A rendering of Reunion Square at Reunion Resort in Orlando

20 Years of Reunions: Reunion Resort's Story

Bobby Ginn’s vision for the ultimate resort community catering to both vacation homeowners and full-time residents a short drive from Orlando’s theme parks and attractions was to be “a place where families can convene every year for reunions.”
 
20 years since the first properties in Reunion were built, and it is still a one of a kind residential resort community and one of the most sought after real estate investment options near Walt Disney World Orlando.
 
See below for a history and timeline of Reunion Resort and learn about future plans.
 
 

2000

The Ginn Company agrees to purchase Magnolia Creek, the 2,300 acres of citrus groves that would become Reunion Resort, from the Herman J. Heidrich family for $42 million.
 

2001

Ginn breaks ground on Reunion Resort in June 2001. Original plans are designed to feature over 5,000 properties once fully completed including condo-hotels, condos, townhomes, and single family homes.
 
In December 2001, Ginn holds its first priority sales event, selling 264 home sites worth $40 million in just 16 hours. After Reunion's first three sales events, some $320 million worth of real estate had exchanged hands.
 

2003

From grand and ambitious plans to reality. The first homes are completed and the development begins to take shape leading to Reunion becoming one of the fastest-selling communities in the area.
 

2004

The Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer golf courses are completed and opened.
 

2005

More amenities open including the 5-acre water park. With 2 signature golf courses and the water park now open, Ginn launches and sells out new phases of the development in a matter of hours setting all sorts of records.

With the housing boom in full swing, speculation begins to run rampant with properties being flipped for more than double what they were originally bought for.
 

2007

The Reunion Grande opens and later earns a AAA 4 Diamond rating for Reunion Resort.

With the opening of the Jack Nicklaus Tradition Course, Reunion officially becomes the only destination in the world with three signature golf courses designed by legends Palmer, Watson and Nicklaus.
 

2008

Ginn faces financial difficulties due to the global financial crisis. The development of Reunion Resort is significantly impacted, with several construction projects put on hold including the highly anticipated Reunion Square. In November 2008, The Ginn Company files for bankruptcy and later turns over management of Reunion Resort.

Home values begin to plummet by as much as 90% of their once inflated prices during the housing bubble. Hundreds of properties face foreclosure in the coming years.
 

2011

Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a luxury hotel management company, assumes management of Reunion Resort. Salamander focuses on revitalizing the resort, enhancing guest experiences, and continuing its development. Since most of Reunion's major amenities and infrastructure were completed before the crash, much of the original vision is still possible.
 

2012

Reunion property values begin to improve as the real estate market stabilizes and the economy recovers from The Great Recession, leading to the construction of additional luxury vacation rental properties and residential homes. 2012 marks the beginning of a steady and continued growth throughout Reunion Resort.

Demand for bigger and more luxurious vacation homes kicks off a new trend of combining vacant lots in Reunion Resort for one single family home.
 

2017

Holes 17 and 18 of the Nicklaus Tradition Course are redesigned to make way for a new development in partnership with Jack Nicklaus himself, The Bear’s Den. A new clubhouse, pro shop, and restaurant are also announced. The Bear’s Den will feature 50 foot homesites for custom single family homes and is privately gated from the rest of Reunion Resort. An exclusive new park, Golden Bear Park, features a playground, dog park, volleyball, and open lawn. The first homes in The Bear’s Den were completed in 2018 with construction still going in 2023.
 

2018

Eagle Trace, a new 60-unit townhome development, is designated for a section of land adjacent to the Nicklaus Tradition course's new driving range. Construction began in 2020 with all townhomes being completed and sold by 2022.

Spectrum+, a modern 296-unit condo development specially designed for vacation rentals, is designated for the land surrounding the Reunion Water Park. The first condos were completed in 2020 with the neighborhood due to be completed by 2024. New amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, and an expansive community pool.
 

2019

Reunion Resort is acquired by Kingwood International Resorts, a Georgia-based hospitality management company. Kingwood takes over the operations and management of the resort, with a focus on enhancing guest experiences and further expanding the resort's offerings.

The Nicklaus Clubhouse, overlooking the 18th green of the Nicklaus Tradition Course, is now open. Amenities include a new pro shop, Traditions Restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining, and a Leadbetter Academy Golf Simulator.
 

2021

The demand for luxury vacation homes is at an all time high and Reunion Resort home prices soar. In 2021, 66 Reunion homes resell for over $1 million (more than in the previous 8 years combined) including three homes for over $5 million and one home for over $6 million.
 

2022

Setting a county record, a home in Reunion Resort sells for $11,700,000. Built in 2017, the home featured 15 bedroom suites, over 19,000 square feet of indoor living space, a piano bar, a spa, fitness room, an indoor sports court, game room, and multi-level pool.
 

2023

Work to expand the water park begins. The expansion includes a new wave pool, water slide, and additional food and beverage options.
 
 

THE FUTURE

The future of Reunion Resort seems bright!
 
No other resort style community in Central Florida, zoned for short-term rentals, offers as many amenities and as much of a variety of real estate options as Reunion Resort.
 
More and more single family homes are being built everyday, making vacant lots seem few and far between.
 
In late 2022, plans were announced for a $1 billion expansion that will include 1,800 new units surrounding a 10-acre crystal lagoon and an amphitheater. The Reunion Grande will be expanded and 6 new condo-hotel buildings ranging in height from 5 to 10 stories will feature 1 and 2-bedroom condos. The project will be developed over 5 phases on the land just north of the Grande (currently the driving range and the 1st and 18th holes of the Watson Independence Course) with phase 1 of construction targeted to begin sometime in 2024.
 
Visit our Reunion Resort community guide to learn more about the resort and search homes for sale.

Work With Us

Our approach has always been to advise, not sell, make you the expert, and empower you to make the best decisions to reach all your real estate goals. Whether you are looking to buy or sell real estate near Disney World Orlando, we are excited to connect with you.

Follow Me on Instagram