Aug. 22–Plans for a new hotel that could bolster Legoland's ability to capture more of the region's growing tourism market have been filed.

The 150-room, five-story hotel would be built on what is now the northern end of the Legoland's parking lot, which sits on the south end of the Winter Haven theme park.

The additional rooms would grow Legoland's total number to 302.

Last week, Orlando's Harris Civil Engineers filed a permit on behalf of Legoland's parent company, Merlin Entertainment, with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Industry experts say the project follows a general trend of expansion in Orlando that has seen several theme park companies, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, make more rooms available.

"Everybody's building a hotel," said Duncan Dickson, a former Disney executive who teaches at UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality Management. "It's called guests. What you are seeing, not only at Legoland but Universal and Disney, they are trying to get more of the guest's time. It's all about the total resort experiences."

Among the projects in the works or just debuted are Universal's recent unveiling of its 600-room Aventura Hotel and Disney's 500-room addition at Coronado Springs Resort.

More than 72 million visitors came through Orlando in 2017, providing an enticing growth that hoteliers have jockeyed for.

Attempts to reach Legoland Florida, which is located about 60 miles south of downtown Orlando, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

The new build at Legoland would include the replacement of areas of existing parking lots with new landscape features and a pool on the hotel's southwest side.

The report claimed that there would be no damage or other effects to the stormwater system that feeds Lake Eloise, which borders Legoland on the west.

Legoland's hotel rooms are well known for their themes, which revolve around castles, pirates and other adventures.

Got a news tip? msan[email protected] or 407-420-5256; Twitter, @marcosantana

Got a news tip? msan[email protected] or 407-420-5256; Twitter, @marcosantana