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I've been to Albany several times in the last few years to visit family. Orlando and Albany are worlds apart when it comes to downtown development. The billboards for their new aquarium read "There's something fishy going on in Albany." Their entire downtown is about the size of college park with a small playground and is a very dangerous place to be once the sun goes down. It's not a very safe place to be when the sun is still up. I'm not saying he isn't qualified, but saying Albany measures up to Orlando is like saying Orlando measures up to a Chicago or NYC as far as downtown development is concerned. It just isn't there.

I think it would have been smarter to lure someone in from Portland, Seattle, NYC, San Diego or Boston. Hell, someone from Dallas would have been a better fit.

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I don't know this guy, but just because he's worked a small market before doesn't mean he isn't good. The 'fishy' thing could have been a focus group pointer that may actually be working. We all have to have our first day at a new level and if Orlando is a proving ground for up and comers, that's fine. Can't be too many jobs of this type with as many projects on the burner. If nothing else perhaps we'll luck out with fresh eyes not hide-bound to Orlando tradition who'll ask why the emperor has no clothes.

Edited by Boomer136
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Orlando ranks as one of top New Year's Eve party spots

Orlando Business Journal - 10:55 AM EST Tuesday

New York's Times Square receives all of the attention, but a recent survey ranks Orlando higher as a travel destination for New Year's Eve.

Compiled by priceline.com, the survey sampled more than 30,000 hotel bookings requested from the online travel service. Orlando hotels in the Universal Studios/SeaWorld area were the fourth most requested bookings, one spot higher than New York City's Midtown West, which includes Times Square. Hotels in the Disney World vicinity ranked eighth in requests.

Las Vegas was the No. 1 destination for the second year in a row according to the survey, which is based on actual requests.

Overall, 15 Florida destinations were ranked in the top 50, more than any state. Five Orlando areas made the list. Demand for rooms in the Sand Lake area ranked 13th, following by requests in the west Disney area (23rd) and around Orlando International Airport (46th).

Priceline.com's top 10 destinations, in ranked order, include:

* Las Vegas-strip

* New York-SoHo/financial district

* New York-Upper Midtown/Central Park South

* Orlando-Universal Studios/SeaWorld

* New York-Midtown West

* Chicago-Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park

* New York-Midtown East

* Orlando-Disney World

* San Francisco-Union Square West

* Las Vegas-convention center/University of Nevada Las Vegas

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Now I am taking this from another post here but i always liked their idea. I would like to apologize upfront because i dont remember where it is exactly.

Anyways, if they would only shut down orange and use the CNL tower for a big count down party we could boost DOWNTOWN ORLANDO on that list!

I think that plus all the action on Church plus all the new residents coming and Wall St. Downtown Orlando could be an awesome happening place and it is already from what i understand. Sorry never spent new years downtown.

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Orlando ranks as one of top New Year's Eve party spots

Orlando Business Journal - 10:55 AM EST Tuesday

New York's Times Square receives all of the attention, but a recent survey ranks Orlando higher as a travel destination for New Year's Eve.

Compiled by priceline.com, the survey sampled more than 30,000 hotel bookings requested from the online travel service. Orlando hotels in the Universal Studios/SeaWorld area were the fourth most requested bookings, one spot higher than New York City's Midtown West, which includes Times Square. Hotels in the Disney World vicinity ranked eighth in requests.

Las Vegas was the No. 1 destination for the second year in a row according to the survey, which is based on actual requests.

Overall, 15 Florida destinations were ranked in the top 50, more than any state. Five Orlando areas made the list. Demand for rooms in the Sand Lake area ranked 13th, following by requests in the west Disney area (23rd) and around Orlando International Airport (46th).

Priceline.com's top 10 destinations, in ranked order, include:

* Las Vegas-strip

* New York-SoHo/financial district

* New York-Upper Midtown/Central Park South

* Orlando-Universal Studios/SeaWorld

* New York-Midtown West

* Chicago-Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park

* New York-Midtown East

* Orlando-Disney World

* San Francisco-Union Square West

* Las Vegas-convention center/University of Nevada Las Vegas

I don't think many of the people who book hotel rooms actually go out & "party on New Year's Eve. I know some of the people in town for the bowl game do, but I imagine that most of the hotels are booked with families here on holiday.

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Chicago Is Top Destination to Ring in 2007 for Third Year Running, According to Hotwire.com

Atlanta and Orlando are second and third most popular destinations to celebrate New Year's Eve

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Where do Americans want to make champagne toasts, shower in confetti and steal midnight kisses? According to discount travel site Hotwire.com

Edited by MaXxlife
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Now I am taking this from another post here but i always liked their idea. I would like to apologize upfront because i dont remember where it is exactly.

Anyways, if they would only shut down orange and use the CNL tower for a big count down party we could boost DOWNTOWN ORLANDO on that list!

I posted that, but don't remember where, either.

It would be cool and you can just see the fireworks going off from Lake Lucerne behind the CNL tower.

I need Seneff and Dyer on this STAT.

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Downtown Orlando could be an awesome happening place and it is already from what i understand. Sorry never spent new years downtown.

It is indeed pretty crazy d/t on New Years' eve (but most weekend nights are to some degree). Unfortunately I'll be in Boston this year for family stuff. Wish I could stay in Orlando!

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It is indeed pretty crazy d/t on New Years' eve (but most weekend nights are to some degree). Unfortunately I'll be in Boston this year for family stuff. Wish I could stay in Orlando!

What's cool in Boston? I'm heading up myself. BF works at Gypsy Bar. Got any other suggestions?

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Chicago Is Top Destination to Ring in 2007 for Third Year Running, According to Hotwire.com

Atlanta and Orlando are second and third most popular destinations to celebrate New Year's Eve

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Where do Americans want to make champagne toasts, shower in confetti and steal midnight kisses? According to discount travel site Hotwire.com

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I love the spin by Hotwire on this..

Hotwire, being a deep discounter, would not be given availability in a city like NYC where demand is high and rooms are expensive. If Chicago has the most rooms sold via Hotwire, it must really be "quiet"

exactly!....i cannot see orlando a top destination for new years eve unless alot of families are making it out to the theme parks

NYC...Las Vegas....and South Beach have to be the top destinations in the country

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exactly!....i cannot see orlando a top destination for new years eve unless alot of families are making it out to the theme parks

NYC...Las Vegas....and South Beach have to be the top destinations in the country

Orlando (aka Disney) has some of the best New Years Eve fireworks in the country. I can't remember what the public poll ranked it on AOL but it was in the top 5

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Yep - most hotels in Orlando are near booked for New Years, and it's the busiest day of the year (other than the 4th of July) for the theme parks. Given that we have one of the biggest hotel markets in the country, most hotels being near 100% occupancy affirms the fact that Orlando is a major destination. Of course, while Times Square/SoBe/Vegas are considerably up on us with the 'hip' factor, in terms of raw numbers, Orlando is a major player.

Edited by uncreativeusername
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^Somewhat off topic but not really, wouldn't it be in International Drive's best interest to develop itself considerably more urban in the vain of say Times Square or Las Vegas Blvd?

Of course, and that's slowly happening.Of course it's mostly happening on Universal. There are lots of towers going up now, and Pointe Orlando(the mall) is opening itself up, Prime Outlet (formerly Belz) is being redone. I think it would have been a major coup if they had gotten light rail in there.

I think we'll eventually see those sprawling hotels give way to towers and I think if we want bigger conventions there will have to be a better mass transit system there. I think most of it will happen on Universal first.

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Interesting article in the Orlando Business Journal about what's in store for Orlando in 2007. Although most of the article is relevant to our discussions, I'm only quoting the most significant blurbs:

What's ahead for the new year

Tourism, housing face challenges; construction still hot.

When it comes to the local economy, many vastly different industries intersect in surprising ways.

For 2007, local experts predict booms in some segments and busts in others -- each resulting in unexpected economic impacts.

..........

Attorney Mike Sullivan believes only half the announced condo-hotel projects actually will be built, because construction can't start until there's enough sales to underwrite the construction loans. The big impediment will continue to be prices for concrete and steel, which have grown 50 percent in the last two years.

..........

The days of high-powered competition over who has the biggest, best new rides are over -- because Disney won, says Steve Baker, founder and president of the Baker Leisure Group.

He believes the competition doesn't have deep enough pockets to continue the battle. In fact, Universal Orlando has problems just updating its parks, says Baker.

..........

Hospitals will continue making major capital improvements, such as new patient towers. And many experts also predict Nemours Foundation will get permission to build a local children' hospital in the coming year.

..........

In downtown Orlando, Highwoods Properties' mixed-use Capital Plaza III will break ground in the first quarter with 192,500 square feet of office space, residential condos, retail and restaurant space, and a 130-room hotel.

At 385 N. Orange Ave., a 27-story tower will include 85,900 square feet of office space, 148 residential condos and retail. In addition, the 1.4 million-square-foot Tradition Towers at 150 E. Central Blvd. will break ground in the beginning of 2007 with 50,000 square feet of office space, 276 condos, an 817-car parking garage and retail.

The biggest project on the drawing board for downtown is Center Place at 400 N. Orange Ave., which will feature four phases and four buildings that will have 900,000 square feet of office space, a 300-room hotel, 80 residential units and 80,000 square feet of retail.

..........

The residential condo market will continue to soften in 2007, predicts Steven Davis, president of Maitland-headquartered Welbro Building Corp. "The absorption rate downtown isn't going to be quite what everyone anticipated."

..........

Both Orlando International Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport expect modest increases in passenger traffic in 2007, but the real action largely will take place away from the runways.

Work on the $90 million renovations to OIA's Airside 3 -- home to United, Northwest, US Air and Spirit -- will continue in 2007, which is when renovations to Airside 1 -- home to American and Continental -- will begin.

Further, the baggage explosive detection machines in the ticketing areas are being moved behind the scenes -- a project expected to be done in 2008.

Other major projects include four-laning the remaining two-lane sections of the South Access Road and renegotiating the lease agreement with the airport's 17 signatory airlines.

Steve Gardner, OIA's executive director, also wants to create an "intermodal" facility south of the terminal to provide more parking, baggage check-in, valet service and perhaps a business hotel/conference center.

At Orlando Sanford, officials expect to complete the $12 million, 830-space parking garage project and the international ramp expansion project. Hangar projects will begin in 2007 for companies such as Allegiant Airlines, Griffin Aviation, Delta Connection Academy and Flight Services LLC. Officials also will build a manufacturing facility for BioDiesel of Florida, a facility for 84 Lumber and an airport hotel.

..........

Muller sees the downtown Orlando [restaurant] market showing the most promise for growth. "Until the Orlando dining public embraces an independent restaurant culture, downtown will be both the hope and the heartbreak of the restaurant scene," he says.

His spotlighted trends include regional Indian and African cuisines, flavored gin replacing flavored vodka and the end of fine dining with departing restaurants such as Maison & Jardin being replaced by "the polo shirt crowds at Seasons 52, Roy's and Ruth's Chris."

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^Somewhat off topic but not really, wouldn't it be in International Drive's best interest to develop itself considerably more urban in the vain of say Times Square or Las Vegas Blvd?

you don't build a destination for a 1 day event......

If the "festivities" could exist throughout the year, or at least a good portion of the year, it might be a great idea.....

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the OIA renovations for Airside 1 and 3 are on point.

OSI's new projects are great projects; parking garage and hangars to support existing carriers.

as for DT: CPIII and TT are reliable info. 400 N. could be if EA does in fact come DT, its only a question as to where. 385 N. Orange-- yeah, whatever.

PTP-- Urban Flats has had their sign up for a few weeks-- what a huge tenant. Who are the other tenants?

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