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pointe orlando holds its own during downturn

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    CER has 50% interest in Pointe Orlando via its interest in SuperLLC. CNP also holds 50%

    Article is a good read. Nice to see it doing well.

    I have discussed Pointe Orlando before. It is one of CER's more high quality assets in the US


    I-Drive's Pointe Orlando holds its own during downturn

    December 20, 2009
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    Susan Godorov, vice president of marketing for Centro Properties' mall and lifestyle division. Godorov oversees marketing for Pointe Orlando, a collection of shops and upscale restaurants on International Drive. She recently spoke with Orlando Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.

    CFB: Tell me how things in general have been going at Pointe Orlando with the downturn in the economy.

    Pointe Orlando's been doing very well. We really have held our own. The restaurants are doing very good business. I think that is related to the variety of restaurants out here Pointe Orlando is a destination as well as the movie theaters. Movies are doing very well, and when the new blockbusters are out, we're a very popular location. Being on International Drive, we obviously have the built-in convention traffic, but we have many locals that come out to Pointe Orlando and the wonderful restaurants we have here, and we appreciate the local business that has stuck with us.

    CFB: What is the mix of locals versus tourists?

    Overall we're 65 percent tourists and 35 percent locals, but we are very different on the weekends. We're pretty much 50-50 on the weekends, with some of our restaurants doing mainly local business.

    CFB: Many of the restaurants here are high-end ones, and those are the ones that have been hit particularly hard by the down economy. Can you talk a little bit about how they are doing, how they are still managing to attract customers?

    A lot of them have looked at their menu items and have focused on providing either a prix-fixe menu that offers an appetizer, salad, entree, dessert at a bit of a lower price. I think they've all recognized that service is key. People are still going out to dinner and still enjoying that luxury, maybe a little bit less, so they know they need to provide just an excellent meal and excellent service.

    CFB: Tell me about the renovations you did a while back and how that's playing into what's going on now, and whether you think that's attracting more people.

    We opened up Pointe Orlando to International Drive. The initial design of Pointe Orlando was facing inward. People weren't sure when they drove by or walked by what we were. So we literally took out some of the space, demolished a building, opened up the sight lines into the property. Our extensive research prior to the redevelopment with the area hotels, Convention and Visitors Bureau, convention center and locals as well, really redefined what needed to be put at Pointe Orlando.

    What we heard was, they wanted better restaurants. They wanted name brands that weren't already here in the marketplace. We brought in Capital Grille. We brought in Oceanaire. We brought in Tommy Bahama and Maggiano's, and these are restaurants you can only get (locally) at Pointe Orlando but they have phenomenal name recognition. And redesign, more of a Florida relaxed (feel), with bricks and the palm trees. Getting away from more of that concrete feel that we had has been really, really good for business here.

    CFB: What kind of marketing is Pointe Orlando doing to lure in locals or tourists?

    Some of the things we've done include partnering with some of the national conventions coming to town and making Pointe Orlando the hub of that activity. So when the convention breaks at the convention center, a lot of the activities surrounding the conventions are here at Pointe Orlando. That partnership for us has been very good. In regard to locals, we have a new Web site that we launched a couple months ago that really is interactive where you can make reservations on many of the restaurant sites, and you an purchase a movie ticket. We keep you up to date on all the happenings going on at Pointe Orlando at all the restaurants, all the different activities going on.
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