Parliament House Triumphs

by Sheri Elfman
Friday Jan 14, 2011

Parliament House Resort, Orlando's legendary entertainment complex, has had a roller coaster of a year. The nightlife emporium celebrated 35 years in business in July and then went into receivership in September.

Parliament House Resort was renovated back in 1999 when it was bought by Don Granatstein and Susan Unger, a couple who spent millions making changes to the huge establishment, including updating the 130 rooms and the 10,000 square-foot grounds, along with making sure the entertainment was over-the-top and cutting edge.

Back in September, news spread about P-house going into foreclosure over a $7.5 million mortgage. They were put into receivership, but remained open for business and fortunately, in late December, the debt was reported as under control and there are no longer in receivership.

Don Granatstein is understandably relieved at the news.

"It's been two weeks since the receivership and things have already turned around," he said.

He said that during those difficult months, negative rumors were flying about P-house. "The new club in town was telling everyone that we were closing down," he said. "We lost some employees and some of the customers - it got very political and it hurt."

"That's why were so happy now- we were knocked down and we came back up," he continued.

The triumphant owner has a lot of ideas for the future of the Orlando mainstay.

"We're planning major renovations on the rooms and the complex," he explained. "We're going to get started in a country club as well."

The country club will be strictly a timeshare. It's a chance to become a member of a country club with a lazy river, a pool and more.

"It will be a travel club," Granatstein said. "It will be something very reasonable."

Plans are also underway on redesigning the motel rooms.

"We're going right back down to the bare bones," Granatstein said. "We're taking everything out- not just the furnishings. It's been over 10 years since we've done the place and it's time to do it again."

"It's not going to be a Ritz-Carlton, but I want it to be a nice place," he continued.

The club areas are also getting redone, with new lighting and new sound systems.

In addition to the physical changes, Parliament House Resort is making others as well- they are partnering up with Al and Chuck's Travel. Together they will sponsor RuPaul's Drag Race launch and have many more plans ahead.

"We think it's the perfect tie-in with us," Granatstein said.

Parliament House Resort will continue to bring on some of the best entertainment in the state. Cazwell will perform on January 15 and they are trying to get Kelly Rowland to come down for Gay Days. The Footlight Theatre also continues to bring fantastic entertainment.

"We looked all over the country and there's nothing like it," Granatstein said if the legendary establishment. "We've got to be a step ahead."

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