The Skyplex project on International Drive near Orlando hit a snag. The Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-3 on Thursday against the proposal for the $500 million Skyplex complex, which would include a 570-foot polercoaster, called The Skyscraper.
Skyplex developer Joshua Wallack unveiled Skyscraper’s design at 2014 IAAPA trade show at the Orange County Convention Center. Along with the world’s tallest roller coaster, Skyscraper, the Skyplex development will include a 450-foot SkyFall drop tower, a state-of-the-art open-air plaza, the SkyFly 600-foot zipline, a 350-room hotel and the largest Perkins in the world.
The board recommended rejecting the proposal for the development, citing concerns about lightning, the height of the Skyscraper ride and other issues. Of six people speaking about the development, three were representing Universal Orlando. They stated that Universal supports the project but not without a height restriction and 570 feet is just too high for the coaster, even though two months earlier the Federal Aviation Authority approved the project. Universal representatives also said they don’t think the project is compatible with the size and scope of I-Drive, and noted that there is not a study proving that the tourist corridor could handle the new influx of visitors.
Skyplex Orlando representatives fought back by calling Universal Orlando a “bully” and accusing them of “hypocrisy.” Although Skyplex won some supporters, they were not enough to earn the vote. Still, the vote on Thursday was only advisory and the proposal has to go before the Orange County Commission in December.
The development is planned to open in 2018 and, according to its owner Wallack, the project is expected to create 1,000 permanent jobs and over four thousand temporary jobs.