Well, another year has come and gone, and the languishing Desert Inn/Westin/Hard Rock project is still “under construction.”
You know, the “name changer” project that County Manager Jim Dinneen and our elected marionettes on the County Council assured us would be the cure for all our troubles if we just gave them more time?
The “grand reveal” by Mr. Dinneen that the Hard Rock organization was tentatively on-board – a surprise announcement that resulted in wild swooning, loud applause and excited incontinence on the dais of power?
Then – nothing.
I know, a few weeks ago the hotelier’s general manager trotted out a brief photo tour of a Hard Rock room in the News-Journal, complete with garish wallpaper and tacky carpet – exposed lamp wires – a bed draped in a wrinkled sheet – and a vinyl upholstered headboard that looks more at home in a 1970’s shaggin’ wagon.
Four Star? My ass.
Look, I’m no public relations expert – but when you tip your hand on a renovation that’s been years in the making – it’s important to look your very best.
And if this truly represents the highest and best example of your much-anticipated product – good luck.
This obviously rushed “roll out” did little to salve the fears of area residents who have been waiting on the promised “four-diamond” property to magically return our beleaguered beachside from a festering slum to a “premiere destination.”
After all, every man, woman and child in Volusia County is heavily invested – and that’s what we were assured.
These giveaways are costing us our heritage of beach driving – the one public amenity that has set the Daytona Beach Resort Area apart from other tawdry tourist towns since its earliest days.
According to management, the Desert Inn/Westin/Hard Rock is set to open in “early 2018” – possibly as soon as February 14th.
They better damn-well be burning the midnight oil.
Given the fact that we are just 56-short days from the drop-dead date for completion as set by the Volusia County Council last April – no later than February 28, 2018 – this Rube, for one, will be closely watching progress, and holding our elected officials to account, should their “panacea project” fail to meet expectations once again.