The Kissimmee resort and Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., celebrated the groundbreaking on June 18, just outside of the resort’s convention area surrounded by executives, Gaylord Palms “Stars” (employees) and media.
“We have long-believed that Gaylord Palms is situated in an ideal location for this type of expansion, and we would like to thank the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners for their continued support and enthusiasm for this project,” said Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Hospitality Properties. “This region remains one of the most vibrant convention and leisure destinations in the country. We are pleased to add this high-quality space to our existing resort portfolio which will enable us to continue meeting the strong demand we are seeing from group customers who want the all under one roof experience in this market.”
So what can resort guests expect with the new expansion?
Gaylord Palms currently houses 1,416 guest rooms. The expansion will add 302 guest rooms, totaling 1,718.
The new guest rooms will feature an enhanced, modern look. They will be located in a new tower, adjacent to the resort’s pools — connected to the current Everglades Atrium.
In addition to new rooms, Gaylord Palms will receive 90,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space. This carpeted space will be added to the resort’s current 400,000 square feet — totaling nearly a half-million square feet of space.
The additional 90,000 square feet will be made up of a 30,000-square-foot ballroom, 30,000 square feet of breakout space and 30,000 square feet of carpeted pre-function space.
An exterior enhancement will also be made, as there will be a 12,000-square-foot event lawn outside of the convention center.
UPGRADED WATER PARK
The expansion will also grow the resort’s water park, Cypress Springs. There will be a new active river feature and a larger deck space for guests.
This enhancement will compliment the recent $4.2 million redesign of the water park, which currently features a Double FlowRider surf simulator, two racing slides and a tower drop slide.
With the hotel and convention space, and an upgraded water park, this will be the biggest expansion the resort has seen in its 17-year history.
“We see this as a milestone for our company,” Reed told media at the event.
The plans for this project were originally announced in May 2018, by Ryman Hospitality Properties. The full, $158 million expansion is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2021.
About Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center offers a mix of entertainment both inside and out, creating a superior guest experience in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Guests are welcomed into the resort’s 4.5-acre soaring glass atrium featuring winding waterways, lush gardens and animal habitats. The extraordinary amenities include fine and casual dining, spa and shopping - all conveniently located within minutes of the area’s theme parks. In addition to the daily resort offerings, every season provides even more incredible special experiences during Easter Eggstravaganza, SummerFest, Goblins & Giggles Getaway Weekends and Christmas at Gaylord Palms.