Future unknown for Downtown Orlando event venue

The fate of the Orchid Garden and Ballroom venue in Downtown Orlando is up in the air.

Dozens of couples-to-be are having to scramble to find new wedding venues. 

Warren Dietel is the owner of Puff and Stuff Events and Catering, the primary caterer for the event venue in Downtown Orlando. 

To Dietel’s surprise, the property owner, Lincoln Properties, put the business owner on notice last week.

“We’re sad, we’re devastated,” Dietel said. “We received notice last Monday from the building owners that we needed to vacate the space on November 4.”

After 12 years at the venue, the event company will host its last event later this year.

“They are doing some significant redevelopment, and at this point, I don’t believe there will be events on property after this,” Dietel said.

He says that means 60 events already on the calendar after the cut-off date are being cancelled. 

Puff and Stuff now has to help bride and grooms quickly make other arrangements.

“It always starts with the venue and then goes on from there, so when that’s gone, it’s a big deal,” Dietel said.

He says he has been overwhelmed with how the event planning community has come to his assistance in helping all the couples-to-be find new venues.

The News Station has made numerous attempts to ask the owner what the plan is for the site and if it includes demolition, but have not received a response.

The News Station has learned that the owner is building the SunTrust Plaza tower right next to the Orchid venue, and according to the City of Orlando, a second tower has been proposed, but no demolition applications have been submitted.

Pam Schwarts, the chief curator with the Orange County Regional History Center, said she cringes at the idea another old and unique building could disappear.

“It does take away from any special thing we have compared to other cities," she said. “In Downtown Orlando, we are lacking in so many of our historic structures because of development.”

Schwartz says demolishing significant buildings also takes away from Orlando’s identity.

“It sort of erases the memory of what Orlando once was and it takes away some of the unique aspects,” she said.