On Wednesday, November 20, 2002, Omni Hotels, Apollo Real Estate Advisors and RIDA Development Corporation broke ground on a $175 million luxury resort in the ChampionsGate master-planned community located near Orlando, Fla. The hotel is scheduled to open in fall 2004 and is the largest in the United States to break ground since September 11, 2001. More than 200 attendees were on site for the groundbreaking event. As part of the ceremony, a daytime fireworks display, a 20-foot blimp and a variety of 10-foot balloons were released to create the outline of the hotel reaching the highest point of elevation at approximately 200 feet.
Overlooking two world-class golf courses designed by accomplished architect and hall-of-fame golfer Greg Norman and situated less than five miles from Walt Disney World, the new Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate will feature 730 guest rooms and suites. In addition, the luxury property will feature more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space, including 18 meeting rooms, a 25,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom and a 20,000 square-foot Junior Ballroom. The four-star quality hotel will also include a 10,000-square-foot spa facility, several restaurants and bars located within the hotel, an outdoor heated swimming pool, as well as an activity pool with water slides and an 850-foot lazy river. In October 2000, world-renowned golf instructor David Leadbetter opened the world headquarters for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy as part of the 1,200-acre complex.
According to Jim Caldwell, president of Omni Hotels, the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate supports the hotel chain`s strategy of expanding into key U.S. markets to create a stronger presence for the company in important travel destinations.
“The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate will be a significant addition to our portfolio of luxury hotels, increasing our presence in one of the most popular travel destinations in the world,” said Caldwell. “The new resort will provide both business and leisure travelers in Central Florida with an upscale lodging experience in a serene setting, and access to world-class golf and spa facilities.”
The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is being developed by Apollo Real Estate Advisors and RIDA Development Corporation, and will be managed by Omni Hotels. RTKL Associates Inc. is the architecture firm overseeing construction of the property, and Looney & Associates will be designing the interior of the hotel. Both firms are based in Dallas.
For photos of the ceremony or the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate please contact Kim Blackmon at or 972-871-5623.
In addition to the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate project, Omni Hotels has two other properties currently under construction. In downtown Atlanta, Omni Hotels has partnered with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. on a $100 million expansion of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. The hotel is adjoined to CNN Center, home to Turner Broadcasting`s Cable News Network, Georgia World Congress Center and Phillips Arena. The expansion will include the addition of a 600-room, 28-story hotel tower scheduled to open in fall 2003. After completion of the new tower, the Omni Hotel at CNN Center will feature a total of 1,067 guestrooms and 105,000 square-feet of meeting and pre-function space.
Omni Hotels has also teamed with JMI Realty of San Diego to develop a new luxury hotel in downtown San Diego. Construction on the $124 million development project began in April with an estimated completion date in spring 2004. The Omni San Diego Hotel will be located directly across from the recently expanded San Diego Convention Center and will be connected by a sky bridge to the new San Diego Padres Ballpark. Adjacent to the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the 32-story hotel will have 511 guest rooms and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space including a 9,266 square-foot ballroom.
Omni Hotels, based near Dallas in Irving, Texas, offers luxury accommodations at more than 40 hotels and resorts located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Each property in the Omni Hotels portfolio provides guests with exceptional personalized service and exquisite décor, creating a distinctive experience at each location. Omni Hotels offers unsurpassed meeting facilities with a wide range of guest services and amenities including high speed Internet connectivity, wine tastings, gourmet dining and unique fitness options from in-room workouts to state-of-the-art fitness facilities. Through an aggressive expansion strategy, Omni Hotels is steadily entering new markets across North America. Guests can locate hotels, book accommodations or find out more about Omni Hotels by calling 1-800-THE-OMNI or accessing the company`s Web site at www.omnihotels.com.