The 205-room DoubleTree by Hilton celebrated the official grand opening event in style with a tailgate-themed party featuring the University of Florida’s cheerleaders and dazzlers. Guests, local dignitaries and Hilton Worldwide executives were joined by Ken Ferretti, vice president at CrossHarbor Capital Partners; Steve Johnson, executive vice president of Driftwood Hospitality Management; and Dennis Morgan, director of brand performance for Hilton Worldwide, to help officially welcome the hotel to Gainesville.
DoubleTree By Hilton Gainesville Ribbon Cutting
“We’re excited to offer a hospitality, bar and dining experience unlike anything else in Gainesville,” said Ken Ferretti, vice president at CrossHarbor Capital Partners, who led the redevelopment. In 2015, CrossHarbor acquired the property – formerly known as the independently-flagged Cabot Lodge, and successfully led the transformative process to fully redesign, renovate and convert the property to DoubleTree by Hilton. Driftwood Hospitality Management will be the hotel manager.
“We were fortunate to have the opportunity to start with a blank slate and design a hotel that would excite and attract guests and give them a reason to call us home. With the hard work of Connor & Gaskins, (general contractor), DLR (architect) and PDSI (construction manager), we are thrilled with the hotel and guest experience we have created here in Gainesville.”
To introduce the community to the property, the hotel hosted an evening cocktail reception with live DJ, champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres and the spirit of the University of Florida cheerleaders and dazzlers. Wednesday’s occasion gave attendees the opportunity to tour the hotel and experience first-hand the atrium-style lobby and bar area and outdoor courtyard space ideal for social events and corporate meetings – where guests may unwind over a variety of beers and cocktails, while watching sports on the 12-foot-wide TV wall.
Each attendee received a “playbook” to be stamped in seven different rooms throughout the tour – signifying a touchdown scored at the end and further connecting the event to its tailgate theme. Guests also participated in a raffle, raising more than $500 for the University of Florida’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, in return for the chance to win prizes provided by the hotel.
With an academic and Gator-theme woven throughout the fully-renovated, 205-room contemporary hotel is the first in Gainesville for DoubleTree by Hilton – one of Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) 13 market-leading brands. Ideally situated just two miles from the nearby university campus and UF Health hospital, DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville is a short walk from shops at Butler Plaza and offers convenient access to I-75 and Archer Road.
Each spacious and newly-renovated guest room has fashionable décor that is both charming and functional. Rooms are furnished with a large, 50″ HDTV, guest baths featuring granite stone tops, subway tile showers and DoubleTree Sweet Dreams® Sleep Experience beds. The property also houses Fodder and Shine – the hotel’s casual rustic restaurant.
In addition to the iconic warm Chocolate Chip Cookie welcome, the hotel provides a full complement of services and brand amenities, including the Wake-Up DoubleTree Breakfast, an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee offerings by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® and a refreshing array of the Aroma Actives Essentials natural skin and body care line.
The property is also a preferred hotel provider of the Florida Gators and all games and events will be shown live.