SpringHill Suites by Marriott to open August 17 near Grand Harbor

By Lisa ZahnerVERO BEACH — SpringHill Suites by Marriott, hidden behind clusters of live oaks preserved during development,  will open August 17 adjacent to Grand Harbor on the north end of Indian River Boulevard.The 93-room hotel has hired an opening team of 19 full-time workers through Workforce Solutions and that crew is busy getting the property “guest ready” according to General Manager Brenda Celano, who moved to Vero from North Carolina in January to open the hotel. Celano said the SpringHill Suites will be the county’s first Marriott hotel and that its all-suite concept is designed for both travelers and for extended stay. “All the rooms will be studio suites, they will have refrigerators and microwaves and will have both wired and wireless high-speed internet in all the rooms,” Celano said. “Each suite will have a sleeper sofa and two half-baths, one with a toilet and a sink and one with a vanity and either a shower or tub.”The hotel will offer a free complimentary hot breakfast each morning, but it will not have an in-house restaurant, as there are two outparcels available along Indian River Boulevard on which the developer, Kite Properties of Vero Beach, is hoping to attract a restaurant, bank or other amenity that will be used not only by hotel guests, but by the residents of Grand Harbor and the Fairways next door. Celano said the hotel will be completely smoke-free and pet-free and that special attention has been paid to choosing the prints and paintings to adorn the hallways and rooms to make the property feel like Vero.”All of the artwork we’re using is local,” Celano said.Kite Properties received site approval in February 2008 on the 4.5-acre parcel, with civil engineering work done by Knight McGuire and Associates of Vero Beach. The massive live oak relocation was commenced in May 2008 so they could break ground on the hotel in July 2008.”These are beautiful trees that have been here for 50 to 150 years,” said Keith Kite, Managing Member of Kite Properties, LLC. “We want to be good stewards of the land and we believe that by relocating the trees we can preserve them and make sure they are here for years to come.”A total of 34 trees were relocated to make way for the hotel building and two specimen trees were donated to McKee Botanical Gardens.In another week or so, Celano said the hotel will have employment applications available, as she expects to be adding more staff after the August 17 opening. Celano said that, as the hotel is being managed by Atlanta-based Hotel Equities, job seekers would not be able to apply through the Marriott corporate website. A Grand Opening celebration is planned for October, when more of the seasonal residents of Grand Harbor, Oak Harbor and surrounding communities who are the hotel’s neighbors, will be back in town.

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