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Skyplex Orlando Discussion Thread


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2017 has been the announced date since at least IAAPA 2014.

 

-Frozen Ride at Epcot, Kong, Busch Gardens Tampa Dark Coaster: 2016

-Skyplex and Coaster, Avatar, Rivers of Light, Volcano Bay finished by 2017

 

Making 2017 a year to visit!

 

2015 is a year to visit LA or Virginia/NC/PA I think, with DIsneyland/USH/Magic Mountain/Knott's all getting big things and those states getting Fury, Tempesto, Impulse Knoebels, PKD Waterpark expansion, Fireball SFA, Laff Track Hershey...

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http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2015/03/mangos-tropical-cafe-orlando-artist-drawing-gives.html?full=true

 

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando is advertising itself as a non-stop venue for tourists looking for music, dining and entertainment on International Drive.

 

Here, Mango's COO Joshua Wallack shared an artist rendering of the interior of the Orlando venue, which will open this summer. It will be a casual dining venue during the day and transform into a high-energy dinner show, restaurant and nightclub in the evening.

 

The photo shows the main bar areas and the show floor where the Mango's dancers will perform while guests watch or mingle throughout the evening.

 

Also, the future 50,000-square-foot nightclub, dining and entertainment venue will be accompanied by a seven-story parking garage topped with a 12,000- to 15,000-square-foot restaurant. In total the complex will cost $50 million.

 

It's one of many projects Wallack is juggling in Orlando alongside the $300 million Skyplex project, on the northeast corner of Sand Lake Road and International Drive, that will include the world's tallest roller coaster, a drop tower ride, a zip line, shops and restaurants — opening in 2017.

interiorconcept.jpg.6cfc1f736f0b916637b188e5e15fe96a.jpg

An artist rendering of the interior of Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando on International Drive.

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So it looks like this project is stalled. Their case study with the FAA (which should have been determined weeks ago) hasn't changed status in over two months now, and their social media channels have been totally silent since March.

 

The Orlando Sentinel also ran this article a few days ago:

 

Developer Josh Wallack pulled out all the stops on Wednesday in the first public presentation of his Skyplex entertainment project, showing new architectural overviews of the 11-plus acre site to a room filled with business owners from International Drive.

 

But Skyplex’s record height proposal was a sticking point for some stakeholders. They are concerned the current year-long visioning initiative for the Convention Center and I-Drive will be undercut in the coming months by a cascade of new project proposals, before any master plan for the corridor is ready.

 

“The Orlando Eye wheel was 425 feet tall, now you’re almost doubling that (with Skyplex). We have a visioning process in development for I-Drive, but I think there’s a Wild West-atmosphere here where new attractions are lining up to do rides on the street, which you see more in theme parks,” said Susan Godorov, general manager of Pointe Orlando, who serves on the I-Drive technical working group this year that was appointed by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

 

“Let’s be strategic in the interim of this I-Drive visioning project.”

 

Wallack wants to rezone his Skyplex properties from General Commercial (C-2), which carries a height restriction of 200 feet, to a Planned Development (PD) that would be subject to the Convention Center Plaza Overlay District, which has no height restriction.

 

Because Wallack’s site sits on a hill, the Skyscraper tower will approach 700 feet above sea level, which needs approval from the FAA. Large aircraft don’t fly over I-Drive, so Wallack expects FAA approval this year. The Skyscraper actually stands at 580 feet from street level.

 

Wallack needs a variance or the overlay district to build the world’s tallest roller coaster, and precedent exists on I-Drive for him to push the envelope.

 

Developers of I-Drive 360 were approved last year to build their Ferris wheel to 425 feet by including that property in the Convention Center Plaza Overlay District.

 

Crissy Fogelsong, who lobbies on behalf of I-Drive businesses as director of Efficient Transportation for the Community of Central Florida (ETC), cautioned Wallack at Wednesday's meeting to wait for the I-Drive visioning study to be finished by December before moving forward.

 

“This height proposal (of Skyplex) really opens Pandora’s box, and other projects coming in later this year may not be as well-organized and intentioned as (Skyplex) before the master plan for I-Drive is ready,” she said.

 

Wallack doesn’t want to wait, and said projects like Skyplex help the visioning committee better conceptualize how to turn I-Drive into a pedestrian-friendly corridor.

 

Wallack’s rezoning application is now being reviewed for a PD on the property. Project plans are submitted after that, and building permits could come as soon as the fourth quarter. If ground breaks late this year, Skyplex would open in late 2017.

 

Broad Support Among Peers

Many business owners and managers at the public meeting spoke out in support of Wallack’s development, excited about the foot traffic it could bring to north I-Drive with two parking garages that the entertainment complex will have on site.

 

“A project of this caliber will force everything that comes after it to be better,” said Charles Bailey Jr., co-owner of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, located just a few blocks north of the proposed Skyplex site.

 

Mark Brisson, executive director of the new Skeletons museum at I-Drive 360, is glad to see new, tall structures change the skyline of the corridor.

 

“I for one am happy that developers of the Hyatt hotel and I-Drive 360 didn’t wait, and pushed for new heights,” he said. “If you want to talk garish, I think there are (low-level structures) on I-Drive that are unattractive.”

 

Mid-tier hotels around Skyplex’s site, like those on Universal Boulevard and Canada Avenue located between W. Sand Lake Road and Carrier Drive, are also expected to benefit immediately from proximity to the attraction.

 

One of Wallack’s main selling points for Skyplex has been his promise to direct vehicles that enter from I-Drive and Sand Lake Road to use the complex’s 2,400-space parking garages to exit onto little-used Canada Avenue.

 

The project’s budget has increased from $300 million announced last year to $460 million, first reported by GrowthSpotter Tuesday morning. The rapid rise in cost follows Wallack’s purchase in December of eight Perkins restaurants in Florida for $29 million just to get his target restaurant at the Skyplex intersection, and the inclusion of a 350-room boutique hotel in the project.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/growthspotter/gs-skyplex-developers-push-for-record-height-questioned-by-some-idrive-stakeholders-20150506-story.html

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So it looks like this project is stalled. Their case study with the FAA (which should have been determined weeks ago) hasn't changed status in over two months now, and their social media channels have been totally silent since March.

What are you talking about!?!?!? The guys running the place have been tweeting plenty about the project recently:

 

Seriously, you're going to base "the project is stalled" from ONE article in the Orlando Sentinel?!?! You clearly don't know anything about Orlando! lol

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^I haven't been following construction/development. Have they started construction yet or is it still in planning stages?

It wasn't even supposed to start construction until Mango's opens. They still have plenty of buildings to demolish first. People forget that this project is being done by the same people doing Mango's across the street from it and that's a HUGE project in itself. Let them finish one project first!

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News coming from Screamscape says Intamin taking over the coaster project from S &S. This is interesting and makes me wonder how much longer for this Skyplex to open? Will they stay on schedule for a 2017 opening or are we looking at more delays in this thing becoming a reality? What are your thoughts peeps?

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Here's the article from Behind the Thrills concerning Intamin's involvement on Skyplex -

 

http://behindthethrills.com/2015/07/intamin-rides-to-supply-the-worlds-tallest-coaster-as-skyscraper-eyes-2018-opening/

 

"This is a very important milestone for the development team,” says Joshua Wallack, one of the principle developers of the $460 million dollar Skyplex project in Orlando, FL. “After over a year of extensive design and engineering work focusing on the recordbreaking track layout and rider experience, as well as an extensive industry review, we are very excited to announce the supply contract award to Intamin, one of the world’s premier roller coaster manufacturers.”

 

“We could not be more pleased to have Intamin and International Amusements Inc. on board to manufacture the ride component of the Polercoaster (Skyscraper) attraction here in our own backyard,” says Orlando, FL based Bill Kitchen, founder of US Thrill Rides and inventor of the Polercoaster. “Intamin has a very well known reputation in building record-breaking rollercoasters. We are proud to have a assembled such a world-class team to build this icon."

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Robb posted that Intamin was supplying the track on February 12 in this thread...

 

http://themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=66588&start=400

WOW! "This project," as Joshua Wallack of Mango's said today at the International Drive Chamber of Commerce Luncheon "started as a parking garage for Mango's and has turned into something unbelievable!" And I agree! Every time I hear more about this project, it keeps getting more and more impressive! We'll get to Mango's in a little bit, but let me tell you what we know about the "Skyplex Orlando Tower" project from my conversations with Joshua and his father David today...

 

- The actual tower comes from US Thrill Rides and is their design and patent.

- The roller coaster, Skyscraper is being designed by Ride Centerline (Alan Schilke/Joe Draves) but built by Intamin

- S&S is not involved with the coaster

- The drop tower, SkyFall will be built by Intamin

- The drop ride will be 450 feet tall and will be flush against the inside of the tower facing outwards looking at the Skyscraper track.

- There are hints of yet-to-be-announced attractions and possibly even some improvements to the coaster than what we've seen already!

- New renderings should be coming soon

- Opening planned for 2017 with construction to start later this year

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Here's the article from Behind the Thrills concerning Intamin's involvement on Skyplex -

 

http://blockedsite.com/2015/07/intamin-rides-to-supply-the-worlds-tallest-coaster-as-skyscraper-eyes-2018-opening/

 

"This is a very important milestone for the development team,” says Joshua Wallack, one of the principle developers of the $460 million dollar Skyplex project in Orlando, FL. “After over a year of extensive design and engineering work focusing on the recordbreaking track layout and rider experience, as well as an extensive industry review, we are very excited to announce the supply contract award to Intamin, one of the world’s premier roller coaster manufacturers.”

 

“We could not be more pleased to have Intamin and International Amusements Inc. on board to manufacture the ride component of the Polercoaster (Skyscraper) attraction here in our own backyard,” says Orlando, FL based Bill Kitchen, founder of US Thrill Rides and inventor of the Polercoaster. “Intamin has a very well known reputation in building record-breaking rollercoasters. We are proud to have a assembled such a world-class team to build this icon."

 

I think this is the point where I'm lost. I do my best to keep up with the goings on in the industry, but my biggest struggle is understanding the different designers/manufacturers roles in different rides. So according to this article, Intamin AND International Amusements will both be manufacturing the ride. Are they using two companies for specific reasons (i.e., one designs the track, one designs some other part of the hardware, etc.)? Any reason one company couldn't do both? Also, with US Thrill Rides being the "inventor" of the Polercoaster, but not being the coaster manufacturer, does this mean they planned to hire someone to design the ride from the get go?

 

If someone could spare a moment and explain this to me like I'm 5, I'd be forever grateful.

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