Later this month, ground will be broken on two new Marriott-branded hotels just outside Disney property. These two new hotels (TownePlace Suites, Marriott's extended-stay brand, and SpringHill Suites) are scheduled to open in early 2016 and will have 500 suites between them. Both will be located on a 450 acre lot and will be constructed on Flamingo Crossings Way, right outside Disney World's western gate.
If you’re not familiar with this area, you may not know why the construction of these two hotels might be a big deal. But you might be surprised to learn a little bit about the history of the property where these hotels are going, and what implications the construction of these new hotels might have for Walt Disney World at large.
1. Flamingo Crossings is about to become a reality, nearly a decade after it was first conceived
Back in 2007, Walt Disney World announced plans for a new retail location that would be leased out to all third parties. Think Downtown Disney, but bigger, and with third-party on-site hotels as well. However, when the US recession hit, third party interest in this new spot all but dried up, and many believed that the Flamingo Crossings project had been quietly killed by Disney.
However, with the opening of these two new hotels, it looks like there’s life in the project yet. Though no other third party hotels or retail stores have been announced yet, with these two Marriott hotels opening in 2016, it looks like this new development is definitely on its way to becoming a reality, even if it has taken nearly a decade to get off the ground.
2. Guests might run into some sporting celebrities
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that one of the big demographics that Disney may currently be going after with these third-party hotels is travelling sports teams that are using the facilities at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Though this demographic certainly has plenty of choices on Disney property, these groups often stay off-property due to cost. Disney isn’t building another “value” property to cater to these guests, but having these third-party companies building resorts near Walt Disney World (and on its own Flamingo Crossings project) is a good compromise.
In addition to their usual facilities, these new hotels are rumored to have additional sports training areas, including a batting cage, basketball court and multi-purpose fields to accommodate travelling teams.