Orlando Convention Center Expansion

Last year in October of 2023 the Orange County Commission in Orlando approved the expansion of the Orlando Convention Center using the tourist development taxes of 560 Million dollars (phase 1 of the expansion) with a total expansion cost approaching $1 billion. . This is the section of the convention center closest to Vista Cay Orlando. 

Orlando Convention Center Massive Expansion News – Next to Vist Cay Resort Orlando – Orange County – OCCC

The Orlando Convention Center is currently the third largest in the USA with 7 million square feet and 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space. 

The original expansion plans were put on hold in 2020 when the pandemic hit, but now once again it is scheduled to go ahead starting as early as next year with breaking ground.

The design contract was reinstated back in November of 2023. According to officials, the design for the expansion was already 50% complete before the pandemic hit

Vista Cay Resort is next to the Orlando Convention Center

Did you know Vista Cay is the only vacation home community next to the Orlando Convention Center AKA the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)?

Orlando Convention Center Cost

The expansion is a total of $900M (estimated), but the first phase is $560M. If all goes to plan, construction could start in 2025 with completion in 2027. The second phase could be done by 2029.

The grand concourse section is in phase one and will include an 80,000 sq ft ballroom and 60,000 sf of meeting rooms. Phase two will have a 200,000 SF columnless exhibition hall that can seat up to 20,000 people. Needless to say, these will result in dramatic accommodation demands as the meeting capacity is massively expanded. 

The benefit of expanding the Convention Center in Orlando

The benefit of such a large expansion effort will be that it will provide massive additional demand for area accommodations. As Vista Cay Resort is the only vacation home community near the convention center it is expected to benefit tremendously from the increase in demand along with the additional demand generated next year by the opening of the 750-acre theme park Epic Universe by Universal Studios which is technically also walking distance (or a cheap Uber ride) from Vista Cay. 

The convention center generates all sorts of demand from exhibitors, attendees, and even set-up crews. Did you know during the home builders convention they build homes in the convention center parking lot? This takes a lot of time and effort and set-up crews don’t like to be stuck in a hotel, they like a home away from home, and in this case, it’s Vista Cay Resort. 

The expansion was canceled when the pandemic hit but is now approved to start construction next year.

How big is the Convention Center in Orlando? (Before the above expansion). 

It’s massive. These are just some of the key stats:

  • 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space (can hold two mega conventions simultaneously). 
  • Is seven million SF in size total
  • Currently has 74 meeting rooms
  • Currently has two 92,000 SF general assembly areas
  • A theatre that can accommodate 2,643
  • 160-seat lecture hall
  • A 62,000 thousand sf multi-use Valencia Room
  • A total of 8 food courts
  • Three business centers
  • 174 truck bays with three loading docks
  • On-site parking for 6300 cars.