The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is expanding its 7 million-square-foot campus with a $605 million project. Among the additions will be new meeting and exhibit space for the North and South concourses.
The enclosed Convention Way Grand Concourse will be built to connect the North and South buildings. The new concourse will feature an 80,000-square-foot ballroom and 60,000 additional square feet of meeting space, while a new 200,000-square-foot, column-free multipurpose venue will provide seating for 18,000 to 20,000 people.
In August, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to begin contract negotiations with locally based architectural and design firm Populous + C.T. Hsu. The expansion is expected to debut in 2023.
Currently, the OCCC welcomes more than 200 conventions and events each year for 1.4 million attendees.
"As a leading meeting-and-convention destination, Orlando is known for continually investing in the region's growth, and this next phase of the Orange County Convention Center is another testament to our commitment to this industry," said George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. "The expansion at the center will create a wealth of new opportunities for groups of all sizes, and will serve as a catalyst for additional development throughout our convention district, including new hotels, restaurants and entertainment options."
In the past five years, walkability and connectivity have been enhanced throughout the facility and its surrounding district. Five pedestrian skybridges now connect more than 5,200 guest rooms to the convention center. Orlando's hotel inventory currently stands at more than 122,000 rooms -- 7,300 of which are within a mile of the center. Orlando is currently undergoing its largest hotel expansion in two decades, adding about 10,000 rooms between January 2019 and December 2020.
Properties that have recently completed upgrades include the DoubleTree by Hilton at the entrance to Universal, the Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort, the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, Disney's Yacht & Beach Club and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.