BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Boca Raton Bridge Hotel is preparing to close for several months as it is transformed into a luxury hotel.
Here is the latest update from the company behind its overhaul:
The Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, approved for a major transformation into luxury 4-star status, will close during renovation construction citing concerns for quality of guest comfort and service and the safety and health of employees and guests for the decision. According to Boca Raton Bridge Hotel General Manager Greg Kaylor, the hotel will close on April 29th, begin transformation in May, and remain closed until late fall upon completion of full renovation. The preliminary phase of the Bridge Hotel’s major “reinvention” was launched in November 2012 with the construction of the hotel’s new “waterfront promenade” that flanks the property’s entire Lake Boca perimeter.
The Bridge Hotel remains one of Boca’s most notable, operating as a traditional hotel, as new ownership repositions and reinvents it to be more relevant and exciting to meet the desires and needs of today’s discerning vacationers as well as social and business guests. Led by a seasoned team of designers and hospitality, operations, management and marketing consultants, the hotel is being completely transformed into a premier South Florida experience with its own newly positioned distinctive signature in the destination.
“Over the last five months, our designers, consultants, contractors, ownership and management team have developed very exciting plans for the future of this hotel,” Lane Hospitality Chief Operating Officer Wayne West shared with hotel associates at a briefing on March 1. “The scope of the plan is significant and the impacts of executing that plan are more comprehensive and integrated today than were originally contemplated. While we have explored many options relative to operating the hotel during the planned renovation period, we found that ceasing hotel operations for a period of time represents our best solution to renovating the physical structure without compromising our obligation to provide a safe and secure facility.”
Kaylor explained that it is not unusual for a boutique-sized hotel to close for a period of time when undergoing an extensive transformation such as what is planned for The Bridge Hotel that has long been in need of major structural and technical upgrading.
“The significant elevator and air-conditioning upgrading required to bring the hotel built in 1976 to current standards and the reorganization planned of public spaces during renovations would severely compromise our staff’s ability to service food and beverage in-room and restaurant operations as well as guest registration and housekeeping of guest accommodations,” explained Kaylor. “By closing for a period of time, and not working around each phase of the process, we are able to maintain a timeline in a safe environment to meet an anticipated late fall opening as Boca’s busy ‘season’ begins.”
He reported that only a minimal group of staff who will directly support the property’s day-to-day transformation process management will be on-site. Upon the completion of construction efforts, current employees may reapply for unfilled positions with business necessity, expertise, and past performance taken into account in making these decisions. He also noted that while the final staffing plan not yet determined, the new transformation plans will generate an increase in number of jobs available at the hotel at re-opening.
“In respect and appreciation of our staff members’ dedicated untiring loyalty through some long tumultuous financially challenged periods prior to new ownership, we have continually kept them informed though the transformation decision process,” said Kaylor. “Once the decision to close was made, we provided 60 days prior notice and are offering additional compensation for those who remain until the closing date.”
The hotel’s complete transformation will include the introduction of entirely new hospitality and dining concepts, further expansion waterfront amenities, and extensive reorientation and renovations of public spaces, guestrooms, and restaurants. Reinvention plans will take optimal advantage of the property’s most distinctive assets: its prime location — on the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Boca with direct access to Atlantic Ocean — and its breathtaking water views.
“There are always certain spots in any city that really just have something unique going for them and this particular piece of property is one of those rare finds in our city where the entire public as they boat or drive or take walks can utilize the ambiance and see the beauty of the lake and the location,” noted City of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel at Boca Raton City Council meeting when approval was granted. “All of Boca will be very, very proud and happy when this particular property is renovated. The beauty of the property is really something to behold.”