The Belz Report, Spring 2000
2001, Volume 1PAGE 2

Festival Bay at International Drive Phase II Now Under Construction

Phase II of Festival Bay at International Drive, Belz Enterprises' 1.1 million-square-foot lifestyle entertainment and retail center in Orlando, is now under construction and scheduled to open later this year with new anchor stores, signature restaurants, and a 20-acre outdoor amusement park.

Phase I opened in 2000 to acclaimed statements like " 'Place-making at its best,' one of the most exciting concepts in retail entertainment shopping being developed in the USA!" And, industry observers are predicting that Phase II will be equally well received.

The total project, located in the heart of the Orlando Tourist District on International Drive across from the Belz Factory Outlet World – Orlando, brings all that is uniquely Florida – and Caribbean – together in one destination shopping center.

"Festival Bay at International Drive is poised to tap the area's annual tourist market of 42 million persons and become a vacation destination unto itself," says Andrew J. Groveman, senior vice president of Belz Enterprises. "The concept of Festival Bay at International Drive is to make shopping a fun, relaxing and entertaining experience for adults and children alike."

"We believe Festival Bay at International Drive will further strengthen our ability to capture the strong annual tourist market in Orlando and provide a refreshing shopping experience for those who already enjoy the Florida lifestyle on a daily basis."

With a created waterfront serving as the focal point of the Festival Bay at International Drive village, a series of interconnected walkways and plazas form districts that blend the eclectic qualities of the Florida lifestyle with the lush landscaping and plebeian architecture of the Caribbean.

Festival Bay at International Drive's Phase II tenants will include Ron Jon Surf Shop, Hilo Hattie, Kahunaville and Sheplers Western Wear. Another anchor store joining the complex is F.Y.E. – For Your Entertainment, which offers pre-recorded music and videos, a kids' department, novelty items and electronic games.

Ron Jon Surf Shop, arguably the nation's best known surf brand, will be a lifestyle anchor at the north end of Festival Bay at International Drive and will offer 50,000-square-feet of beach-themed sport retailing. The Ron Jon Surf Shop logo is known worldwide and can be spotted on cars, T-shirts, boards and has even been spotted on the space station Mir! The company was recently named Action Sports Retailers' "Retailer of the Year." Ron Jon Surf Shop also operates an extensive website that includes a surf camera providing up-to-the-minute surf and beach conditions and an e-catalogue that keeps its logo, a familiar icon for web surfers, active on the net.

Joining Ron Jon in catering to the surf-set will be Hilo Hattie's, which seeks to offer customers a truly unique Hawaiian shopping experience. As a major manufacturer of Hawaiian and island lifestyle products, the company offers the largest selections of island-themed sportswear, backed by friendly customer service and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Sheplers Western Wear will round out Festival Bay at International Drive’s offerings of unique American vacation-style wear. Sheplers sees itself as a symbol of a lifestyle that has long since faded from existence – but not from the hearts and minds of modern day cowboys and pioneer descendants. Among its products are boots, jeans, hats, accessories and any other kind of Western wear that one might need offered in more than 20 stores across the nation and on the Internet.

Completing the tropical theme throughout Festival Bay at International Drive will be Kahunaville, which describes itself as an "eatertainment" experience with really good, moderately priced food and great
service. With a complex mix of international, family-friendly dishes, a 10,000-square-foot game room and a bar with live entertainment that stays open until 2 a.m., Kahunaville has been among the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant/entertainment chains.

Previously limiting expansion into smaller markets, Kahunaville at Festival Bay at International Drive puts the chain into the heart of Mickey Mouse Country, whose founder is the inspiration for the creativity behind the restaurant’s concept. "My inspiration is Walt Disney," says David Tuttleman, founder of the chain, "and the belief he had in creating and in people. Someone told me that we're reminiscent of what Disney was 25 years ago, and that's the greatest compliment ever."

In addition to these new anchors in Phase II, visitors to Festival Bay at International Drive soon will be able to take advantage of several new entertainment attractions as well. The 156,000-square-foot Factory Fun House will feature an indoor roller coaster, a log flume, a game room, interactive rides, restaurants and other attractions. Just outside, the 20-acre Festival Boardwalk will offer amusement park activities reminiscent of New York’s Coney Island. Developed around two large ponds, the center attraction of the Festival Boardwalk will be a large Ferris wheel similar to the well-known London Eye.

Photo at top:

  1. Festival Bay at International Drive Phase II, featuring a 20-acre outdoor amusement park, is scheduled to open in Fall 2002.

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