Construction has started on what will become a Fairfield Inn and Suites resort on Pensacola Beach.
The developers behind the Hurricane Sally-damaged Best Western at 14 Via de Luna Drive announced the hotel’s new branding this week as crews begin working on the new building’s construction.
The $75 million project will include 209 rooms, a lazy river, a hot tub, dune walkover and the reopening of the popular Fish Heads Pool Bar.
“We understand that the Beachside Best Western enjoyed a very loyal following here on Pensacola Beach,” said Innisfree Hotels CEO and President Ted Ent. “Our goal is not to eclipse what made that property so special, but to replace it with a more modern design that still keeps a warm, family focus as its core mission.”
As of this week, crews were at the Via de Luna construction site working on the new hotel, which is expected to open in spring 2023.
Innisfree Hotels, which is working with RREAF Holdings on the endeavor, owns numerous hotels and restaurants on the beach, including Red Fish Blue Fish, Hampton Inn, Hilton Pensacola Beach and Surf & Sand Hotel.
The company owned the Best Western that was in place before this newest hotel endeavor, but it sustained too much damage in Hurricane Sally to repair and instead will be replaced.
The rebuild will be at a higher density of 50 units per acre compared to 30 previously, a move that will allow for a more resort-style of development, Rich Chism, Innisfree’s vice president of development and asset management, said at a recent Santa Rosa Island Authority meeting
Emma Kennedy can be reached at [email protected] or 850-480-6979.