Hotel Online  Special Report

 Omni Orlando Resort At ChampionsGate Opens
On Time - Despite Florida Hurricanes
New 730-room Destination Golf Resort Stands
as a Symbol of Resilient Florida Tourism


CHAMPIONSGATE, Fla - Oct. 11, 2004 -- The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate welcomes its first group today - a remarkable feat considering the new flagship Omni Hotel won approval in the shadow of 9/11 and finished construction by overcoming an unprecedented trio of hurricane hits from Charley, Frances and Jeanne.

"To open any hotel on time is an accomplishment but this is something that took Herculean effort," said Andy Papoutsis, vice president and managing director of Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. "Overcoming adversity is the cornerstone of this great project. Everyone from the operations team, to the construction crews to the county building officials and of course the incredible Omni Orlando at ChampionsGate staff should be very proud that this project is opening as scheduled."

For Omni Hotels, the opening is a welcome sign. The luxury hotel brand has a flagship hotel ten minutes from the gates of Walt Disney World in one of the top tourism markets in the country. The new property is expected to be one of the premier golf resorts in the country and includes more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space, a 10,000 square-foot European-style spa, two challenging par-72 championship golf courses, the National and the International, designed by golf great, Greg Norman.

The ChampionsGate courses are host to the annual Office Depot Father/Son Golf Challenge, nationally telecast on NBC-TV. ChampionsGate is home to the world headquarters of the internationally acclaimed David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

"We are honored and delighted that this property withstood its many challenges," said Michael Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels. "We helped design this hotel so it would be built to four-star standards and would represent the sensible luxury that Omni delivers to its guests. Our standards were tested even before opening as the building and surrounding grounds withstood three direct hurricane hits."

The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is also good news for local tourism officials. The pristine resort, with its poolside cabanas, lazy river, towering palm trees and water fountains, is a sight most people don't associate with Florida in the post-hurricane world.

"The opening of Omni could not come at a better time," said Ken Shipley, Chairman of the Osceola County Commission. "This brings a stunning four-star property to our area that we expect will serve as a beacon to welcome guests to Central Florida."

The unprecedented Florida weather has not stopped groups from booking meetings and events at the resort. More than 50 groups have made plans to come in the first three months alone.

"Our groups are excited about experiencing the hotel and surrounding natural beauty of ChampionsGate," said Paul Pebley, director of sales and marketing. "In addition to the group business, our resort is a wonderful destination for vacationing families and golfers."

About Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is Florida's newest luxury golf and meetings destination resort. Open in October 2004, the Mediterranean-style resort features 730 guest rooms and suites, more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space and a 10,000 square-foot European-style spa.

Open for four years at ChampionsGate are two challenging par-72 championship golf courses, the National and the International, designed by golf great, Greg Norman, which have been honorably mentioned in Golf Magazine's "10 Most Distinctive Places to Play". 

The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is the centerpiece of ChampionsGate's 1,200-acre golf-resort community. ChampionsGate is near Orlando's popular attractions, but situated in a relaxed, natural setting carefully designed to complement its Florida surroundings.


Also See: Apollo Real Estate Advisors and RIDA Development Corp. Break Ground on $175 million 730 room Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate / Nov 2002
Omni Hotels Announces Plans to Build 732-Room Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate in Orlando, Fla. / Oct 2000
Michael J. Deitemeyer Named President, Omni Hotels / July 2004

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