We hear the spa is undergoing renovations soon. Can you dish out a few details?
Ownership is looking into spending a couple million dollars to renovate the first and second floors of the spa. We’ll have new equipment, new design and the architectural plans are being laid out right now. We will enhance the treatment rooms and have a few couples-only rooms, too. We’re improving upon our water therapy facilities and it’s really going to be terrific.
The spa will be 25,000 sf after renovations and will include a fitness center. There will be a whole new component around that, as well. It’s going to be second to none. We’ve got some really great partners identified.
Can the golf course, spa and beach club be combined for full-day group events?
Absolutely! You can play a round of golf in the morning and then spend the afternoon in the spa and have a wonderful oceanside group event in the evening at the beach club. That’s one way you can do it. Or you can spend the day at the spa and hang out at the beach in the afternoon and then play golf.
This is great for incentive groups because of the ease of access to where we’re located. We have two international airports within 18 miles of us. More flights fly into those two combined than anywhere else in the country. The weather is phenomenal and I really think we’re a destination within a destination. We have 408 magnificent and large guestrooms, a great conference center and all of the amenities that you could possibly hope for. In addition, we have Aventura Mall across the street, which is one of the finest shopping destinations in the country.
One of my favorite days was when I got off an elevator with a guest and the guest was with a bellman whose cart was filled top-to-bottom with every shopping bag from the mall that you can think of. I tell him, ‘You had a great day today!’ and he said to me, ‘Not me, my wife.’ I asked him what he had done that day and he told me he had played 18 holes of golf in the morning and spent the afternoon in the spa. He says to me, ‘I had a wonderful day.’
What else are you currently working on at the hotel?
There are several niche markets that we’re looking at and one is kosher events, because of our kosher capabilities. We have our own kosher catering kitchen now. There’s a growing demand for kosher convention-type business. We’re starting to see more and more international guests starting to develop. We believe there’s a future there as well.
We have so many fun, unique and specialized components that make up our destination. Some of the things that we’re looking at in the short-term future—golf, tennis, spa—we’ve got some great things in store that we’re not ready to share yet but I can tell you that our ownership group is working very hard to make this something above and beyond your wildest dream.