Loews Sapphire Falls Resort & Mears Transportation Group
Loews Hotels & Resorts isn’t letting Universal Orlando’s newest attractions hog all the spotlight — it’s got big plans going on, too. The long-time partner of Universal is working toward opening the 1,000-room Loews Sapphire Falls Resort by 2016, which will be the fifth hotel the company oversees at Universal Orlando Resort. That hotel will incorporate a strong Caribbean theme of British influence, and it’s being designed by the same creative teams that worked on Harry Potter, Despicable Me and Transformers. In addition, Loews plans to add more than 55,000 square feet of meeting space at Royal Pacific.
In other business news, Mears Transportation Group expects business to drop 30-40 percent now that ride-share firms like Uber and Lyft have gotten the OK from Orlando to operate here under new rules. As a result, Mears has decided that rather than building a planned $20 million new headquarters to expand its operations, it will put its efforts toward becoming a stronger competitor to companies like Uber and Lyft. Mears wouldn’t specify its strategy, but some if its efforts may include rebranding, marketing, a more streamlined app and hybrid vehicles.