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ORLANDO-INCOM Southeast Show & Conference, a new venture by Orlando-based Florida Concrete & Products Association, debuts Oct. 2-5 in 100,000 sf rented meeting/exhibition space at the $450 million, 1,406-room Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, FL, five miles from Walt Disney World.

INCOM expects 6,000 attendees and is renting the space for an estimated three years at the 65-acre resort.

The exhibitor is bypassing the nearby 1.1 million-sf Orange County Convention Center where officials say the show wouldn’t receive the same high exposure because of the convention center’s size, according to a published report.

The 20-year-old convention center’s occupancy has been improving steadily this year with an expected year-end average 65.2%. That number compares with 61.8% occupancy in 2001 and 62.9% in 2000.

But the center is under increasing pressure to raise occupancy because its debt load is approaching $1 billion. When the center’s $750 million, one-million-sf expansion is completed in 2003, it will have two million sf of exhibition/meeting space.

That will make the property the third largest of its kind in the country, next to Las Vegas, 2.3 million sf, and Chicago, 2.2 million sf. Right behind are Atlanta, 1.3 million sf and New Orleans, 1.1 million sf.

Coinciding with INCOM’s decision to go with Gaylord Palms, the dominant concrete industry exhibitor, World of Concrete, has informed Orange County officials it will be alternating annual shows between Orlando and Las Vegas after its 2004 production which will lease one million sf.

Hanley-Wood Exhibitions of Addison, IL owns World of Concrete which debuted in Orlando in February 2000 with attendance of 50,000.

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