Developer intends to build 7 hotels near Disney's Animal Kingdom and Wide World of Sports

Posted Friday, October 17, 2014 10:41 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The developer of the first two hotels at Disney's Flamingo Crossings said Thursday he plans to build seven hotels on the property within the next four or five years. Flamingo Crossings, about half a mile from Walt Disney World's western entrance, is aimed at budget tourists and teams participating in events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Friday, October 17, 2014 11:18 AM

This will never work, because 7 hotels have never been built there.

Friday, October 17, 2014 6:18 PM

I'm not convinced building in that area makes sense. It's really out there.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 9:26 PM

Jeff said:

I'm not convinced building in that area makes sense. It's really out there.

It is until it becomes very close to something.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 10:35 PM

But to what? It's a long way to Universal and the airport. It isn't close to anything but the outlying Disney stuff, and it's even several miles from there (around 3 to Blizzard Beach). Eight miles to I-4, 12 to the turnpike (at a point where it's not even remotely a tourist area). I mean, if Disney is all you care about, cool, but at that point I have to assume you would just stay at Disney.

This is a few miles from where I live. There's a chicken and egg problem here. There is virtually no traffic on 429. The retail development hasn't happened because not many people live here yet, but for the longest time, not many people lived here because there wasn't any retail or work. Most of it is super rural, lots of abandoned orange groves. I just don't believe they can support 7 hotels there.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 11:50 PM

I would love to see the market analysis that went into this decision. They are going to want to have 4 of the hotels ready for the opening of Avatar? It appears they are building the additional hotels just to support activities of the Walt Disney Complex. I would rather stay at a Disney Value Resort vs staying off site. Are the hotel rooms on Disney consistently being sold out?

Sunday, October 19, 2014 1:21 AM

It does seem odd....

It strikes me as unlikely that these Flamingo Crossing hotels would be able to undercut the price of much more convenient Orlando "limited service" flagged hotels sufficiently to get people to travel the extra distance.

Sunday, October 19, 2014 8:18 AM

I think you're over-estimating the cost of the I-Drive and surrounding area hotels. It's not unusual to find places offering prices in the 30's and 40's. Granted, insert Gonch's "they're not doing something" caveat here, but if you're price-driven, there are plenty of options in the thick of it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014 12:47 PM

Would you believe they could support 6 hotels? How about 5?

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Monday, October 20, 2014 9:23 AM

Hey, I didn't make the argument that there would already be one there. :)

Monday, October 20, 2014 11:32 AM

Jeff said:

But to what? It's a long way to Universal and the airport....Eight miles to I-4, 12 to the turnpike (at a point where it's not even remotely a tourist area). I mean, if Disney is all you care about, cool, but at that point I have to assume you would just stay at Disney.

But the target market for these properties are people who have zero chance of going to the airport. And Disney would prefer they have zero willingness to go to Universal. I mean, these hotels are 100% aimed at drive-in visitors.

Isn't this a Disney owned Development? I mean, not the hotels per se, but the whole "Flamingo Crossings" is Disney land right? (note the space)

If so, then isn't the business model that this area, if built up, captures the crowd that drives down the turnpike? That's a ton of drive in, normally value conscious consumers coming from Texas, LA, MS, AL,GA, TN, KY, etc. So, if you change the mentality of drivers who grew up with their parents driving down the turnpike to the I-4 interchange, then past Universal, and past I-Drive, then near or past the 192 split, onto property, then isn't that a game changer? You route them past nothing but rural abandoned orange groves right to your multi property (Various market segments) gateway to the Disney property.

I grew up in the Eastern Half of the U.S. before 429 was a viable (time worthy) alternative. Now, it appears to be totally viable (I could be wrong). Certainly Google Maps, and other SatNav (GPS) systems indicate 429 is the way to go from the Resort if driving north out of Fla on I-75. If so, given critical mass for people driving in, it makes sense.

Add in a (Hypothetical) 5th park at some point (much nearer than before), and a gate that is most likely to be positioned closer to the Western Entrance than adjacent to the current 4 parks, and well, then maybe this is a Long Game. Disney has become much better at the Long Game under Iger, so perhaps they know more than we do.

Or they could have just suckered some investor to build up those properties, knowing that they'll fail and fall into BK, and then scoop them up on the cheap.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Monday, October 20, 2014 11:38 AM
Monday, October 20, 2014 1:34 PM

Whether or not Disney owns the property (they do via a subsidiary sitting in the Bay Lake jurisdiction) I don't think matters. In theory, 429 would be a shortcut to the western part of 192, but for whatever reason, it isn't used much. The toll is pretty steep from there to the Turnpike as well. I honestly think that if you're interested in driving in, and only care about Disney, you'll stay on the property. There's a whole lot of nothing there.

You're right, maybe they do have some bigger vision, as Western Way has the big welcome arches over the road and all of that, but having driven that road on days when the perimeter road around Magic Kingdom was closed for fireworks (and because we have Sunpasses in our cars). I can tell you that you're lucky to pass even one car in that three mile stretch. It's crazy.

Monday, October 20, 2014 2:03 PM

I didn't read the article and I know nothing about the area.

Where does this sit in relation to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex?

Becuase, in my non-professional opinion that's potentially the answer to every single "why?" question posed thus far.

These sort of events where competitors (especially children's teams) come from all over the region (or country) do huge business for hotels. Even here in little ol' Dayton, Ohio there are a few weekends every year when a soccer tournmaent will, for all intents and purposes, sell out the city.

The complex is hosting 17 events just between now and the end of the year -

That's a lot of kids, their families, coaches, officials, etc rolling into town.

If I were a betting man, based solely on the synopsis posted above, the key to the whole thing is capturing that business coming into town for events at the ESPN Complex...and apparently they have reason to believe they can.

The tourist piece is just gravy.

Monday, October 20, 2014 2:11 PM

Per my attempt at Google Maps, it's 6.7 miles, and the polar opposite of the Disney Property.,-81.6121333/ESPN+Wide+Wor...,13z/data=!4m9!4m8!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x88dd7f211a622ced:0x6831f30661e8a49e!2m2!1d-81.551749!2d28.337806!3e0

Which still makes it closer than some of the closer 192 Kissimmee properties. The Disney on-property hotels don't cater to the sports teams per se, so this might be the angle. Again, sports teams that DRIVE (parents who drive their participating child).

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Monday, October 20, 2014 2:13 PM
Monday, October 20, 2014 2:21 PM

Jeff said:

There's a whole lot of nothing there.

I can tell you that you're lucky to pass even one car in that three mile stretch. It's crazy.

as was undoubtedly the case when Walt bought old Irlo Bronson's ranch to begin with.

Monday, October 20, 2014 2:41 PM

6 miles isn't exactly far though. And I suspect most competing teams drive.

Yeah, my guess is short term, the goal is to capture the ESPN piece (they basically say as much) and in the long term, while nothing is there right now, there will be something eventually. Someone has to be first. Might as well be a hotel complex to capture everything that comes after.

Monday, October 20, 2014 2:50 PM

Distance is far, only in relative terms and in relation to people's mindsets about the property and the existing infrastructure.

My only thought on that is, new builds have got to have higher overhead than the existing units on 192. There has to be a price barrier that they can't get below. (See Jeff's comments above).

That's a big undertaking to create all that on that end of the property, when there is already such infrastructure on 192. This will be interesting to watch in the short term.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Monday, October 20, 2014 2:51 PM
Monday, October 20, 2014 5:20 PM

I liked staying at Pop Century for the price, but hated it for location, if that makes sense. This place out there... yikes. I think if Disney was confident in that location, they'd put up their own hotels, but that's just me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:36 AM

That makes total sense. Also, the last time I was there, it was WAY crowded with a lot of very loud groups of kids. It was hard to actually relax, even in the room, because of all the running and yelling going on outside. I understand people are just having fun, so I'm not going to fault them for it, but I much prefer Coronado Springs for its peaceful setting and the way it's sprawled out so even if that is going on, it's far enough away from the rooms that it's not as bothersome.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 11:14 AM

Coronado was very nice. It was huge but felt secluded. My only regret was that we didn't have enough time to enjoy the hotel more.


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