Renos and Openings: The Latest Developments in the Sunshine State

NATIONAL REPORT—The hospitality industry has plans for some additions and expansions in the Florida. Here’s a look at some of the Sunshine State’s recent openings, groundbreakings and renovations.

Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach Central
MCR has opened the Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach Central, a 112-room hotel located in the Center Port Business Park in Pompano Beach, FL. The $21-million extended-stay hotel is owned and operated by MCR.

“This property represents the first ground-up Marriott hotel to open in northern Broward County in 15 years,” said Tyler Morse, CEO and managing partner of MCR.

Nearby attractions include Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, and Fort Lauderdale beaches, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Port Everglades Cruise Port. According to Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitor Bureau, Broward County welcomed 12.27 million domestic visitors in 2016, up 4% from 2015.

The hotel has studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and residential-sized appliances, a 24-hour onsite food and beverage market, dry cleaning services, a business library, an outdoor swimming pool, an exercise room, meeting space and complimentary high-speed internet access and hot breakfast.

The Legacy Hotel at IMG Academy
Woodbine Development Corporation and IMG Academy have broken ground on a 150-room upscale boutique hotel on the northern edge of IMG’s 500-plus-acre campus in Bradenton, FL. The five-story hotel—which will be known as The Legacy Hotel at IMG Academy—will serve guests and clients of the training facility, including visiting teams, coaches, student-athletes, staff and parents. Additionally, it will provide a go-to destination for visitors to the surrounding community. The hotel is anticipated to open in the fall of 2018.

Dallas-based Woodbine is developing the property for IMG. Tandem Construction is the general contractor, and other consulting partners for the project include architecture by 5G Studio of Dallas; interior design firm Edge ID of Salt Lake City; and global landscape design firm SWA. Whitney Bank d.b.a. Hancock Bank is the lender.

“Woodbine loves hotels, but we also have a passion for sports that inspires the team approach our company takes to every project we do. All of that makes this particular partnership and hotel especially exciting for us,” said King Scovell, chief development officer and managing partner of Woodbine, which was introduced to the project by Pat Cowell, a longtime associate and friend of both Woodbine and IMG. “Once this hotel opens, IMG Academy will finally have world-class accommodations that align with its world-class facility—a big win for the sports campus and for Bradenton.”

The amenity lineup at The Legacy Hotel at IMG Academy will feature an elevated lobby lounge and bar, a three-meal restaurant, as well as a massage and fitness facility. The hotel will also offer 5,060 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space for seminars, specialized training and other functions. Alfresco amenities will include a resort-style swimming pool, outdoor event areas and breakout spaces.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has completed the largest transformation in the resort’s history: a $140-million, three-year project, which included a redesign of all guestrooms, complete transformation of the Dolphin Resort lobby and renovation of all meeting space.

The completion of the project also means the resort returns to operating at full capacity just in time for the openings of Toy Story Land (2018) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (2019) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is within walking distance of the resort.

The redesign included all 2,267 guestrooms, which were completely transformed to a new look to reflect the resort’s water-themed architecture. Noted interior design and architecture firm Garcia Stromberg/GS4 Studios designed the rooms, drawing inspiration from the resort’s original designer, the renowned late Michael Graves. The new rooms offer hues of white, blue and gray, sleek multi-functional furniture and all new bathrooms featuring vanities with backlit mirrors on iridescent glass tiles. Technology upgrades include the addition of more outlets and USB ports for charging devices and new high-definition TVs. The resort will also soon introduce new interactive TV software, allowing guests the ability to check out from their room and cast their own video streaming services from their personal tablets and mobile devices to their in-room TV.

The new Dolphin Resort lobby, designed by ICRAVE, features a contemporary look with a new geometric ceiling, enhanced lighting and more than double the amount of guest seating. The centerpiece of the new lobby is a grand chandelier stretching 20 feet from the ceiling with nearly 1,000 strands and about 10,000 individual crystals suspended above the Dolphin fountain.

For the first time since its opening, the resort has built a completely new dining venue. Located in the Dolphin lobby, fuel offers quick service and grab-and-go food and drink options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Phins, a new bar centrally located in the Dolphin lobby and seating up to 150 guests, offers wines, beers and cocktails along with appetizers perfect for sharing. Coming soon will be new private poolside cabanas furnished with lounge seating, tables, fans, refrigerators and television for rental. Each cabana will include full food and beverage service.

A new 2,800-sq.-ft. meeting and event space, Lake View, offers scenic outdoor views of the resort’s private lake and picturesque Dolphin Resort. All of the resort’s 332,000 sq. ft. of meeting space has been transformed with an updated appearance. New technology includes electronic reader boards throughout the meeting space and the latest in high-density WiFi offering high-speed, uninterrupted internet to groups as large as 15,000 people.