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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Friday, Jun. 15, 2018 1 year ago

Alfond Inn eyes expansion project

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The Winter Park hotel is looking at adding 70 more rooms, a spa/health club, and retail space.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

One of Winter Park’s premier hotels is on the threshold of some major additions.

A long-awaited expansion project for The Alfond Inn is coming before the city for approval next month. Building off the original developers agreement for the hotel when it was approved by the city, phase two will include 70 hotel rooms; a 7,000-square-foot spa/health club; a 4,000-square-foot meeting space/gallery; 323 square feet of retail space; and 152 parking spaces (21 surface/131 garage).

The project is set to go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Board Tuesday, July 10, with a presentation before the City Commission scheduled for Monday, July 23.

“The future is extremely bright — not for just The Alfond Inn, but our Winter Park community as a whole,” General Manager Jesse Martinez said. “As The Alfond Inn grows, so does the economic impact to the city. … We are very proud of the indirect monetary impact The Alfond Inn has contributed to our retail partners, local museums and attractions.”  

The hotel owned by Rollins College has been a success since it opened in August 2013. The 112-room property generates more than $17 million in top-line revenues, welcomes more than 22,000 guests every year and runs an annualized occupancy of 90%.

There is also the benefit to Rollins College students through the Harold Alfond Foundation. Net operating income from The Alfond Inn will be directed to the scholarship fund for the hotel’s first 25 years — or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million.

Since 2013 when The Alfond Inn was built, more than 50 full scholarships have been awarded to incoming students.

“We’ve been so pleased with how that hotel has been received in the community and everything it’s brought to the community in terms of any time you eat there or you stay there, all of that goes back to our student scholarship,” Rollins College Senior Director of Strategic Communications Lauren Bradley said. “We’ve been so pleased with how everything has gone. We’re excited about that because their occupancy rate is so high and they’re always full and such a great community asset.”

The Alfond Inn’s expansion also means more artwork displayed on the walls of the hotel as part of the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College. Barbara and Ted Alfond, along with independent curator Abigail Ross Goodman, selected and purchased to date more than 240 paintings, photographs, sculptures and mixed-media works by established and emerging contemporary artists from around the world.

“Art brings people together, despite differing tastes, backgrounds and experiences,” Martinez said. “By expanding, it will cement the hotels position in our community, we aspire to serve as a welcoming place for those who wish to experience art through an entirely different lens.”

Martinez said the Alfond has recognized the need for additional rooms with the city’s ongoing push to promote tourism. It’s exciting to see the next chapter for the hotel, he said.

“The excitement is starting to boil over,” he said. “We have a very special opportunity to create an (unprecedented) experience for our guests. Ultimately, our hope is that a visit or stay at The Alfond Inn will inspire our guests to explore more of what’s possible and experience our city in a way (that) is more personal.” 

 

 

Tim Freed is the Managing Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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