New Skybridge Connects Rosen Plaza Hotel to Convention Center’s West Building
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(l to r) Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel, Rosen Plaza General Manager Gary Hudson, Rosen Hotels & Resorts VP Sales & Marketing Leslie Menichini, I-Drive Chamber Executive Director Maria Triscari, Rosen Plaza Director of Sales & Marketing Victoria Hall, Orange County Convention Center Deputy General Manager Jan Addison, Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn, Orange County Commissioner Tiffany Russell Moore, Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Pamela Sain and Rosen Hotels & Resorts Orlando President & COO Harris Rosen
ORLANDO (Sept. 19, 2013) – Rosen Hotels & Resorts celebrates the opening of the Gary Sain Memorial Skybridge, which now connects the Rosen Plaza with the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) West Building, with a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony today at the hotel. The new skybridge completes the fourth and final link in connecting the OCCC with adjacent International Drive hotels.
Construction of the $2.5 million skybridge was funded entirely by Rosen Hotels & Resorts. Coming in well under its $3.2 million budget, the 745-foot connector was built in just over three months and will provide thousands of meetings attendees annually with a safe, weather-proof and traffic-free “commute” from their Rosen Plaza guestrooms to the convention center.
In attendance at today’s ceremony were Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who proclaimed the day in honor of Gary Sain, as well as Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel and Harris Rosen, President and COO, Rosen Hotels & Resorts. They, along with other Orlando tourism industry leaders, cut a ribbon to officially open the skybridge named in honor of the previous Visit Orlando President & CEO who passed away in May 2012. Sain had led the region’s main tourism-marketing agency since 2007, bringing about reorganization, a new vision and a name change to what had for years been called the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, or Orlando CVB.
“It is with great honor and respect that we dedicate this skybridge to my friend and colleague Gary Sain,” said Rosen. “Gary worked tirelessly to build and strengthen this destination during his time with us. Rest assured, Gary’s legacy continues here today.”
“We’re excited to now offer this pedestrian skybridge from our hotel to the convention center for our meetings guests,” said Victoria Hall, Director of Sales & Marketing, Rosen Plaza. “This is an incredible new benefit to meeting planners and important milestone in the Orlando meetings community now that all four major convention hotels are connected to the convention campus.”
The new skybridge comes on the heels of other recent improvements at Rosen Plaza. In the past year, the hotel completed a floor-to-ceiling renovation of all 800 guest rooms. Sleeping areas were outfitted with new amenities including 32″ flat-screen TVs, mini-refrigerators and 17″ lap-top sized safes, as well as new granite-topped dressers and nightstands, and new bedding and curtains. Bathrooms were redesigned for a spa-like feel with tiled showers and tubs withmosaic glass tile accents and granite-topped vanities. The hotel’s 16 hospitality suites-the Executive, Plaza and new Junior suites-were redesigned to offer more flexible seating and updated for a crisp, contemporary feel. Carpet in all guestrooms, suites and hallways was replaced with the latest in eco-friendly technology. The hotel’s full-service and buffet restaurant, Café Matisse, received a fresh, new look and updates including new wall benches, booths and dining tables to offer more comfortable seating and more flexibility for large groups.
The 800-room Rosen Plaza provides its guests with resort-style luxury in a world-class vacation destination. Guests at Rosen Plaza will enjoy accommodations in a deluxe room with a variety of amenities such as the outdoor heated pool and whirlpool and the Fitness center featuring “Life Fitness” cardiovascular and exercise machines and a full-range of free weights. Four on-site restaurants include Jack’s Place, voted the number one restaurant on International Drive by Orlando Magazine, with casual fine dining. Café Matisse offers buffets as well as full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The Lite Bite is open 24 hours a day and serves deli sandwiches and snacks. For entertainment, live music is featured on Friday and Saturday nights in Backstage Nightclub & Sports Bar, International Drive’s original nightclub. The nightclub also features a live deejay on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, large dance floor, pool tables and dart boards, 50-inch LCD screen TVs throughout, free valet parking, VIP area, food menu and more.
The hotel is conveniently located on International Drive across the street from Pointe Orlando’s incredible dining and entertainment complex featuring a 20-screen IMAX® stadium-seating theatre and popular retailers. For an additional charge, guests may enjoy golf or spa treatments at Rosen Plaza’s nearby sister properties, Rosen Shingle Creek or Rosen Centre. Rosen Plaza guests also receive complimentary transportation to Shingle Creek Golf Club, The Spa at Shingle Creek and The Spa at Rosen Centre, as well as scheduled complimentary transportation to and from Universal Orlando® Resort, Sea World Orlando® and Wet ‘n Wild Orlando.
Rosen Plaza is only 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport. For more information, visit www.rosenplaza.com. Rosen Hotels & Resorts owns and manages a family of seven Orlando hotels including three award-winning convention hotels-Rosen Centre, Rosen Plaza and Rosen Shingle Creek-and four leisure properties in the Orlando tourist corridor-Rosen Inn International, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, Rosen Inn closest to Universal and Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista. The three Rosen convention hotels offer the most guest rooms and combined meeting space and closest proximity to Orange County Convention Center of any other Orlando convention hotel group. For more information, visit www.rosenhotels.com.
About The Orange County Convention Center Celebrating 30 years of success, the Orange County Convention Center is the second largest convention facility in America. Each year the OCCC attracts more than 200 events to the Central Florida area. As a result, roughly 1.4 million attendees contribute approximately $2.1 billion to the area’s economy each year. For more information about the Orange County Convention Center visit our Web site at www.occc.net.
SKYBRIDGE BY THE NUMBERS:
- Total cost-$2.5 million (under budget)
- Total length-745 feet
- Total steel tonnage-177 tons
- Total gallons of paint-645 gallons
- Construction completed in just over three months (May 28-Sept. 6)
- Connects the fourth and final surrounding International Drive hotel to the Orange County Convention Center.