Condo-hotel planned at Doral Golf Resort
By Claudio Mendonça
Two South Florida developers plan to build a 240-unit condo-hotel that would share the entrance to Doral Golf Resort and Spa.
To be called Blue View at Doral - keeping with the golf course's nickname the Blue Monster - the hotel would feature rooms along the 12th hole, said Jason Robertson, who purchased the 16.7-acre site with partner Jerry Kaufman.
"This is arguably the best piece of property left in South Florida," said Mr. Robertson.
He and Mr. Kaufman created Blue View LLC to manage the property.
Only 5% of units would accommodate year-round residents, said Mr. Robertson. The remainder of the facility, at the southwest corner of Northwest 58th Street and 87th Avenue, would operate as a hotel.
The project has won approval from the Doral City Council. Developers hope to start building the facility early next year.
The developers purchased the site from KSL Hotel Corp., previous owner of the golf resort. Mr. Robertson said he and Mr. Kaufman hope Blue View can be affiliated officially with the resort.
The resort is owned by Orlando-based CNL Hotels and Resorts and is managed by Marriott International Inc.
The resort chain recently announced it would make $40 million in improvements to the Doral site in the next three years. Renovations planned for the resort include a new 65,000-square-foot standalone ballroom.
Marriott has managed the site since July. The Washington, DC, hotel chain plans to renovate the restaurant, electrical system and driving range. The company plans to spend an additional $3.5 million in improvements to the golf course, which is home to the annual Doral Ryder Open, a nationally televised PGA tournament.
"The Doral has a longstanding reputation as one of the premier golf and spa resorts in the country," said Don Semmler, Marriott's senior vice president for the Southeast.
David Whitaker, senior vice president of marketing and tourism for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the expansion of the resort will be "great for the local industry" because it stimulates competition.
In a survey done by the visitors bureau, golfing is the primary attraction for 7% of tourists coming to Miami-Dade County - following the beaches, 55%, shopping, 25%, and nightclubs, 12%.
"There is a whole industry of meetings using golf as their primary vehicle," said Mr. Whitaker.
Doral Councilman Robert Van Name said investments in golf resorts and developments such as Blue View are great assets for Doral if done in a controlled way.
Said Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz: "I am very pleased a national company is showing a true interest in the city of Doral."