Architecture

Grand Cypress becomes Evermore Orlando Resort

grand-cypress-becomes-evermore-orlando-resort

Players looking to try a homage to links golf near Orlando shouldn’t wait too long to play the Grand Cypress Resort and its new course, as the 1,100 acre property is ready for massive changes by 2023 while it is the Evermore Orlando Resort is being converted.

These changes include a new 18-hole designed by Jack Nicklaus, while each of the previous courses in the huge resort is closed or will be through the end of 2023.

Developer Dart Interests announced this week that a $ 1 billion renovation is planned on the property east of Disney World. Dallas-based Dart Interests acquired a majority stake in Grand Cypress in 2014, according to Orlando Sentinel.

Until 2019, Grand Cypress was home to the Nicklaus-designed New Course and three other nines – north, south and east – that could be played in various combinations as an 18-hole layout. Several LPGA tournaments took place on the nine-hole courses, most recently the defending champions of the CME Group in 2011.

The three single nines closed in 2019 while the new space remains open for years to come while the resort’s many amenities are being built.

The new square, named in honor of the old square in St. Andrews, is intended to serve as the link layout. The parallel first and 18th holes mimick the same holes on the Old Course, with a huge shared fairway as the holes run in opposite directions. Other allusions to St. Andrews are a stream that mimics the Swilcan Burn somewhat. In Florida, the course was seldom played in real hopping compound conditions, but since opening in 1988 it has been a fun, almost treeless layout that was popular with locals and tourists alike.

Dart Interests said it plans to hold the course until resort construction is complete in 2023, and then replace it with a new Nicklaus-designed course on part of the site where the nine-hole tracks previously stood. Details of the new Nicklaus course were not disclosed, but a press release on the Evermore website states that the 18-hole layout will “pay homage to the legacy of golf excellence at Grand Cypress”.

A projection of how Evermore Orlando Resort, which will replace Grand Cypress Resort near Disney World in central Florida, will complete construction in 2023. (Courtesy Hilton)

Overall, the new resort announced in the press release on its website that it will offer more than 10,000 rooms in various environments, including a 433-room Conrad Orlando in the Evermore Hotel, 69 rental houses with five to 11 rooms each, and 76 four-bedroom apartments and 41 villas with two and four bedrooms.

“We are excited to expand our strong presence in the Orlando marketplace and introduce the Conrad brand in a new city,” said Danny Hughes, Hilton Executive Vice President and President of the Americas, in the press release. “Conrad Orlando, Evermore, will undoubtedly be a sought-after destination for Orlando travelers, providing great service and immersive experiences for guests visiting the city.”

One of the most interesting and expansive components of Evermore will be an 8 acre lagoon-style pool, no-access swimming areas, bars, cabanas, private fire pits, and an aquatic adventure area with a waterslide, rope swing, and water sports.

“With the launch of the Evermore Project, Darts is introducing an entirely new category for the hospitality industry that will transform the vacation rental landscape,” said Christopher Kelsey, president of Dart Interests, in the press release. “We are creating the first wholly owned, large-scale community of purpose-built vacation homes and operating them with hotel quality standards and first-class resort facilities. Our approach solves the main problem for vacation renters: uncertainty in the quality of the home.

“Almost all vacation homes belong to individuals, each with their own taste and willingness to look after the property. Our central ownership model enables our guests to be sure that they are receiving a first-class home with superior security standards. “

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Janet Smith