Entertainment company Universal Music Group and joint venture partner Dakia U-Ventures are launching a new global collection of music-based “experiential” hotel properties in three locations, and Orlando made the short list.
The joint venture, UMusic Hospitality, first announced plans for a $1.2 billion music-theme resort and casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, earlier this summer. It’s second and third location will be in Atlanta and Orlando, according to an October press release.
Designs for the hotels will try to embody the respective local music culture of each location. The release states the guest experience will try to capture the soul of each city through its local music heritage.
Renderings for the Biloxi site, show the hotel and resort will feature views of a large music entertainment venue and a luxury marina full of yachts. There’s also a massive digital screen at the center of the developments that’s large enough to be visible by boaters in the Mississippi Sound.
According to the release, the Atlanta UMusic Hospitality will include a holistic entertainment venue, and the Orlando design will similarly reflect a music-first experience for guests.
Pyramid Hotel Group has partnered with the joint venture for the United States operations of the hotels
Each UMUSIC hotel will have new state-of-the-art music venue. The joint venture said it’s aiming to create opportunities for local artists and the hotels will incorporate elements of the local music scene.
The Sun Herald, a U.S. newspaper that serves readers along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, reported the Biloxi council approved a tourism tax incentive to redevelop the site where the hotel is being planned. The 266-acre site it entitled to feature a casino, golf course, hotel, spa and other amenities.
It’s likely UMusic Hospitality will seek tourism tax incentives for its location in Orlando. Representatives at UMG declined to provide additional details than what was already announced.
A source close to the deal, who will remain unnamed, revealed the joint partnership is considering building on a property next to the Orange County Convention Center.
Possible development sites include a 45-acre site at 9000 Universal Boulevard that’s currently vacant and previously entitled for up to 2,500 hotel rooms and 8,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space.
The property, owned by Hyatt Development, was part of the U.S.1. South Campus Planned Development that contains the Hyatt Regency Orlando resort community.
A 2015, Orange County development filing now associates the parcel with the Universal Boulevard PD that includes ComTerra Development Group’s 20-acre Destination Shoppes mixed-use project within the International Drive/Convention Center district of Orlando.
Much of the vacant land in the corridor is slated for dense development. Developers in the area will likely feed off of new, existing or proposed entertainment projects in the district like Universal Orlando’s planned Epic Universe theme park.
Before Epic Universe is built, Kirkman Road will need to be extended. Last year, Orange County Commissioners approved to extend the road 1.7 miles from Sand Lake Road to Universal Boulevard. The project is slated to cost about $250 million to just over $315 million to build.
But other large scale projects in the area have been put off due to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In August, the Orlando Sentinel reported Orange County suspended all work on its planned $600 million convention center expansion. Mayor Jerry Demings said it won’t resume until hotel tax collections improve and the county commission approves.
UMG businesses are engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries.