ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA 1. In January 2009, the 1,921-room Coronado Springs, the largest of Disney’s dedicated convention resorts, added a 119-room business level with access to the new Business Club Lounge, where a private room holds 100. The resort’s 222,000-square-foot convention center includes a ballroom that seats 6,500.
2. Another Disney property debuting a significant upgrade, the 38-year-old Contemporary Resort opened the new 15-floor Bay Lake Tower in August. The 295 one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites are designed to feel like homes, with full kitchens, granite countertops, and spacious living rooms. A covered skywalk connects the tower to the 115,000-square-foot Disney’s Contemporary Resort Conference Center.
3. Just outside Disney World, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress was completed a $45 million renovation in December. The hotel outfitted its 750 guest rooms with new lighting, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. The 65,000 square feet of meeting space includes seven boardrooms. An outdoor area around the half-acre pool holds 1,000.
4. In September, the 2,000-room Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center debuted its largest meeting space yet. The Palms Ballroom was outfitted with new lighting and sound systems and reconfigured so that it can be connected with the adjacent Cypress Ballroom for a contiguous 150,000-square-foot exhibit space.
5. Over on Florida’s Space Coast, the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront added a new seven-story tower with 82 additional guest rooms, bringing the property’s total to 200. The new tower, which opened in May 2008, includes 2,400 square feet of top-floor conference space with ocean views, including a 300-person-capacity ballroom.