Plans for a major expansion at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate are moving forward again in a slightly scaled-down version.
GrowthSpotter first reported the plans for a 6-story tower with 167 new guest rooms in March 2020, just at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now Houston-based RIDA Development, the master developer of ChampionsGate, has submitted construction plans with the South Florida Water Management District for a 5-story tower with 147 additional guest rooms. The existing hotel will lose three rooms, so the project will result in a net gain of 144 new rooms.
A Site Development Plan was submitted to Osceola County at that time, but it has not been approved because county planners were awaiting revisions.
RIDA Senior Vice President Marc Reicher told GrowthSpotter the revised plan will be submitted soon and the company hopes to start construction in the second quarter of 2022.
“By adding 144 rooms, we’ll clear the 1,000-room benchmark, which is important in the meeting business,” Reicher said. “While we have a wonderful pool and amenities to cater to leisure travelers, a large percentage of our business is from corporate travel.”
The expansion comes on the heels of a full interior renovation of the main hotel, including all common spaces, restaurants and all 720 guest rooms. “The room renovations look dynamite,” Reicher said. “They’re super fresh and modern. They’ve been super well-received.”
He said the entire hotel gets a refresh every seven years, which also attracts repeat business.
“This keeps us competitive,” Reicher said. “If you’re not sticking with your capital program and continuing to improve, you become less desirable to the client.”
Along with the new construction, the hotel will be updating its landscaping and event lawn and creating a private patio for entertaining.
The Omni is the second Osceola County hotel to embark on an expansion to keep up with demand. Margaritaville Resort Orlando broke ground in October on a new wing that will add 75 guest rooms to the hotel, bringing the total number of rooms to 261.