Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Infobox hotel
hotel_name = Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

image_width =
caption = Gaylord Palms Logo
location = Kissimmee, Florida
coordinates =
opening_date = February, 2002
closing_date =
developer =
architect = Hnedak Bobo Group, Inc.
operator =
owner = Gaylord Hotels
number_of_restaurants = 4
number_of_rooms = 1406
number_of_suites = 106
floor_area =
floors = 9
parking =
website = [ Gaylord Palms]
footnotes = []

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center is a hotel and convention center, opened in Kissimmee, Florida, on February 2, 2002. It also acts as the "de facto" convention center for Osceola County, Florida, until plans for their own dedicated convention center are realized. With convert|400000|sqft|m2|abbr=on of total meeting space, the Gaylord Palms has the second most meeting space of any hotel in the state of Florida. It also has a total of 1,406 guest rooms.

Gaylord Palms is owned and operated by Gaylord Hotels, a division of Gaylord Entertainment Company, and is a sister hotel to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center and Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. It is located at the corner of International Drive South and Osceola Parkway, about 1/2 mile east of Interstate 4, 1/2 mile west of the Central Florida GreeneWay, convert|1|mi|km|sing=on north of US 192 and only a few miles away from Walt Disney World Resort.

Gaylord Palms was originally to be named Opryland Hotel Florida. However, when Gaylord Entertainment decided to re-brand their Opryland Hotels division to Gaylord Hotels on October 26, 2001, the name Gaylord Palms was given to the Florida hotel.

To local residents, Gaylord Palms is best known for its Christmas programming with large-scale events like [ Best of Florida Christmas] and [ ICE!] , an attraction hand-carved from two million pounds of ice.

Gaylord Hotels has a tentative plan to expand the Gaylord Palms. This expansion may include an additional atrium containing up to 500 more rooms. There will be an added entertainment center, (which may contain a night club/disco), along with two new restaurants as well. This project will include and additional 400,000 to 600,000 sq.ft. of meeting/convention space, in effect doubling the current convention space. The Gaylord Palms will become Osceola County's Official Convention Space. This planned expansion will also add at least one parking garage to the property which desperately needs additional parking space.

Hotel Areas

Gaylord Palms is built around a 4.6 acre glass-covered atrium, divided into four areas, each with their own activities and guest rooms.
* St. Augustine has an old-world colonial Spanish theme based on North America's oldest existing permanent settlement. Among its features are a wedding gazebo, a replica of the Castillo de San Marcos (North America's oldest fort), and a display with treasures from the Spanish galleon "Our Lady of Atocha", sunk off the Florida coast in 1622.
* Key West is inspired by Mallory Square, the central area of the major Florida Keys port city. It has a convert|65|ft|m|sing=on-long sailboatwhich is desinged around a seafood restaurant called Sunset Sams.
* The Everglades is themed on the river of grass. In addition to Gaylord Hotels' signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse, The Everglades boasts an award-winning 20,000-ft² (about 2,000 m²) Canyon Ranch SpaClub.
* Emerald Bay is dubbed a "hotel with a hotel," as it has convert|15344|sqft|m2|abbr=on of dedicated meeting space and the most luxurious accommodations in the resort, with 26 luxury suites. Several shops and boutiques can be found on the ground floor of this locale.

Convention Center

The Gaylord Palms Convention Center has convert|400000|sqft|m2|abbr=on of dedicated meeting space. More than half of that space is one large bay called the Florida Exhibition Hall, which has convert|210300|sqft|m2|abbr=on including prefunction space. It also features a permanent 101- by convert|40|ft|m|abbr=on. performing stage with green rooms and dressing rooms connected to its Osceola Ballroom.

Osceola County, Florida, at one point had aspirations to build its own convention center. One of the available plans was to give $103 million to Gaylord Hotels to expand the Gaylord Palms' convention center to 1.1 million ft². Under the agreement, the convention center would be renamed the Osceola County Convention Center at Gaylord Palms, and profits would be shared by the county and the hotel.

Behind The Scenes

With over 1804 employees in this one Resort, little do most realize that just below the property lays a secret "tunnel" much like the "utilidor" at Disney's Magic Kingdom, where employees referred to as "STARS" travel about without much notice or disruption to guests or events in the hotel. Internal offices in accounting, reservations, security, etc, are all located in the tunnel area, which (like Disney's utilidor) is actually on ground level.

External links

* [ Gaylord Palms] Official Website

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.