The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, a tourist attraction that showcases the space industry and the adjacent launch center, will host a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on Saturday, July 16, with a reunion of some of the Soyuz 19 crew members and Apollo astronauts.
Two special appearances are scheduled by Alexei Leonov, the Soyuz 19 commander and first person to walk in space; Valery Kubasov, Soyuz 19 engineer; Thomas Stafford, Apollo commander; and Vance Brand, Apollo Command Module pilot. Bobbie Slayton, wife of the late Deke Slayton, Apollo Docking Module pilot, also is scheduled to attend.
Visitors can meet with the crew during a Lunch With an Astronaut program at 12:30 p.m. or a public presentation at 2:30 p.m. The Apollo-Soyuz anniversary celebration is included as part of Maximum Access Admission to the KSC Visitor Complex, but only a limited number of packages are available for the lunch portion. Maximum Access Packages are $56.99 plus tax for adults and $46.99 for children 3-11.
Resort plans expansion
Island One Resorts, a time-share development and management company based in Orlando, recently bought 64 acres for expansion. The land is adjacent to Island One's Liki Tiki Village resort at U.S. Highway 192 and State Road 545. Another 300 villas, pool and splash park are planned, along with retail space and a 15,000-square-foot sales center. Construction begins in mid-2006. Once built-out, the new project with Liki Tiki Village will have 948 villas, with one to three bedrooms.
Liki Tiki opened in 1998 and features a 1.5-acre, 220,000-gallon on-site water park, with slides, simulated wave pool, waterfall, erupting volcano and other features. Island One, headed by Chief Executive Officer Deborah Linden, posted sales of $58 million in 2004. Founded in1981, the business now has seven resorts, more than 950 employees and 60,000 time-share owners.
A grand new top for hotel
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress recently began construction on a new skylight topping the 18-story hotel. The hotel lobby atrium will be covered by a 14-foot, four-sided glass pyramid, visible from Interstate 4. Designed by HKS Architects and manufactured and installed by Super Sky Products, the 4,900-square-foot structure has an aluminum frame and two layers of impact-resistant tinted glass. General Manager Paul Tang said the skylight will be a "sparkling addition" to the hotel near Walt Disney World. Work is expected to be complete Sept. 1.
Disney ranks first for meetings
Walt Disney World's convention resorts were rated the best upscale properties for meetings, in a survey conducted by Meeting News magazine. In the first survey of its kind, Disney's convention hotels, such as the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, scored the highest and took first in most categories ranging from physical appearance and quality of food to frontline services and price/value relationship.
Marriott Hotels and Resorts took second place followed by Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Hotels. Disney aggressively entered the meetings and convention business in the early 1990s and has consistently won industry honors. The business is overseen by George Aguel, senior vice president for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a nationally recognized meeting industry leader.
Jerry W. Jackson can be reached at 407-420-5721 or email@example.com.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times