On Wednesday, Oct. 8, Artegon Marketplace Orlando held a media tour in advance of the Nov. 20 grand opening. Orlando Mall Guide was invited and able to meet a couple merchants, tour the facility and get a sneak peak at some of the additions including a ropes course and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.
At the heart of the 1.1 million-square-foot shopping attraction are the 165 artisanal shops and stores which will be collectively known as The Village at Artegon Marketplace Orlando. Steven Sless, the executive vice president of the center’s parent company Paragon Outlet Partners, expects it to be fully leased by opening day, according to a news release. Two of those merchants are Misty Wheeler-Belin, owner of Florida Soap Company, and Wendy Davis, chef and founder of Poca’s Hottest. Both Misty and Wendy were available to talk about their brands and show what booths will look like come opening day.
Misty is a certified cosmetologist with a penchant for soap. Her products are handcrafted, chemical-free, organic and vegan. She’s even caught the attention of Aviva Drescher of The Real Housewives of New York whom she tweeted one evening and sent her products. Aviva has been a fan ever since.
Her friend Wendy founded Poca’s Hottest and produces all natural hot sauces that contain no added preservatives. What’s unique about her brand is the fact that a portion of every sale is donated to musically centered non-profit organizations within Central Florida. So in effect, by supporting Poca’s Hottest, you’re supporting local business and serving as a patron to the local arts.
Thearon Scurlock is the director of marketing for Artegon Marketplace Orlando and he led the media on a tour throughout the building.
Some interesting notes:
- If Artegon Marketplace Orlando was to open the date of this tour on Oct. 8, it would already boast a higher occupancy over the previous tenant, Festival Bay Mall.
- The Daily City’s Food Truck Bazaar and it’s bevy of popular food trucks will make a routine monthly stop outside the main entrance.
- A road widening of International Drive just outside Artegon Marketplace Orlando will make it easier for drivers to navigate the busy tourist-centric area, and detailed navigating instructions will be posted at ArtegonOrlando.com by opening day so you’ll know just how to find it.
- The artisan marketplace will offer valet parking.
- Speaking of parking, there will be 5,800 parking spaces — all of which are free not typical along I-Drive — a total of three times more than the surrounding outlet mall.
- You’ll be able to tweet, surf the web and more thanks to free wi-fi.
- An attractive facade on the main entrance will serve as a beacon to those traveling and includes bright LEDs along the arches and 14-feet-tall letters spelling the mall’s name.
Among the stops on the tour, we came upon a brand-new ropes course where the former pond existed at Festival Bay Mall. It’s a staggering 47-feet-tall and great for impromptu recreation or a fun team-building retreat for your company. It is a paid opportunity.
Adding to the current anchor tenants which includes Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Cinemark Theaters and Sheplers Western Stores are some new additions including Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, which we got an early look at. The Orlando location counts as the 17th in the nation and will feature burgers, steak and pork among its red, white and blue-inspired menu. A 187-feet-around full service bar in the shape of a guitar will grab guests’ attention immediately upon walking in and it can seat 100 people. Get ready to drink beer from Mason jars!
As if that wasn’t enough, it also boasts a stage and state-of-the-art sound system for concerts by local, regional and national musical acts. Word is that Toby Keith himself is known for stopping in at his restaurants that bear his name for an intimate performance. In fact, we’re told you won’t have to wait long as he’ll perform soon after it opens. As you can imagine, these are ticketed experiences.
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill will be open in advance of Artegon Marketplace Orlando’s official unveiling.
That’s all for now, but keep it here at Orlando Mall Guide for the latest including grand opening coverage of Artegon Marketplace Orlando.
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