Innisfree Hotels to Open New Hotel on U.S. Air Force Land

Hilton Garden Inn is the second property to utilize Enhanced Use Lease.

Innisfree Hotels is making good on its agreement with the U.S. Air Force to build a second property in Fort Walton Beach via the Enhanced Use Lease Program. A Hilton Garden Inn will be built adjacent to the successful Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

With the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Atmore, Ala. as joint venture partners, financing is provided by Pen Air Federal Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union.

The new 175-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel will offer:

  • Conference Center
  • Beachfront Pool
  • Full Service Restaurant
  • Indoor and Outdoor Bars
  • Fire Pits

Innisfree’s first venture utilizing the U.S. Air Force Enhanced Use Lease, the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, has been a successful property both for the community and the Air Force – a percentage of hotel revenue is provided to Eglin AFB to be used to support initiatives that benefit the servicemen. Innisfree also offers a Military Appreciation Program, providing 4,000 room nights at the resort for one-half of the per-diem rate.

“When the Holiday Inn Resort opened, we knew right away that the guests really appreciated the newly constructed product in the Fort Walton Beach market,” says Rich Chism, director of development for Innisfree Hotels. “The hotel performed much better than anticipated, so design efforts began immediately for the second hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn.”

Hilton Garden Inn is a Hilton Hotel, one of the world’s leading franchisors. Innisfree has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Hilton, operating afull-service Hilton Hotel in Pensacola Beach, Fla., a Hilton Garden Inn in Orange Beach, Ala., and two Hampton Inns – in Pensacola Beach and Orange Beach, respectively.

Innisfree was glad to receive the new franchise, which will attract members of the Hilton Honors rewards program to Fort Walton Beach. While business travelers will enjoy using reward points, this Hilton Garden Inn won’t look like a typical conference hotel.

Designed by Larry Adams of Bullock Tice Associates in Pensacola, Fla. with interior design by Debbie Adrian of ACC Design in Memphis, Tenn., and pool and landscape design by Chad Watkins of WAS Design in Foley, Ala., the completely custom design will embrace the Gulf Coast, bringing the feel of the outdoors to interior spaces.

By popular demand, a large 5,500 square foot banquet room with Gulf views has been incorporated into the design.

“Our designers have worked closely with the brand to incorporate our beachfront location into all design elements, from the lobby to the courtyard and guest rooms,”says Julian MacQueen, founder and CEO of Innisfree Hotels. “As one of very few Hilton Garden Inns in a beachside community worldwide, we are very excited to bring this brand to a new market, giving our guests opportunities to create fun and memorable experiences at the beach.”

The Hilton Garden Inn is set to open in Fort Walton Beach in Spring 2017.