Welcome to our Kissimmee meeting and event planning guide. Kissimmee is a place where perfect space and facilities, convenient location, world-class entertainment, and superb service come together. Blessed with beautiful weather, small-town charm and endless possibilities for excitement, Kissimmee has plenty to offer business and leisure travelers alike. A commitment to service, emphasize on value, and plenty of facilities that offer a perfect blend of business and pleasure are just a few of the hallmarks of this Central Florida destination. With so much to offer, it's no wonder Kissimmee is host to nearly six million visitors each year.
Kissimmee's popularity is due in part to its ease of access. A convenient gateway to over 2.6 million passengers each month, Orlando International Airport is an easy 30-minute drive to most meeting properties. In addition to air travel, Amtrak's Silver Service/Palmetto line, which runs from New York City to Miami, stops right in downtown Kissimmee. For those who prefer to drive, Kissimmee is just off major routes such as Florida's Turnpike, I-4, and the Central Florida Greeneway, placing it within easy access to I-75 and I-95 and convenient driving distance of most of the southeastern United States.
Upon arrival, groups are met with a plethora of quality accommodations designed to suit every taste and price point. In fact, Kissimmee has over 47,000 total lodging units from which to choose, ranging from express business hotels to boutique properties and full-service resorts, such as the Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center. Here, business and pleasure also go hand-in-hand, thanks to 1,406 stylish guest rooms, a tranquil spa, world-class restaurants, and 400,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 178,500-square-foot Florida Exhibition Hall. Meanwhile, just 15 miles away from downtown Kissimmee, Reunion Resort offers luxury accommodations, championship golf courses and over 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
In addition to these premier meeting resorts, Kissimmee's Osceola Heritage Park is a top destination for tradeshows and conferences in Central Florida. This expansive 120-acre complex boasts a 60,000-square-foot exhibition building, the 10,500-seat Silver Spurs Arena and the Osceola County Stadium Spring Training home for the Houston Astros. Also known for its A-list performances, Osceola Heritage Park has played host to such legends as Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Pearl Jam, and Vince Gill as well as World Championship Boxing, the bi-annual Silver Spurs Rodeo, and the nation's largest collectible car auction.
Recognizing that there's no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" meeting venue, Kissimmee is brimming with unique alternatives for events of all types, sizes and purposes. Host a cocktail reception in the 14,000-square-foot hangar at the Kissimmee Air Museum. Plan a black-tie affair at the 10,000-square-foot reception hall at the entertainment showplace Arabian Nights, heralded as one of the best dinner shows in the region. Meanwhile, the Osceola Center for the Arts offers meeting and banquet space amidst a culturally-rich atmosphere of theater, dance and ever changing art exhibitions.
Drawing more than six million visitors per year, Kissimmee's economy is based primarily on tourism. The city is also home to Valencia College and Florida Christian College.
Kissimmee's central location positions it just south of Orlando along the northwest shore of Lake Tohopekaliga. Spanning roughly 17 square miles across Osceola County, Kissimmee is home to more than 62,000 people, is the county seat of Osceola County, population of nearly 270,000 and is a principal city of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area a region that is home to more than two million residents. From its quaint, historic neighborhoods to its world-class golf and invigorating outdoor adventures, Kissimmee is an integral piece of one of the world's most popular vacation destinations.
Founded in the mid-1800s as Allendale, the city was incorporated and renamed in 1883 as Kissimmee, which most agree was a modern spelling of a tribal word. Until the opening of nearby Walt Disney World Resort in 1971, Kissimmee was known primarily as a transportation hub for the South Florida Railroad; later, its economy relied heavily on the cattle ranching industry and citrus. Its modest beginnings have not been forgotten, and visitors can still get a taste of the region's bygone days at the Osceola County Historical Society. Here, visitors marvel at the inner-workings of the Citrus Packing House, shop at the Tyson General Store, or live a day in the life of a Florida Cracker Cow Man.
For a more comprehensive view of Kissimmee's historical attractions, the Osceola County Historic Driving Tour takes visitors to some of the most intriguing sites in the region, including the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial, Veteran's Tribute and Memorial Museum, St. Cloud Heritage Museum, and the historic Courthouse built in 1889. Among Kissimmee's not-to-be-missed historic attractions is the 40-foot-high Monument of States. Built from stones provided by tourists, governors, a prime minister and a U.S. President, the monument is comprised of 1,500 stones collected over 22 years. Its stalagmites, petrified wood and bones represent every state in the U.S. along with 20 foreign countries.
Kissimmee's more modern attractions are second to none. In addition to being just a stone's throw from the Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, and the Kennedy Space Center, Kissimmee features several local attractions that give it a flavor all its own. Visitors can take the controls of an authentic, restored warplane at Warbird Adventures, enjoy a birds-eye view of the area from a hot air balloon, or skim across Lake Tohopekaliga for an adventurous airboat ride. Other stops for your itinerary should include Gatorland, the Alligator Capital of the World; Old Town, where the Saturday Nite Cruise of classic cars is a 20-year-old tradition; a zipline or coach safari at Florida Eco-Safaris; or the SkyCoaster plunge at Fun Spot USA.
For the serious golfer, Kissimmee's famed championship courses and year-round sunshine create the perfect opportunity to get in a little tee time. Celebrated golfers such as Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Koch have all made their mark on courses at Reunion Resort; or challenge courses designed by Greg Norman at the ChampionsGate Golf Resort. Players can try out the Scottish Style Links modeled after British courses at The Royal St. Cloud course, enjoy the environs of the Harmony Golf Preserve, or even improve their swing at a choice of three golf academies: the David Leadbetter Golf Academy at ChampionsGate, the ANNIKA Academy at Reunion, and the Golf Academy at Celebration.
When darkness falls over Kissimmee, the excitement of the day spills over to a sparkling nightlife- filled with fine dining, electrifying performances at unique and high professional dinner shows. Culinary delights await at more than 150 restaurants dotted across the region many which feature outdoor seating for dining beneath the stars. Whether visitors are in the mood for fresh seafood or hearty steaks, Cuban or Caribbean, Kissimmee is brimming with a host of flavors to please every palate.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Kissimmee enjoys a sunny semi-tropical climate with warm summers and mild, pleasant winters. Average temperatures in summer tend to be in the 80s, while winter temperatures drop only to the 60s. Average rainfall in Kissimmee is 48 inches, with the summer months experiencing the most rain. Hurricanes are possible between May and October.
With sunny skies year-round, any time is a great time to visit Kissimmee. Likely the very best time to go is during the late fall to winter season, when rain is less likely and visitors can get enjoy a warm and charming refuge from chillier climates.
Kissimmee Civic Center
Located in historic downtown, this Kissimmee meeting facility is Central Florida's prime choice for intimate shows and sporting events. In addition to being one of the best public indoor courts in the region, the Civic Center's arena has space for 96 eight-foot-by-eight-foot booths, or a capacity for 3,100 people in a theater-style arrangement. The center also features four meeting rooms, which, when combined, can accommodate up to 450 people. The reception area on the outdoor patio also welcomes up to 100 guests for cocktails or casual buffets.
Just steps away, the center's Berlinsky Community House is ideal for wedding receptions, awards ceremonies and more, thanks to gleaming hardwood floors, small kitchen area and well-equipped stage. Up to 130 people can dine and dance in this 5,000-square-foot venue. Additionally, the Lakefront Gazebo, which can fit events of up to 75 people, can be booked in conjunction with the house or as a separate venue.
The Kissimmee Civic Center has all the equipment necessary to make meetings and events a success, from microphones and DVD players to pipes and drapes and staging tools. Décor, such as table linens and plants, can also be arranged, as can large outdoor tents to protect outdoor events against the Florida sun or rain. Just 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport and right across the street from the city's Amtrak station, the lakefront Civic Center is in the heart of all the action of Kissimmee's bustling downtown.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century Florida mansion, the grandiose Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center is one of Central Florida's premier convention venues and undoubtedly one of the finest Kissimmee meeting facilities and the place to meet in Kissimmee. Situated in the heart of the city, Gaylord is just 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport and convenient to all that both Kissimmee and Orlando have to offer.
The center features 400,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, including a 178,000-square-foot exhibit hall, three opulent ballrooms and 61 breakout rooms. In addition to its extensive meeting space, the Gaylord's stunning four-acre glass atrium, designed with four themed gardens representing different regions of Florida, allows guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the sunshine state once they step inside.
Making it easy to combine business with pleasure, the Gaylord also features 1,406 well-appointed guest rooms and suites with wireless Internet access, five restaurants and lounges, a golf putting course, a pool, a water park and a 20,000-square-foot spa – the largest in Florida.
Silver Spurs Arena At Osceola Heritage Park
One of Kissimmee's most popular entertainment venues, the sprawling 120-acre Osceola Heritage Park is home to the Osceola County Stadium, the 10,500-seat Silver Spurs Arena, KVLS Pavilion, as well as a 60,000-square-foot Exhibition Building. Perfect for hosting conventions, meetings, tradeshows and corporate events, the Exhibition Building features 8,322 square feet of pre-function space along with five meeting rooms. Its 47,850-square-foot exhibit hall is capable of accommodating as many as 256 booths.
Over the years Osceola Heritage Park has played host to such A-list performers as Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Pearl Jam as well as family-friendly acts such as Sesame Street Live and The Wiggles. Heritage Park is also renowned for its world-famous sporting events such as Don King Productions World Championship Boxing, the bi-annual Silver Spurs Rodeo and World Extreme Fighting. Osceola County Stadium, a popular spot for camps, commercial shots and corporate functions, is also the spring training location for the Houston Astros.
Among the amenities at this multi-function facility are in-house audio and visual services, concierge service, 4,426 parking spaces and outstanding catering for everything from small coffee breaks to black-tie dinners.
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Approximate taxi fare: $60 USD
Located 30 miles from Kissimmee, Orlando International Airport is the premier gateway to Central Florida. As the country's 4th busiest airport, Orlando International serves approximately 33.7 million passengers annually. Its 41airlines offer several non-stop flights to 86 domestic and 24 international destinations including Mexico, Germany, Canada and the UK.
Numerous shopping and dining options are available at Orlando International for passengers searching for a last-minute gift or settling into a relaxing meal. The airport offers retail options that are unique to Central Florida, including Magic of Disney, Kennedy Space Center and Ron John Surf Shop. Other amenities include free wireless Internet access; a full-service salon and spa; 9,300 terminal parking spaces along with 11,300 satellite spaces; and an on-site Hyatt Regency Hotel, offering 445 rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space.
Evolving to meet the needs of the thousands of passengers that pass through its gates each day, Orlando International is involved in a $976 million capital improvement program over the next five years. The program will include terminal and airfield projects as well as rental car, roadway and parking development.
Airline carriers serving Orlando International Airport
Amtrak serves Kissimmee, allowing for easy transit from points along the East Coast. Visitors traveling to Kissimmee by train can take the Silver Service/Palmetto line, which originates daily in New York City and Miami. The route includes stops in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Raleigh and Savannah.
The regional bus system, LYNX, provides economical access on 65 routes that serve all of Central Florida. There are a number of bus lines within Kissimmee; LYNX also provides service to all major destinations in Orlando.
Standard bus fare is $2 per person. Day passes are $4.50.
Transportation to and from Orlando International Airport can be arranged through any number of shared ride services. The cost per passenger from the airport to Kissimmee ranges from $13 to $27. Shuttles can be booked at the airport.
Orlando International Airport is home to all major rental car companies. Check-in counters for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, E-Z Rent A Car, L and M Car Rental, National and Thrifty can be found on the ground transportation level. Off-site companies are accessible via shuttle bus.
Taxi fares from Orlando International Airport to Kissimmee average $60. Taxi service is plentiful both at the airport and within the city itself.
Photo Credit : Kissimmee CVB
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