Last night’s highly anticipated hotel committee city meeting gave Winter Garden residents a lot of new information to consider. There have been talks of building a hotel in the historic downtown area for some time now, and residents have mixed reviews about it. Some worry that it will take away from the small town feel of the city, while others anticipate it will be a boost for the economy. The decision was made to move forward to build a hotel across from City Hall, at the corner of Highland and Bay Street. City commissions will hold a final vote in May, and building is set to begin in October.
About The Hotel
The boutique hotel will feature 60 rooms, along with ample meeting space for wedding receptions and events, and a restaurant. Questions were raised about where hotel guests would park, and it was determined that hotel guests would use the top floor of the existing Winter Garden parking garage, with a plan to add 400 more parking spots. A proposed valet service will allow guests to unload on Highland Ave and then take guest vehicles down the block to the parking garage. Rates for rooms in this boutique hotel will be around $150-$170 a night.
What Residents Are Saying
Some Winter Garden residents are worried a hotel will take away from the historic feel of the city and add more traffic and congestion in areas like Plant and Dillard Street. Winter Garden residents raised concerns about how the boutique hotel will impact the traffic patterns in the city, how it will contribute to rapid growth and overpopulation.
Other residents view the boutique hotel as an opportunity for more people to experience Winter Garden, giving visitors a place to stay in the heart of the city rather than having them find accommodations in Clermont or Apopka. When it comes to the traffic the hotel could bring, one city member pointed out that the Garden Theatre brings in 3 times as many cars in a single evening than a hotel would. Some Winter Garden residents see the addition of a hotel as a sign of healthy community growth and view the $5M economic benefit to local businesses as a plus.
Other City Meeting Talking Points
Other issues brought up at last night’s meeting included expanding Dillard Street to three lanes and adding roundabouts to assist with traffic. There was also talk about changes to the ball fields of Park Ave.
While final details of the hotel and city changes are still in the air, one thing is for sure: Winter Garden residents love their little city and want what is best for the town, their families, and the community.
If you’ve always wanted to live in a city where residents are involved, dedicated, and passionate about their city, Winter Garden is for you. Erica Diaz and her team live and work in the area, and have years of experience helping families buy and sell their homes here. Contact Erica Diaz and her team today for any real estate questions you may have!