Artegon Orlando Marketplace

By James | Last updated August 23, 2023

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The ill-fated Festival Bay Mall at the top end of International Drive was redeveloped as the Artegon Orlando Marketplace and it re-opened in October 2014. The 1.1 million square foot mall had a troubled past but the redevelopment saw a new concept in malls in Orlando but to no avail as it closed on January 26, 2017 after the property was sold and all the “internal” shops were forced to close.

The lake in front of the mall was replaced by a large open space with a drop-off roundabout offering valet parking and space for food trucks and open air concerts.

It was felt that the original internal circular pathway just didn’t work so the entire centre of the mall was demolished and replaced by market “streets” supporting over 100 small individual marketplace units, like an old-fashioned open-air street market. The sort of experience you will find at some of the historic market halls like the Faneuil Hall in Boston.

The original metal cages were subsequently replaced by larger individually decorated units.

With the closure of Artegon Orlando Marketplace only a few of the larger retailers with exterior access were able to stay open; namely Boot Barn, Fuddruckers, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Sky Zone. Today, only Boot Bar, Fuddruckers, Bass Pro Shops and Cinemark Theaters remain open as the land they stand on was previously sold by the owners of Artegon Orlando Marketplace

Artegon promised to bring together local artisans selling artwork and other hand crafted items, galleries, studios, a farmers market and an exciting range of dining options, setting it apart from the typical “high-street brand” malls and outlets.

There were a number of key anchor attractions including some of the original occupants from Festival Bay Mall days:

  • Ron Jon Surf Shop – surf, beach and active lifestyle clothing and accessories for adults and children. Baby brother to the flagship Ron John Surf Shop at Cocoa Beach that is open 24 hours a day – NOW CLOSED
  • Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World – hunting, fishing, camping and outdoor recreation merchandise; everything from bait to fishing boats
  • Boot Barn (formerly Sheplers Western Wear) – western wear including jeans, cowboy boots and hats for adults and kids
  • Cinemark XD Theaters – 22 separate screens, stadium seating to give everyone a clear view and a total seating capacity of around 4,000. Cinemark are also starting to introduce luxury recliner seats
  • Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill – combining food and live music – NOW CLOSED
  • Book Warehouse – discount backstock book store – NOW CLOSED

The Artegon Marketplace also boasted a Sky Trail Adventure Rope Course with a Sky Rail Zip Line but following a tragic accident in December 2014 the zip line was closed until further notice. The rest of the attraction including the rope course remained open for a time.

Sky Zone was the world’s first indoor trampoline park park with a range of trampolining experiences including open jump, a SkySlam court, SkyRobics fitness classes and the SkyRiser bungee trampoline and Experience WOW with a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes.

Self parking at Artegon Orlando Marketplace was free but valet parking was also be available.

New Planned Attractions

There were a number of new attractions planned for Artegon Marketplace including:

  • Revolutions Eat Drink Rock & Bowl – a bowling alley with video games, lounge, restaurant and a sports bar
  • The Berghoff Beer Hall – a German style beer hall and restaurant with onsite brewery
  • Radbourne Skate Park – skate park plus classroom, restaurant and store (replaces the earlier Vans Skate Park that closed in 2012)
  • NYZ Apocalypse – a unique interactive zombie themed laser tag survival experience

There were also plans to build a 25,000 square feet “Eat Street” Food Hall, a cross between a food court and food trucks with cooking class areas as well as an outside Farmers market on select days.

All of these never came to fruition.

History of Festival Bay

Festival Bay never really got off the ground and was plagued by local competition from the upscale Mall at Millenia and Premium Outlets plus poor access from the I–4 Interstate.

It was built by Belz Enterprises who also owned the two Belz Factory Outlets enclosed malls on the opposite side of International Drive and it opened in 2002.

It initially attracted a number of major anchor stores, namely Ron Jon Surf Shop, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Sheplers Western Wear and Cinemark Theaters. In 2004 it was announced that Ron John were planning a surfing park, The Ron John Surfpark, but after 4 years it never came to fruition and Festival Bay strived to fill the space.

Festival Bay became synonymous with boarded up store fronts as they struggled to find tenants. Meanwhile the two enclosed Belz Factory Outlet malls on the other side of the road were converted into open-air Mediterranean-style plazas under the name Premium Outlets (one of two sites in Orlando).

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