. "The (Property Improvement Plan) is very expensive, and it will touch all areas of the hotel."

MCR's design team will coordinate with Hilton over the next year to update the finishes and color palette so it meets the most current brand standard. MCR will renovate 18-20 guest rooms at a time and will keep the hotel open throughout the process to maximize occupancy, Kinley said.

The Orlando hotel is MCR's fifth Florida asset. "We're always looking to expand in areas where there's good opportunity," Kinley said. "We don't have anything else under contract now, but nothing is off the table. We'll look at any and every opportunity that comes along."

The company has invested in and developed 104 hotel properties with more than 12,000 rooms in 27 states. MCR’s hotels are operated under 11 brands. The firm has offices in New York City and Dallas.  

The MCR Hospitality Fund LP targets investments in institutional-quality Marriott and Hilton select service and extended stay hotels throughout the country. The fund provides MCR with approximately $1 billion in buying power. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include the purchase price.

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