In 1975, Orlando saw the rise of a gay resort on Orange Blossom Drive. The Parliament House Resort surpassed all expectations to become the most notable LGBTQ resort in Orlando. Recently, the Parliament House faced its biggest battle yet – foreclosure. Luckily, things may be looking up.
What Makes it Unique
With 112 rooms, a pool, dance floor and outside performance stage it’s no wonder the Parliament House Resort is adored. Add to those amenities its ability to draw big name acts like Lil Kim, Charo, and Cyndi Lauper and you can empathize with the need to keep it running.
Parliament House originally opened in 1962 as part of a group of motor lodges. When Walt Disney World opened, it struggled to compete with modern hotels. Then in 1975 Bill Miller and Michael Hodge purchased the lodge. Miller and Hodge owned one of the first gay clubs in Orlando, The Diamond Head.
They saw big potential in the little lodge. They began renovations to turn the space into a full resort. A resort that welcomed LGBTQ visitors who might not have felt welcome elsewhere.
Their vision proved brilliant. The Parliament House Resort quickly drew world class entertainment to perform in its Vegas style shows. It remained popular for over 40 years.
Where it Stands Today
Recently the Parliament House Resort found themselves over $4 million in debt. They tried to sell the still lively location but the $16.5 million dollar price tag didn’t impress investors. In December it succumbed to foreclosure and many feared the resort was lost forever.
This week the owners announced Lion Financial LLC purchased the property for $300,100. Lion Financial plans to act as a landlord to the previous owners.
“We’ve been here for 44 years,” Parliament House owner Don Granatstein said by phone to the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re not going anywhere.”
Make sure to visit the Parliament House during your next Orlando vacation!
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