Considered the "Center of Hospitality," the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention facility in America, offering 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space and 480,000 square feet of flexible function space. It's located just 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, and was recently rated the No. 1 meeting facility in the country by Business Review USA. The convention center features oversized loading docks for large equipment shows and also falls within Florida's right-to-work laws. In addition, our top-rated convention hotels and resorts add an additional three million square feet of space for meetings and events, including incredible outdoor space that can accommodate various sized groups.
Getting around is a breeze during a meeting in Orlando, thanks to its many hotel options near all the key retail, dining, and entertainment districts. Four properties with 5,185 rooms provide direct access to the convention center via pedestrian walkways or covered walking bridges. There are nearly 7,500 rooms within a one-mile radius of the Orange County Convention Center. Widen that radius to just two miles, and the options expand to 40 hotels and 17,000 sleeping rooms. Within walking distance from the convention center is Pointe Orlando, one of our entertainment complexes that fuses dining and entertainment.
A diverse selection of restaurants and nearly endless options for fun means there's something here for everyone. Within walking distance from the convention center is Pointe Orlando, an inviting collection of outdoor dining, shopping, and entertainment.
In 2013, the OCCC committed to updating its spaces as part of a five-year, $187 million capital improvement project, which includes aesthetic enhancements, life safety updates, an advanced wireless system and retrofitting to provide more flexible space, including an additional ballroom. Just down the road from the convention center, the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex continues to open in phases. The $250 million project includes more than 75 shops, restaurants and attractions, including a Madame Tussauds wax attraction and a Sea Life Aquarium. The focal point of the project is the 400-foot-tall Orlando Eye observation wheel, which rewards visitors with a spectacular view of Orlando's unique skyline. The grand opening festivities were held in Spring 2015.
The OCCC has adopted sustainable practices across many functional areas of the facility, and became nationally recognized for its initiatives. In 2007, it was the first U.S. convention center to be ISO certified for its recycling program. And the center works with clients to ensure unused food and supplies are donated to local nonprofit and community groups. However, the center's greatest innovation recycles one of Orlando's most prized assets - the sun. The center added a one-megawatt rooftop photovoltaic system and generates enough juice to power 100 average-size homes annually. The convention center is also the largest center in the world to have received LEED Gold EBOM certification, which was just awarded to the center in 2013.