Hotel revenue in Orange County exploded last year, sending the market value of the county's hotels soaring 80 percent, according to the Property Appraiser's office. In total, the appraiser's office valued all 280 hotel properties in Orange County at $10.19 billion in 2015 compared to $5.66 billion in 2014.
That increase includes the revenue from three new hotels added to the tax rolls in 2014, The Four Seasons at Disney's Golden Oaks community, Cabana Bay at Universal, and a Holiday Inn and Suites at 12250 East Colonial Dr. Those properties added 2,335 new beds, boosting the total number of Orlando hotel rooms to 87,181.
"Essentially the story is that this is a reaction to the 62 million visitors (in 2014)," said Property Appraiser Rick Singh. "They need some place to sleep."
Unlike homes, whose values are determined by similar sales, hotels in Orange County are valued based on their revenue. The Florida Department of Revenue collects taxes based on hotel revenue and then shares that information with property appraisers. They provide the information as an aggregate number to protect the privacy of each hotel owner.
The jump in revenue will likely raise the tax bills for hotel owners, but not proportionate to their revenue increases last year. There is a yearly 10 percent cap on tax increases for hotels. So, while the market values on the properties will climb to their full value, the taxes can climb by no more than 10 percent.
The hotel revenue increases were caused by both increased occupancy and increased rates, according to a study by Miami-based valuation company HVS, titled "Central Florida Hotel Market -- Orlando's Transformation."
While Orlando's current room inventory represents a 1.7 percent increase, the occupied room rates increased by 5.7 percent, according to the study. That demand increased the occupancy rate from 76.9 percent to 80.1 percent in the first six months of 2015 compared to 2014.
Singh says that there has been one other change in the hotel market in Orlando that his office has had to make adjustments for, the advent of what they have dubbed "ultra-luxury" hotels, including the Four Seasons in Disney and the Waldorf Astoria, near Disney. They are getting their own category.