Hyatt Place opens in Dewey BeachHarvey: Six sold-out weekends until November
Dewey Beach — The most coveted rooms at the new Hyatt Place hotel in Dewey Beach will likely be the rooms with bay and ocean views. But co-owner Thom Harvey’s favorite spot lies at the heart of the hotel, where a small area on the third floor looks out over the atrium on the second floor, with a café, a saltwater pool and a view of Rehoboth Bay.
“I think these rooms are cool,” Harvey said of the interior. “The rooms are very, very quiet.”
After a years-long legal battle between the town and Ruddertowne developer Dewey Beach Enterprises ended in February 2011, DBE went straight to work on redeveloping the property between Dickinson and Van Dyke avenues. Phase one of construction began in 2012. The hotel officially opened its doors for business Sept. 19.
“This is the second fastest Hyatt Place that’s ever been built,” Harvey said. “Hyatt has been fantastic to work with.”
In addition to the saltwater pool, the hotel offers a 24-hour kitchen and state of the art meeting rooms.
Harvey said Hyatt Place in Dewey Beach is the 180th in the chain, and one of only a few that are geared towards longer stays. He said each room is about three feet longer than the average room at a Hyatt Place hotel, which allows a full size wardrobe to fit in the room to accommodate suitcases and beach gear. “If you’re spending the night, you don’t care. If you’re spending four nights, it starts to matter,” Harvey said.
“We expect longer average stays than the typical Hyatt Place,” he said. “We’re more of a destination hotel than a transient.”
Harvey said the hotel has six sold-out weekends between now and November. “So we’re excited,” he said.
Though construction is not yet complete, 10 of the 16 condominiums that make up The Residences have already been sold, Harvey said. The condos feature laminated glass, similar to the glass used on car windshields, to withstand hurricane winds. Also, he said, the building is noncombustible.
“Safety and convenience, durability,” Harvey said. “It’s a sophisticated building, and it was not an inexpensive building to build.”
Each condo owner is deeded 10 feet of space on the rooftop plaza, which can be accessed only by people staying in the condos. When Phase 2 of construction is complete, the plaza will access a rooftop pool, which is also exclusive to the condos, Harvey said. “The goal here was to try to do something cool that people would like,” he said. Apparently, it worked; he said he expects to sell the remaining six condos by the end of 2013.
Harvey said he is happy to have the first phase of the project complete. “It feels great,” he said.
Referring to the property owners who opposed the redevelopment and fought to stop it, Harvey said, “I hope that the animosity stops.”
“I hope that people will come to like what we’ve done,” he said. “The town has been great.”
Harvey said the hotel has already hired 30 year-round employees, and he expects to employ 70 by summer 2014. He also said he hopes to bring year-round business into town by hosting weddings, political conventions, banquets and business meetings.
Harvey said he expects the hotel to attract a clientele to Dewey Beach that residents will be happy with. “Behave themselves kind of people,” he said.
“I think we did a great job,” Harvey said. “It is a good thing for Dewey Beach.”
He said he hopes to begin constructing Phase 2 after next summer.