High-end hotel to open in downtown Winter Park

"Alfond Inn" to benefit Rollins College students

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter
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WINTER PARK, Fla. - Ask anyone who lives in Winter Park when the last time a hotel opened up downtown and the answer is generally the same -- "I can't remember."

It's been a long time since Winter Park has had a new place to spend the night. Starting September 1, the Alfond Inn on East New England Avenue will offer 112 rooms starting at $99 per night through the month of September. After September, rooms prices will rise, but not above $200 per night, according to General Manager Deanne Gabel.

"There was the Langford, a wonderful property for many years," said Gabel. "Since she came down a few years ago, there's been an opportunity for the town to have a great place to stay."

Gabel said the Alfond Inn will be much more than a hotel, it will be a community asset.

"We see our role as supporting the community, building up Winter Park and supporting all the events that are here," said Gabel.

The Harold Alfond Foundation has generously supported Rollins College over the years, and Gabel said it donated $12.5 million to build the Alfond Inn with the agreement that Rollins will own it, and students will benefit from it. The hotel's profits will go towards scholarships, $50 million over the next 25 years.

Gabel said the hotel will fit perfectly into the downtown Winter Park area.

"We definitely intend to operate it as a 4-star, 4-diamond property," said Gabel. "The wonderful thing too is the Alfonds are out selecting pieces of art."

The hotel, which opens August 18, will have 112 guest rooms.

It will have a 4,800 square foot ballroom which will be ideal for weddings of up to 350 people, or a seated event with up to 500 people. It will be able to divide into five separate rooms.

There will also be an additional meeting room of 2,072 square feet which will have the option of dividing into two rooms, and a 1,053 square foot board room.

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