Expansions & Renovations

Vimana's Key West Resort on Lake Dora Expands with New Construction

Spanning three buildings, the lakefront hotel with marina, restaurants, shops, rooftop event venue, pool and more is attracting guests with its Key West Island look and feel

WINDERMERE, FL. August 10, 2017 — With standard guestrooms the size of studio apartments and two-bedroom suites spanning 2,500 square feet, the Key West Resort on Lake Dora in Tavares, Fla., is attracting guests near and far – especially residents from nearby Orlando who are looking for a weekend getaway with a Key West Island appeal. Originally designed as a single 16-unit lakefront studio apartment building, the newly-expanded Key West Resort now features three buildings comprised of 64 units, a marina, family splash park, and multiple bars, restaurants and shops lining W. Main and Ruby Streets, adjacent to Wooten Park and the city’s shopping, business and entertainment district. With weekend occupancy at peak capacity and weekday business on a steady climb, owner Alex Cooke said he is attributing his property’s success to the ongoing marketing and infrastructure support of Vimana Franchise Systems LLC and the continued reinvestment by the City to beautify and revitalize the area.

“The Key West Resort on Lake Dora is the newest hotel in Tavares and the only hotel downtown,” Cooke said. “This area, which consists of 16 city blocks, is an entertainment mecca. A licensed Entertainment District, visitors can carry open-bottle beverages from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant. Strolling between Hemingway’s Wine & Cigar Bar, the Kâlua Hale Beach Bar, and O’Keefe’s Irish Pub, to the Tiki West Raw Bar & Grill, Brü Taphouse, Puddle Jumper’s Restaurant and Bar, and Lago Dora Ristorante, Pizzeria & Bar, leaves guests feeling like they are on the island of Key West. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jones Brothers Air and Seaplane Adventures, gifts and sundries shops, Get Wet Watersports, Freedom Boat Club and many other retailers are adding to the island feel and keeping the local economy alive.

“This is truly a unique destination,” Cooke said. “When the original building opening in 2014 as a studio apartment complex, the real estate market was still in a downturn. The original owner wanted to convert it to a B&B. Instead, I leased it from him in 2015, opened the second building, joined the Vimana franchise and added the Key West flag. It was the smartest move I could make. Recently, we added a third building, and today, the entire complex is operating as a Key West Resort. I attribute a lot of our recent growth and success to Vimana’s new Constellation CRS that gives us a major meta-channel presence. The efforts put forth by the Vimana and the City are making a big difference in helping us spread the word about this property which was once Tavares’ ‘best kept secret.’”

Local Destination, Island Appeal

The Key West Resort on Lake Dora boasts comfort, style and convenience. King and Queen rooms are oversized, spacious, modern and clean and include lakeview balconies. Suites feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, wrap-around balconies, a living room, dining room area, kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Amenities include hi-speed Internet, and a full-size, glow-at-night outdoor pool. Breakfast is complimentary each morning at one of the favorite local restaurants. The Key West Resort on Lake Dora offers the closest lodging to the Tavares Pavilion on the Lake, one of Central Florida's premier wedding and event venues. The rooftops of Buildings 1 and 3 are also offered as informal wedding and social spaces.

Tavares’ vibrant downtown features live music and entertainment on most nights, as well as easy access to boating and jet skiing, vintage and antique shopping, train excursions, and tours of the lakes and scenery surrounding the hotel from land, sea and sky.

“We are delighted that the Key West Resort on Lake Dora is achieving such tremendous success in Tavares,” said Steve Belmonte, Vimana Franchise Systems CEO. “Expanding the property to include a third building was a solid investment, as the overall property is proving to be a big draw for travelers – including those in the local markets. Oftentimes people in Orlando and surrounding areas just want to get away from the tourists and commercialization. Tavares is a destination few people have ever experienced; if you didn’t know it, you’d think you were on the island of Key West.

“Key West Inns, Hotels & Resorts is a unique leisure brand that provides exceptional value to travelers,” Belmonte said. “It is ideal for hotel owners who are looking to convert their existing assets into a franchise brand that has a low cost of entry and highly competitive terms. Key West Inns, Hotels & Resorts even offer optional customized Key West theming packages designed to make each property stand out within the local market. Alex Cooke’s success in Tavares is just one example of many success stories within the Key West family. We wish him and the city of Tavares continued growth and success.”

For more information on Vimana Franchise Systems, visit www.vimanafs.com.

About Vimana Franchise Systems LLC

Vimana Franchise Systems LLC is a hotel franchise company which owns Centerstone Inns, Centerstone Hotels, and Centerstone Plaza Hotels, a mid-tier to upper mid-tier three segment franchise designed to create a fair and cost effective model for hotel owners. Vimana also owns Key West Inns, Key West Hotels, and Key West Resorts, an economy friendly brand in a three-tier segment giving hotel owners the right fit for their product. The newest addition to the Vimana franchise is the Independent Options by Vimana, a solution for independent hotels looking to keep their name but desiring soft brand benefits. Vimana Franchise Systems is operated by industry veteran and CEO, Steve Belmonte. For more information on Vimana Franchise Systems LLC, visit www.VimanaFS.com, by phone at 407-654-5540 or email development@vimanafs.com.

Steve Belmonte
(407) 654-5540

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.