Always Evolving, Always Inspiring

Orlando has recently experienced a remarkable transformation. If it’s been awhile since you have visited, our best-kept secret is how much we’ve changed. Our continued evolution has also placed us in a unique position among competing travel destinations.

Acknowledged by many meeting professionals as the industry leader when it comes to flexibility, functionality and service, the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest meetings and conventions facility in the United States. The green-friendly complex — comprised of two separate buildings connected by a 1,500-foot, open-air bridge with moving sidewalks — offers 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space plus 480,000 square feet of function space, including meeting rooms. We continue to invest in our facility and have cash funded a $187.4 million, 5 year capital improvement program to continue making aesthetic upgrades, enhance technology including digital signage while expanding dining, retail and entertainment amenities.

New convention hotels — including the Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando — have played a starring role in Orlando’s continued evolution. Now get ready to add Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to the list with a $360-million property currently under construction at the Walt Disney World® Resort. The 444-room Four Seasons Orlando Resort will offer numerous dining experiences, a 14,000-square-foot spa, nearly 38,000 square feet of meeting space, and will encompass the existing Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Ridge 18-hole championship golf course. The property is anticipated to open in mid-to-late 2014.

With seven of the world’s top 20 theme parks in one destination, not to mention a total of nearly 100 attractions, Orlando certainly knows how to entertain. After finishing the day’s business, a leisurely escape to a world of imagination and fantasy will leave attendees feeling refreshed and inspired. Whether seeking to reconnect with childhood nostalgia or experience leading-edge innovations in ride technology, our attractions are truly one-of-a-kind.

An exciting new downtown venue is on its way to becoming a sought-after destination for meeting attendees, corporate groups and even team-building activities. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is expected to open in fall 2014 joining the country’s most advanced arena and events center — the Amway Center — in providing additional entertainment and meeting options. Amway Center is a great place to enjoy Orlando Magic basketball games, concerts, performances, and to book group meetings. Certified as a LEED Gold facility, Amway Center is a marvel in sustainable design and cutting-edge technology.

Orlando is a true culinary hot spot with award-winning restaurants and celebrity chefs that cater to visitors from across the globe. There’s an extensive menu of fine-dining establishments, international eateries, casual cafés and chic wine bars for just about any taste or budget. Our distinctive dining districts include:

  • Convention District: When it comes to entertaining, the Convention District makes a lasting impression with a diverse selection of restaurants.
  • Disney Area: Big names provide plenty of star power, with exquisite fine dining, casually elegant eateries and first-class entertainment.
  • Downtown: With its growing and distinctive skyline, downtown Orlando is both a vibrant entertainment district and a collection of trendy neighborhoods.
  • Restaurant Row: This stretch of Sand Lake Road serves up some of the finest fare the destination has to offer at more than two dozen restaurants.
  • Universal CityWalk: This self-contained universe offers an electrifying selection of dining and nightlife experiences.
  • Winter Park: New-world sophistication meets old-world charm in Winter Park, a picturesque city where arts and culture are part of everyday life.

And did we mention that Orlando is the #1 visited destination in the United States? 56 million people can’t be wrong. Come visit Orlando and enjoy all we have to offer.

By: Teresa Jacobs

Mayor, Orange County Florida