Orlando is truly a vacation Mecca. The city's International Drive is at the epicenter of the vacationing mayhem, with a truly vast selection of hotels, restaurants, shopping venues, and plenty of tourist attractions. So when local hotelier Harris Rosen donated $18 million for the construction of a state-of-the-art hospitality college, International Drive was an ideal location. It also helped that Rosen (who owns over 15,000 hotel rooms on the strip) donated the 30-acre site for the project, which was actually to serve as a satellite campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) - and that his financial donation was matched by the State of Florida.
This 150,000-sq-ft school is about 15 miles from the UCF campus and was designed and constructed to support the department's goal of becoming the world's premier hospitality management school. The idea of locating the school apart from the campus and next to world famous theme parks and venues was that it would foster relationships between the school and hospitality industry leaders.