OKALOOSA ISLAND — Construction on the new Holiday Inn Resort reached a milestone this week when the shell of the hotel was completed Thursday.
A topping-out ceremony was held Friday for the new hotel along between Waterscape condominiums and the Sheraton Four Points hotel. Harlan Butler, president of Innisfree Hotels, said it was a surreal experience after developing the project for so long.
Innisfree Hotels began working on the hotel more than five years ago when company representatives met with Air Force officials about leasing the 17 acres along the south side of U.S. Highway 98. Construction on the Holiday Inn Resort started last November. “When you get to the topping out, you know it’s really going to be opening,” Butler said. “We’re right on schedule, perhaps a little ahead of schedule. (Construction company dck worldwide) has been wonderful to work with. “It’s going to be a premier hotel,” he added.
Innisfree Hotels’ 50-year lease for the property was made possible through the Air Force’s Enhanced Use Lease program. The Air Force will build two radar stations on top of the hotel as part of the agreement.