Innisfree Hotels is proposing building another new hotel on Pensacola Beach, marking the third large hotel development announced in recent months for the company.
The 215-room, $85 million project would be located on what’s now a vacant lot at 20 Via De Luna in the former site of the Clarion Suites Resort, which was irreparably damaged during Hurricane Ivan.
Innisfree Hotels VP of development and asset management Rich Chism presented the initial design concept to the Santa Rosa Island Authority Wednesday night, though further approvals and a groundbreaking likely wouldn’t happen until at least fall. The conceptual plan passed a committee meeting unanimously with little comment.
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This is the third active hotel tower plan for Innisfree or its affiliates on Pensacola Beach in the last few months in addition to rebuilding on the site of the Hurricane Sally-damaged Best Western and renovation and expansion to the Hampton Inn site.
“We are excited to present these plans to the Santa Rosa Island Authority. We expect a project like this will help create fun and memorable experiences for guests wanting to visit beautiful Pensacola Beach,” Chism said.
“We will also create multiple job opportunities for hotel professionals, contractors, and suppliers. We expect to create 200 hospitality jobs in peak season with this project.”
This new concept – which doesn’t yet have a brand name – has a specific focus on sustainability, according to Innisfree’s sustainability director Brittney Barnett.
She said part of that includes using energy efficient mechanical systems, extensively using LED lighting, and sourcing local products where feasible, for example.
The initial design also includes 11 stories, a zero-entry pool with a lazy river and slides, a two-story pool bar and lounge, a kids’ club, a poolside ice cream shop and a lobby bar.
Chism said the goal is to start construction in fall and open in the spring of 2024.
Hotel renovation:Fairfield Inn on Pensacola Beach to feature lazy river, dune walkover and pool bar
The former Best Western site will be a Fairfield Inn and Suites and is expected to open next year with 209 new hotel rooms. The Hampton Inn renovation – which includes renovating the existing hotel and constructing a new tower between that and CRABS at Casino Beach – is expected to be complete in 2024.
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