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Airport expansion to include 2 hotels

Two new hotels are in the expansion plan for Orlando International Airport, providing future passengers with more lodging options.
Two new hotels are in the expansion plan for Orlando International Airport, providing future passengers with more lodging options. (Tom Benitez)

The expansion of Orlando International Airport will ultimately include two hotels as the transportation hub builds out its southern extension.

Stanley Thornton, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority's chief operating officer, discussed the additions when speaking about the airport's ambitious growth plans during a University of Central Florida real estate conference Wednesday in downtown Orlando.

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Thornton did not say which hotels might be going in at the airport but described them as complementing the expansion the transportation center has planned. The hotels would serve as a place for area visitors to stay and be part of a hub that would include retail stores, Thornton said. He did not give a timeline for the hotels.

Orlando International Airport is undergoing significant expansion as its passenger load grows. The airport's biggest current project is a 500,000-square-foot complex on the south side that will include a rail system to take passengers to terminals, a garage that will fit 2,400 cars and ground transportation in the form of busses, shuttles and cabs. The complex will also include the airport's new intermodal facility that will serve as destination for rail projects including All Aboard Florida.

The complex will serve passengers going to the airport's current terminal and it is also seen as playing a role when the airport ultimately builds its south terminal.

The expansion keeps with what airport officials say is current and anticipated growth, as Central Florida continues its trajectory.

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