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Innisfree Selects Hampton Inn and Suites as the Brand for their
$31 Million Development in Orange Beach, Alabama

 
Pensacola, Fla. (October 2, 2009) — Balmaquien Hospitality, LLC, an Innisfree affiliate, has announced that Hampton Inn and Suites has been selected as the franchise for their latest development in Orange Beach. Hampton Hotels, part of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, is one of the fastest growing brands for value-oriented and quality-minded travelers. In 2000, Hampton joined the Hilton HHonors ® guest reward program, allowing members to earn benefits and free accommodations at more than 3,000 Hilton family of hotel locations worldwide with no blackout dates. Julian MacQueen, founder and CEO of Innisfree hotels, stated “We have had much success with our beachfront hotels that are members of the Hilton family of hotels. We expect many business travelers to use their Hilton HHonors® rewards to visit Orange Beach with their families for vacation.”
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In 1987 Julian MacQueen, founder and CEO of Innisfree Hotels, built the first hotel in Orange Beach, a 94-room Days Inn. He currently owns two Orange Beach hotels: Holiday Inn Express and Hilton Garden Inn. MacQueen also developed three condominium projects in the area and owns the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front and Hampton Inn on Pensacola Beach. Innisfree began construction of a 206-room Holiday Inn on Pensacola Beach last month and will start construction for the Orange Beach hotel in November 2009. 

Balmaquien Hospitality, LLC also announced that it has selected Robins and Morton, of Birmingham, AL, as the general contractor for the construction of the nine-story, 160-room beachfront hotel. “Robins and Morton is doing an outstanding job building our 206 room Holiday Inn on Pensacola Beach, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them for our project in Orange Beach,” Jeff Townsend, president of Innisfree Development, LLC, said. 

Preliminary work at the site, located directly across from the Shoppes at Palm Pointe, has already begun. Mark Siner, president of Choctaw Engineering, is leading the permitting process and expects the hotel to be under construction as early as December.


Julian MacQueen
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Ivan Peteranecz, principal at Behar & Peteranecz is the architect for the project. Peteranecz designed the hotel with an emphasis on efficiency while maximizing the guest experience by providing expansive views of the beach and pool.  Watkins–Acy–Strunk Design will be responsible for the outdoor hardscape and landscape design. Chad Watkins, principal at Watkins – Acy – Struck Design, believes that the atmosphere will draw visitors of all ages to the property. “We’re going to create a fun and attractive pool amenity area for the guests of the Hampton Inn and Suites.  With an indoor/outdoor beach entry pool, a splashpad for kids of all ages, and a hot tub, we have plentiful water activities for those that tire of the sand between their toes.  For the adults, we have a tiki bar area with an events plaza for mingling and dancing.  And for the cool breeze in the late evening, we have a chimney with a gas fire to add ambiance to an evening spent outside enjoying the surf and the stars.  All this, tied together in a beachside garden atmosphere, will make this Hampton Inn and Suites a memorable destination for travelers to return to year after year,” Watkins said.
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Prior to purchasing the property from BankTrust, representatives from Innisfree Development worked with the City of Orange Beach to have Thompson Engineering design a master access plan for the properties to the east and west of the hotel site. Kit Alexander, Engineering and Environmental Services Director for the City of Orange Beach, believes that the initiatives outlined in the plan will work well to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.  “The City of Orange Beach greatly appreciates the actions that Innisfree and other property owners in the area have taken to work with the city and Alabama Department of Transportation to develop a comprehensive access management plan that will ensure safety in an area with significant traffic. The plan that has been developed will improve traffic safety along state road 182 as vehicles enter and exit these properties.”

Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon believes that the new development is a positive indicator for the city. “The Innisfree hotel site sits on a parcel of land that was already zoned for high density condominium development on the beachfront. The addition of a new hotel project fills a niche in our community and definitely fits a need that currently exists. We would rather have a flagged hotel on this site instead of a condominium project. The allowable density of that particular section of the beach, near the intersection of Alabama Highway 161, has always been zoned for condominium density. The direct proximity to the retail center at Palm Pointe on the north side of the highway is a major consideration on the project, as hotel rooms and meeting space fit well with the retail mix and they potentially complement each other,” Kennon said. 

The economic impact to the Orange Beach area is anticipated to be significant. It is expected that the project will require more than 20 subcontractors and 400 tradesmen for the construction of the hotel. According to Dr. Rick Harper, director of the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, the economic impact to the community from the construction work alone will likely be in excess of $30 million. 

Robert Ingram, president of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, also is optimistic about the impact of the new hotel. “Tourism is a huge driver of the Baldwin County economy, as is construction, and the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance is excited that Innisfree Hotels is going to build a facility in Orange Beach which will enhance our tourism efforts, provide short and long term jobs and flow new dollars through our economy,” Ingram said.

After its completion in early 2011, the hotel will employ more than 75 people. The hotel will add another 5000 square feet of meeting space to the beach’s current inventory which is also expected to help bring additional business to Orange Beach.

“Innisfree Hotels has had a longtime corporate presence in our beach destination,” said Herb Malone, president and chief executive officer of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The addition of another quality Innisfree property in Orange Beach will add to our constantly growing lodging inventory. We look forward to welcoming even more families to our area with this new hotel property.”

Innisfree Hotels is a professional hotel management and development company currently expanding its portfolio of hotels and commercial properties. The company also provides professional management of full service hotels, limited service hotels, resorts and boutique hotels. Innisfree Hotels operates properties throughout the southeast United States. For more information, visit: www.innisfree.com.

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Contact: 

Innisfree Hotels
www.innisfree.com

Alison Griffith, Ideawörks
Phone: (850) 434-9095
Email: alisong@ideaworksusa.com
 

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Also See: Innisfree Obtains $31 million Loan for Site Acquisition and Construction of a 160-room Beachfront Hotel Orange Beach, Alabama / October 2009
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