Lakefront wedding & event venue near Disney World considers expansion

The local owner-operators of a watersports rental business and destination wedding venue near Walt Disney World are exploring options to more than double their footprint on the shore of Lake Bryan.

Located on Lake Bryan Drive, east of the 13000 block of S.R. 535 and adjacent to Marriott Vacation Club's Sabal Palms Resort, the Benjamin family's Water Sports Management, Inc., has been doing business since 1993 as Buena Vista Watersports for rentals of boats, jet skis, paddle boards and more, and Paradise Cove for the event venue. 

The family is now considering construction of a new 9,400-square-foot reception hall building that could host up to 200 guests. The project would include a new lift station and water utility line.

"Right now this is just a preliminary plan, we're trying to learn what we're allowed to do," general manager Kayli Benjamin told GrowthSpotter. "It's so beautiful out here and we get so many requests for events, we want to put Florida's natural beauty on display for as many people as possible." 

The family owns roughly 5 acres of vacant or underdeveloped upland on Lake Bryan Drive. It currently hosts outdoor weddings and holds receptions under a small pavilion that is "just a fraction the size" of the new concept reception hall, Benjamin said. 

"This is how we want to move forward, it's the direction our business is going," she said. "Most of our weddings are destination events for couples drawn to the area and Disney World. This is our little piece of paradise and we want to share it with everyone." 

Looking forward, the property's zoning is partially residential but allows for future commercial use, it will just be a matter of transitioning that use with Orange County.

The family is now in conceptual design phase for the new building, and will seek a pre-app meeting with county staff in the coming month. Doug Bauman of General Civil & Environmental Engineering LLC is the family's civil engineer on its concept plans, and Baker Barrios has assisted with design. 

"I really appreciate Doug because he explains everything so well in layman's terms so I can clearly understand how and why everything needs to be done," Benjamin said. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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