Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Business

St. Petersburg's Vinoy to get even more luxurious

ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy, the grand hotel whose rebirth more than two decades ago sparked a resurgence in the city's downtown, is about to get even grander.

Its owners are promising a redevelopment to rival the one that preceded the 1992 reopening of the long shuttered and neglected facility.

"It's a whole new level of luxury," said Barbara Readey, general manager of the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club.

"It's going to have a very relaxed, elegant feeling."

So far, no price tag has been attached to this new splendor.

"It's premature to know the total, but it's significant, and we're thrilled," said Readey of the phased project set to begin in May and take about two and a half years.

Helping to drive the enhancements is a desire to cater to millennials and younger families.

"I think the demographic of St. Petersburg is changing, as well as the demographic of the Vinoy Club," Readey said. "The timing is really perfect. I think that St. Petersburg as a destination is really blossoming."

The Vinoy Club, at 600 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, will be the first area to get the upgrades. Work will include a new clubhouse grill with covered outdoor dining, a redesigned and larger swimming pool with cabana lounges and fire pits and a new splash pad and kids "fun zone."

There also are plans for a new poolside food and beverage service and new locker rooms. A multi-year plan involves improvements to bunkers, drainage, headwalls, irrigation and general aesthetics on the golf course and practice facility.

The idea for the splash pad was customer-driven, Readey said.

"We do a survey of members every year, and our members tend to be younger and more active families. This is something they asked for," she said. "Our younger active families, they enjoy our kids night out program. And we are noticing a lot more children at our golf and tennis program."

Club memberships, which include privileges at the hotel, can start with a one-time initiation fee of $3,750, with monthly dues of $235, and go up to a initiation fee of $20,000, with monthly dues of $490.

At the Vinoy itself, guests and club members can expect new Har-Tru green clay tennis courts, a new tennis pro shop with an outdoor lounge, an expanded fitness center and an enhanced spa with updated treatment rooms and lounge areas. Alfresco's restaurant will be replaced with a new dining concept that will have improved marina and park views. Additional covered parking also is being promised. No date has been set for this phase of the project.

The Vinoy, a treasured St. Petersburg landmark at 501 Fifth Ave. NE, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It opened in 1925 and was leased to U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II. It reopened to the public in 1944 and closed in 1974. The hotel sat neglected and hollow-eyed until it was discovered and renovated by New York developer Fred Guest. The facility reopened to much fanfare in 1992.

It is now owned by FelCor Lodging Trust, a real estate investment trust, and managed by Marriott. Now, the resort is embarking on a new era.

"We are always looking to focus on the needs of the customer of today and the next generation traveler, so we want to have products and services that are relevant to the millennials while being true to our historic nature," Readey said.

"So, we integrate historic with hip."

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes

   
Comments
At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

TAMPA — The name of the new Bay 3 co-working space at the Armature Works goes back to World War I, when the red-brick warehouse overlooking the Hillsborough River was the maintenance barn for Tampa Electric’s streetcar system.As the name suggests, it...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Many Americans still cannot afford a $400 set back

Many Americans still cannot afford a $400 set back

Could you pay an unexpected $400 expense?More than four in 10 Americans said they couldn’t without borrowing money or selling something, according to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households released Tuesday.That’s a...
Published: 05/22/18
Target: New Tampa, Clearwater stores part of company-wide makeovers

Target: New Tampa, Clearwater stores part of company-wide makeovers

Target is renovating more than 1,000 stores by the end of 2020, including two SuperTarget locations in New Tampa and Clearwater.The Clearwater store’s makeover — which the corporation calls ‘‘reimagining" — just wrapped up, according to Target spoke...
Published: 05/22/18
Downtown St. Pete Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s to open Wednesday

Downtown St. Pete Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s to open Wednesday

ST. PETERSBURG — Ford’s Garage, a car junkie’s haven, has proven to be popular eatery across the state.Now it has a chance to drive customers to its seats in St. Petersburg. The restaurant opens its ninth location downtown Wednesday at 200 First Ave....
Published: 05/22/18

The hostile work environment checklist: How toxic is yours?

Workplace stress is hardly a new phenomenon. Everyone has a bad day (or even month) at work now and then. Your client presentation didn’t go as well as planned; your boss didn’t fall head over heels for your proposal; you had to stay late to finish a...
Published: 05/22/18
Career Q&A:

Career Q&A:

Q: Despite having a stellar employment record, I am concerned about two incidents mentioned during my recent performance review. Both involved accusations which were completely unfair.Several months ago, our human resources manager told me that I was...
Published: 05/22/18
Tampa-backed company with candy-like coffee thins inks deal with Dunkin’ Donuts

Tampa-backed company with candy-like coffee thins inks deal with Dunkin’ Donuts

TAMPA — Tampa-based private equity firm ProspEquity Partners paid $18.2 million less than three weeks ago for a two-thirds stake in Tierra Nueva, a Miami company with a new idea for coffee, and already it has some big news.Tierra Nueva has inked a de...
Published: 05/22/18
Proud mom orders ‘Summa Cum Laude’ cake online. Publix censors it to ‘Summa . Laude.’

Proud mom orders ‘Summa Cum Laude’ cake online. Publix censors it to ‘Summa . Laude.’

Saturday was Jacob Kosinski’s big day. His whole family, many from out of town, saw the Charleston, South Carolina, student graduate from his Christian-based homeschool program with a 4.89 grade point average and the coveted honor of summa cum laude....
Published: 05/22/18
It’s picking time at Brooksville blackberry farm, one of a handful in the region

It’s picking time at Brooksville blackberry farm, one of a handful in the region

BROOKSVILLE — Black follows blue in the berry patches of Hernando County, but blackberry proponents claim they’re worth waiting for.Today’s blackberry brambles are thornless and don’t require bending over to pick. Their fruits are mouth-full juicier,...
Published: 05/22/18
Amazon is selling facial recognition to Orlando law enforcement - for a fistful of dollars

Amazon is selling facial recognition to Orlando law enforcement - for a fistful of dollars

Amazon has been providing facial recognition tools to law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Orlando for only a few dollars a month, according to documents obtained by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, paving the way for a rollou...
Published: 05/22/18