Dec. 31–DAYTONA BEACH — After more than 2-1/2 years of renovation and several delays, the historic Streamline Hotel is now expected celebrate its grand opening on April 1.
That would be plenty of time for racing fans in town for the 2017 Coke Zero 400 to plan a visit to the 1940s art deco hotel at 140 S. Atlantic Ave., a motorsports landmark for hosting rooftop meetings in 1947 that led to the creation of NASCAR.
"It's going to be the jewel of Daytona," owner Eddie Hennessy said. "It's really going to be a museum in homage to Bill France Sr. and NASCAR, more of 1940s '50s and '60s vibe. It's going to be very nostalgic. We're going to tell the story inside the hotel."
The story of the Streamline's $6 million renovation has included media attention from veteran hotel turnaround expert Anthony Melchiorri, who visited in June 2014 to film an episode for the Travel Channel's "Hotel Impossible" on Hennessy's efforts to restore the rundown beachside hotel.
Melchiorri and his team members have continued to work with Hennessy on the project, though there's no plan at the moment to feature the hotel again on the TV show. A 10-year staff member, Shannon May, recently was hired as the hotel's general manager, Hennessy said.
The project has encountered delays caused by additional work required to restore the old building, Hennessy said. Initially, he had hoped to open the hotel in June 2015.
The project's general contractors, brothers Anthony and Paul Viscomi of Viscomi Construction, said they wound up gutting the inside of the building, leaving only the structural walls and floors. Practically everything, including the electrical wiring and plumbing, needed to be replaced.
"Based on our construction schedule now, we're looking at completing our work in January," Anthony Viscomi said. "The flooring is going in. It's all painted, all the lighting is in. There are just some small items to complete across the board."
When construction is done, Hennessy said, computer systems must be installed, furniture moved into guest rooms and hotel employees must be hired. He said the latter could involve a job fair in February, although those details haven't been confirmed.
"There are millions of details involved in opening a hotel," Hennessy said. "As soon as construction is over, the real fun begins."
The hotel's signature feature will be a rooftop bar that will offer a 360-degree view of Daytona Beach. Hennessy expects it to become a popular spot for weddings and other special events, as well as a backdrop for live jazz music and themed nights with cigar-rollers and bourbon.
"It's really the pride of the hotel," Hennessy said. "It's an amazing view, all of Daytona. It will offer a very classy, but casual feel for a little more upscale clientele. The wow factor is what we're looking for."
He's willing to wait for it, if necessary.
"We're pushing to be perfect on April 1," Hennessy said. "If the place is not perfect, we will not be opening the doors."