Breaking: Skyplex adds zipline, AMP Group brings new grocery chain to Orlando’s I-Drive
International Drive’s renaissance continues with the addition of yet another new attraction, as well as the first Central Florida store of a major grocery chain. . Josh Wallack, principal of Wallack Holdings LLC and the business mind behind Mango’s Tropical Cafe Orlando, announced March 11 at the State of I-Drive event that a zipline will be the third attraction planned for the $300 million Skyplex complex, which already includes the 460-foot-tall SkyFall drop tower and the 570-foot-tall SkyScraper rollercoaster.
The announcement comes one week after Wallack revealed plans for SkyPlaza, an open-air promenade planned for the development on the northeast corner of Sand Lake Road and I-Drive. New attractions not only help boost the $50 billion tourism industry in Central Florida, but also create both temporary construction jobs and permanent jobs in the area. Wallack said the zipline, which has yet to be named, is expected to open in 2017 with the rest of the attractions at Skyplex.
He described the cable-style attraction as having a seat for two guests that will be pulled backward 600 feet in the air to the observation deck on the Skyscraper tower. Guests will hover for a moment and then be released to travel 1,500 feet down toward the ground over the SkyPlaza. “We are building a $100 million tower, so we wanted to try to maximize the capability of skyscraper and it’s another way to do it,” Wallack said. “Now we have three major rides, which will have a combo ticket available within Skyplex.” In addition, AMP Group COO Alejandro Pezzini also announced at the event that a Northeastern grocery chain, which he did not name, plans to open a 17,000-square-foot store at AMP Group’s Orlando Crossing development.
Pezzini added that the store will also be the chain’s hub for its Florida operations. The new grocer joins a list of new businesses AMP Group has brought to Central Florida, including Banco do Brasil, which opened its first Central Florida branch at the end of February in the Orlando Crossings development, which has become a destination for the thousands of Latin American travelers visiting Orlando each year. Meanwhile, Unicorp National Developments Inc. President Chuck Whittall said during the State of I-Drive event that he is eying the 500 acres of land on Universal Boulevard behind the $200 million I-Drive 360. He didn’t mention any details, but it’s something to watch for in the future development of the tourist corridor. Whittall’s I-Drive 360 project already has several restaurants open, but the Merlin Entertainments attractions — The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Aquarium — are set to open May 4.