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VOL. 125 | NO. 122 | Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peabody’s Florida Expansion to Create Hundreds of Jobs

By Andy Meek

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The imminent opening of a $450 million expansion of The Peabody Orlando, one of several Peabody Hotels within the portfolio of Memphis-based Peabody Hotel Group, will bring with it the creation of hundreds of jobs.

Alan Villaverde, president of Peabody Hotels and managing director of The Peabody Orlando, said the expansion – which opens Sept. 23 – will result in the addition of about 200 permanent full-time employees.

Also, 200 part-time staffers are being added to prepare for the opening,

which will include a bevy of updates for the hotel.

“This is a huge project for Central Florida, especially in this tough economic environment,” Villaverde said.

“Over the past few years, the construction for The Peabody Orlando expansion has aided in the creation of 1,200 temporary construction jobs ... We are busy with preparations and are already booking meetings in our new convention space, which is set to open in late July.”

All current guest rooms will be renovated to include LED motion-censored night lights; 42-inch LCD TVs; iPod docking stations, and 19-inch LCD TVs in bathroom mirrors.

Among other construction upgrades, travertine wall tiles and polished marble floors are being installed in a new registration area, lobby bar and Rocks, a new 6,000-square-foot bar. Furniture installation is under way in a guest tower structure.

Once the expansion is finished, The Peabody Orlando – which opened in November 1986 – will feature 1,641 guest rooms including 163 suites; 300,000 square feet of flexible function space; a 22,000-square-foot Peabody Spa & Athletics Club; and 12 dining and entertainment options.

Peabody Hotel Group is a subsidiary of Belz Enterprises, the iconic Memphis-based real estate development and management firm.

The company’s real estate portfolio includes Peabody-flagged hotels in Orlando, Memphis and Little Rock.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 27 150 2,415
MORTGAGES 57 228 2,835
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 37 527
BUILDING PERMITS 157 441 6,509
BANKRUPTCIES 61 133 1,920
BUSINESS LICENSES 25 80 1,239
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 15 58 688
MARRIAGE LICENSES 7 34 408