WOW Resort, a 334-room hotel property on W. Sand Lake Road two blocks east of International Drive, began up to $3 million in renovations this month after the property sold for $11.2 million in late April.
The 207,768-square-foot property was bought in cash in late April by a private investor from the Arabian country of Oman, according to Ahmed Kabani, a senior broker with Marcus & Millichap who represented the seller, a Boston-based investment fund. Kabani also procured the buyer, who acquired the property through newly created local shell company 6101 Sandlake LLC.
"The new owner plans to spend up to $3 million to renovate the property, bringing it up to a new scale of quality," said Kabani, who declined to identify the new owner. "ADR (average daily rate) there is now $40 to $50, but once renovated they should be in the range of $80 per night."
The hotel is currently pricing at $35 a night for the first week of July, according to a search on its own website.
"The new owner hasn't decided if he'll tie this to a franchise or keep it independent," said Kabani, who noted the hotel's new owner previously owned a Best Western Premium Hotel in Oman.
The property's management hired contractor Phoenix Building Corp. SE of Stuart, Fla., to oversee renovations of the hotel's lobby, rooms and roofing, per county records filed in May.
Work was under way as of May 15, when the floor of the hotel's lobby was fully removed, interior build-out of the lobby appeared to be in development, and construction staff were moving building material waste to dumpsters in the parking lot.
However, the hotel did not have renovation permits filed with the City of Orlando as of Tuesday.
Orlando's Code Enforcement division informed the hotel's management of their violation and issued a citation and $100 fine, according to city spokeswoman Cassandra Lafser. Hotel management told the city they would work to get the appropriate permits.
Management of WOW Resort did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
Located at 6101 W. Sand Lake Road, the hotel is one mile from Wet 'n Wild water park and three miles from Universal Studios Orlando.