Orlando Business Journal
David Siegel’s Father’s Day afternoon kicked off with a visit to his 90,000-square-foot Versailles mansion under construction in Windermere, which in 2012 was listed for sale for $75 million following the recession and then reduced to $65 million before eventually being taken back off the market.
In on the Siegels’ visit to their home were 15,000-plus people thanks to a video tour from Jackie Siegel, David’s wife and star of the 2012 documentary, ” The Queen of Versailles,” who posted the video on her Facebook page — to the Westgate Resorts mogul’s dissatisfaction.
can be heard saying on the video. “We don’t need the world to see the house.” Jackie’s response is nothing more than a mere, “Uh oh,” but she keeps the camera rolling.
Much of Versailles’ exterior remains the same: The structural walls, roof and support/decorative columns are in place. The front yard is still mainly dirt and construction staging areas except for a small patch of grass growing just underneath the entrance to the home.
Inside Versailles is where the true progress of the project comes to realization. Scaffolding, concrete and sheet metal reign supreme inside the mansion that has been the decade-long project of Orlando’s timeshare industry king and queen. Columns and staircases have been installed, but as one voice in the video can be heard saying, “there’s no air-conditioning.”
“It’s enormous,” one voice can be overheard as the Siegel family, with some friends, enter the home. Another visitor says it reminds them of a hotel — which is not too far-fetched when dealing with a structure that reportedly has 13 bedrooms, 10 kitchens, 23 bathrooms, two movie theaters and whatever else the Siegels desire.
A quick peek outside shows the foundation of Versailles’ deck is coming together, but not yet complete. In addition, the retention area that most likely will house the mansion’s pool is nothing more than a pond with stagnant water right now.
Versailles’ progress is one of the most followed residential projects in town. A victim of the Great Recession, construction on the home has been stop-and-go for some time, and now is going “slowly” as David Siegel told Orlando Business Journal in March.
Of course, that may be a good thing since Jackie also told OBJ she already has been considering a bigger home with more guest houses and additional closet space. The construction timeline for the home remains undetermined, but Jackie Siegel believes it could be finished by late 2018 or sometime in 2019.
While the home construction continues, the Westgate Resorts empire is growing rapidly. Many of the company’s local resorts are undergoing more than $61 million in expansion projects, and Westgate rebuilding the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa, which was destroyed in the Gatlinburg, Tenn., wildfires last year.
In addition, some of Siegel’s smaller assets such as the Cocoa Beach Pier have been growing, and the future of his Orlando Predators arena football team has been under discussion.
Westgate Resorts is also one of Orlando’s most lucrative privately-held businesses, recording annual gross revenue of $1.21 billion with nearly 4,700 employees in 2015. It also is one of the region’s larger philanthropic organizations that donated more than $1 million last year.