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Winter Haven approves hotel plan, expects Best Western Plus near Legoland

An Alabama hotelier has filed plans for a Best Western Plus hotel within walking distance of Legoland Florida in Winter Haven.
An Alabama hotelier has filed plans for a Best Western Plus hotel within walking distance of Legoland Florida in Winter Haven. (Polk County Property Appraiser)

An Alabama company received site plan approval for an 89-room hotel in Winter Haven that will be just off of Cypress Gardens Parkway, walking distance to Legoland.

Hotel operator Nimit Patidar plans a 60,000-square-foot hotel with 4 floors on 3.24 acres. The hotel will be located behind a Golden Corral restaurant and a Wells Fargo bank. Best Western Plus is a brand of the Best Western Hotels & Resorts that promises larger guest rooms, plush bedding and “stylish bath amenities,” along with an in-room desk and a business center in the hotel.

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Patidar, who owns a Birmingham area Days Inn, first approached the city about building a Roosevelt Drive site in 2016. His affiliate, P6 Xenia, purchased the property from Cypress Gardens Investors Inc. and Wells Fargo in 2017 for $995,000.

The Winter Haven City Council approved the site plan for a new Best Western Plus hotel on Roosevelt Drive, just east of Cypress Gardens Boulevard.
The Winter Haven City Council approved the site plan for a new Best Western Plus hotel on Roosevelt Drive, just east of Cypress Gardens Boulevard. (Carter Kaye Engineering)

“We would like to see it get started sooner rather than later,” Winter Haven senior planner Sear Byers told GrowthSpotter. There’s a need for more hotel rooms in the area, with popular Legoland, along with the attractions of the many lakes to visitors, especially in summer. Earlier this year, the company announced it would open a new Peppa Pig Theme Park in 2022.

“We’ve got Legoland that is obviously skewed more toward summer, but they are open on a limited basis year-round,” Byers said. “We still get a lot of sports events and tournaments that come in. And then as we grow as a city in general, there are always a number of visitors flowing in and out of the city.”

Winter Haven has about 15 hotels, Byers said, most of them are older with only about six having been built in the past 20 years. The most recent hotel was an expansion of the Legoland Hotel, which was completed last year. Jacksonville-based developer Murphco of Florida opened a 111-room Courtyard by Marriott on Cypress Gardens Boulevard across from Legoland in 2018.

Winter Haven planners approved P6 Xenia’s hotel site plan on April 30. The company also is seeking approvals from Polk County planning officials for access to the county-maintained Roosevelt Drive, which is a two-lane roadway that intersects 4-lane divided highway Cypress Gardens Boulevard.

Winter Haven-based Carter Kaye Engineering created the site plan. St. Petersburg-based Lema Construction is listed as the negotiating general contractor and Winter Haven-based Pennoni is listed as the civil engineer on plans at ConstructionJournal.com.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at Newsroom@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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