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ORLANDO-Alysha Enterprises of Apopka, FL has beaten local, regional and national hotel developers to the spade with its plans to break ground in February on one of the choicest hotel development sites in Lake County.

Alysha plans a five-story, 100-room hotel on a 3.6-acre site fronting Lakeview Center, a medical office venture on U.S. 441 north and across the highway from the $129 million, six-story Florida Hopsital Waterman which is completing the office component of the 350,000-sf project. Tavares, Lake County’s government seat, is 30 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

The hotel’s hard construction cost is projected at about $80,000 per room or an estimated $8 million total for the job, local construction industry estimators tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity. Alysha principals couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline.

The hotel is scheduled to open by October 2003. The hospital’s office construction and formal opening of the venture is tentatively set for summer 2003.

A flurry of new commercial, retail, restaurant and hotel development is already under way in the hospital’s immediate area but none has garnered a location comparable to Alysha’s, local brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

“It will be a cash cow the day it opens the front door,” a Tavares broker tells GlobeSt.com. “Lake County only has 2,300 hotel rooms and most of those just sprang up in the last two years.” By comparison, neighboring Orange County has 113,000 hotel and motel rooms.

The Best Western’s nearest competition is the 15-year-old Inn on the Green and a Budget Inn, just north of the Alysha project. The Best Western is the first area hotel built since 1999 when Alysha developed the 110-room Hampton Inn in Tavares, about four miles south of the new hospital.

In south Lake County, 25 miles south of the new hospital, three hotels are on the drawing boards–the 150-room Champion Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Clermont, FL; an unnamed hotel by developer Bob Wade who owns a Holiday Inn Express and Florida Motel in Clermont; and an estimated 140-room hotel being reconstructed in nearby Groveland, FL by I.E.Y. Real Estate Investment of Lauderhill, FL.

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