By Peter Covino
Orlando’s next great shopping attraction, Artegon Marketplace is just days away from its grand opening.
Media and invited guests got a sneak preview of the new shopping center, the former home of Festival Bay off of International Drive, in advance of the official grand opening Thursday. Thursday will kick off a weekend of opening events at the center, which features more than 160 artisanal shops and stores.
Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the day for the opening Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The 1.1 millon-square-foot shopping attraction will be the first of its kind in the area, inspired by such famous marketplaces as Seattle’s Pike Place, Boston’s Faneuil Hall, New York’s Chelsea Market and the London Flower Market.
The shopping attraction was developed by Paragon Outlet Partners, LLC. Paragon is credited with redeveloping the former Belz Factory Outlet into the highly-successful Prime Outlets Orlando that eventually sold to Simon Properties.
The centerpiece of the shopping attraction will be Florida’s largest daily indoor artisan marketplace. Local market dealers will sell and demonstrate their products and services. They include Florida Soap Company, Poca’s Hottest, Vagabond Traveler, David Ramirez Chocolates and Kathryn McHenry of SOS Art Studio, along with many other one-of-a-kind artisans offering eco-friendly handbags and accessories, jewelry, sculpture, mixed media artwork, custom clothing and locally-sourced foods.
Complementing The Village at Artegon Marketplace Orlando are some of the biggest brands in dining and retail. These anchor tenants include Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Cinemark Theaters, Sheplers Western Stores, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Radbourne Center and Berghoff’s Oktoberfest. The latter two venues are scheduled to open by spring 2015.
There will be more on the Artegon Marketplace in next week’s A&E section of the News-Gazette.