The hotel finally opened last month, after a phased opening that began in mid-February, and it's nothing like the one announced four years ago. I
Originally, the Hard Rock Hotel was to have 240 rooms in a luxury setting. The high cost of the condo-hotel rooms meant that investors were difficult to find. One of the big reasons investors pulled out was a tidal wave of lawsuits regarding beach driving behind the hotel. As part of an attempt to draw new luxury hotels to the city, officials had agreed to ban beach driving behind the new hotel developments. Blocking driving behind certain developments was less than popular with many residents, but despite the dozens of lawsuits the city refused to backpedal on its decision. Even with the city sticking with Hard Rock, the lawsuits were enough to scare off more investors.
Just as the Hard Rock project began to falter, another opportunity opened up just down the street. The infamous Desert Inn, which was at one
The new owners announced a Westin resort, and also negotiated a beach-driving ban behind the hotel. With the Hard Rock development dying, the Westin developers, Summit Hospitality Management
Sessions, the signature restaurant of Hard Rock Hotels, is included. The beer selection at the outdoor pool bar and at Sessions includes a focus on local breweries, along with an expanded wine menu compared to a typical Hard Rock Hotel.
Interestingly, one of those three dining options isn’t the Hard Rock Café that many had hoped for. It’s not uncommon for Hard Rock Hotels to not feature the cafes. The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa didn’t have a café for years, though it added one
Back in Daytona Beach, the focus has largely been on the beach driving ban. The original timelines the developer was required to meet for the beach driving ban to happen were extended, thanks to Hurricane Matthew.
Part of the issue is around what was exactly required by the hotel. The hotel was required to be certified by the Hard Rock brand by the end of February. That did happen but some residents point to the fact the hotel wasn’t fully open by the date as a potential breach of contract, promising even more legal action.
Even with the potential legal action, Summit Hospitality Management Group moved ahead with their plans to block beach driving behind the new resort. Last week new poles, similar to wooden telephone poles, were installed. The poles block vehicular traffic but still allow pedestrian access.
With seven stories and more than 200 rooms, the new hotel is filled with the classic Hard Rock touches, including a Daytona-inspired memorabilia collection. A spa, numerous pools, an outside bar and a kids’ club round out the hotel’s amenities.
A public grand opening ceremony is expected soon.
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