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Innisfree Obtains $31 million Loan for Site Acquisition and Construction
of a 160-room Beachfront Hotel Orange Beach, Alabama


Pensacola, Fla. (October 2, 2009) — Balmaquien Hospitality, LLC, an Innisfree affiliate, has closed a $31 million loan for the acquisition of a 2.6 acre site and construction of a nine-story, 160-room beachfront hotel in Orange Beach. The site is located directly across from the Shoppes at Palm Pointe and will feature garage parking, a pool bar and dune walk-over. Additional amenities include a second floor fitness center with Gulf of Mexico views, 5000 square feet of gulf front meeting space and an indoor pool. 

Innisfree is in the process of selecting a general contractor and franchise for the hotel, and an announcement is expected in the next few weeks. 

In 1987 Julian MacQueen, founder and chief executive officer 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. 
 

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with Bank Trust and the City of Orange Beach to develop an exciting new hotel in this area. With the ongoing success of our existing Orange Beach hotels we know the market is ready for the new property,” MacQueen said. 

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. 

With over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, Innisfree Founder, Chairman and CEO Julian MacQueen has extensive management experience in hotel operations and development. Before forming Innisfree Hotels in 1985, Mr. MacQueen served as Executive Vice President of Family Inns of America, a regional chain of 27 motels. He developed and constructed six properties, during his tenure at Family Inns of America, and created a national sales and reservation system for the company. 

Mr. MacQueen has personally directed the acquisition, development, sale, and refurbishment of all of the properties in the Innisfree portfolio since 1985, while actively participating in the daily management of the properties and cultivating employee relationships. The success of Innisfree Hotels can be attributed to his hands-on approach, his commitment to quality, and most importantly, the loyalty and experience that is displayed by all Innisfree employees. Mr. MacQueen is a graduate of University of South Alabama.

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 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.

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:

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

 

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