By Richard Bilbao – Senior staff writer, Orlando Business Journal
Businesses on International Drive now can add more flair to the corridor via large eye-popping digital displays such as those that can be seen at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City or displayed on the exterior of the Sydney Opera House.
That’s thanks to a Jan. 14 decision by Orange County Commissioners to clarify the allowed usage of “dynamic art” along the popular tourist corridor. “Dynamic art” is when large screens are on the sides of buildings to showcase art and video.
Specifically, the county allows users to have large video screens with art and graphics, as well as a smaller area — 10% or less of the overall screen — that can used for text such as letters, words and numbers for advertising, sponsorships and more. The screens must be at least 600 feet away from Interstate 4 and are allowed only for buildings that exceed two stories in height. Businesses could generate a new revenue stream from selling sponsorships on the screens.
The cost for these types of large-scale installations depends on the size, but some experts say with additional content creation costs, it could exceed $1 million per wall.
One of the I-Drive businesspeople spearheading the changes is developer Joshua Wallack, owner of Mango’s Tropical Cafe and the Hollywood Plaza complex and parking garage, who sees the use of dynamic art at the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road – where his developments are located — as a way to showcase the entire corridor.
“This type of installation is prevalent in great cities all over the world and what people expect to see when they come to Orlando. It’s befitting to the gateways to the Orange County Convention Center district,” Wallack said. “That [technology] is the 21st Century and a visual enhancement to the area from a pedestrian standpoint and branding critical to the I-Drive 2040 vision.”
Wallack didn’t say exactly where he would use a large digital display like this, but he hinted that he’s already looking into the costs of upgrading his property’s electrical power capabilities that would be needed.
Central Floridians who have been to the dining/shopping/entertainment complexes at Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs or Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk recently may have seen these types of displays at attractions like the NBA Experience and the NBC Sports Grill & Brew. Those large displays showcase high-action clips of sporting events and light up the areas in the evening that catch viewers’ eyes.
That may be the goal for Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, which appears to be among the first I-Drive businesses that would capitalize on this.
“This enables a property owner to use several facades in their building to promote their content or generate sponsor from outside. And what Andretti will do is, given their proximity to the convention center, they can use that frontage to sponsor or market to trade groups at the convention center and sell their facility to these groups for post-show events,” said Angel de la Portilla, president of Central Florida Strategies, a government consulting firm, which represented Andretti during the discussions of the ordinance.
Angel de la Portilla of Central Florida Strategies
Executives with Andretti were not available for comment.
Images shared at the Jan. 14 meeting show Andretti could install a screen along its “bump out,” an expanded windowed area on the track visible by passersby on Universal Boulevard. That image could showcase pictures of race cars or the namesake of the attraction — racer Mario Andretti and his racing family.
A screen on Andretti’s Indoor Karting & Games would showcase things like a racing flag and images of the attraction namesake, Mario Andretti.
ORANGE COUNTY DOCUMENTS
The I-Drive corridor welcomes more than 15 million people each year and is a major cog to the overall tourism industry. Orlando’s $75.2 billion tourism and travel industry welcomed more than 75 million visitors in 2018, the most recent data available.
New additions like this can help attract more visitors and secure more convention trade shows that help generate billions of dollars in new economic impact for Central Florida.
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