Boca Raton Resort marks 75th anniversary

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- As the Boca Raton Resort & Club celebrated its 75th anniversary on Feb. 6 before 1,000 guests in its courtyard, the 963-room property announced a major expansion that will include a 112-suite tower and a major health spa, both of which will debut in the next 12 months.

During the celebration, fireworks exploded overhead while below a formidable array of sparklers decorated a 1,000-pound cake with pink icing.

Pink is the signature color that still adorns the original 100-room tower, called The Cloisters, that architect Addison Mizner designed and inaugurated on Feb. 6, 1926, at a then record cost of $1.25 million.

H. Wayne Huizenga purchased the resort in 1997 for $325 million through his Florida Panthers Holdings (he later renamed the company Boca Resorts).

"To many people, this resort is Florida," Huizenga told guests. "We're proud of the role the resort and its 2,200-employees still play today in the Boca Raton community."

Resort president Michael Glennie, who has overseen the property since 1987, said, "We've tried to make absolutely certain that this resort continues to be great."

Among new ventures Glennie cited was the 112-suite, eight-story Marina Wing Hotel, set to open by early 2002, with a design resembling a Venetian palace.

Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the resort's marina, the high-end suite accommodations will feature balconies and personalized concierge-level services, he said.

A new 50,000-square-foot Cloister Spa, offering nearly 40 treatment suites, also will open within 12 months, Glennie said. Its design elements will be reminiscent of Mizner's original Cloister building.

The world-class spa, which Glennie said will fill a gap in the resort's comprehensive facilities, will be at the northwest corner of the Cloister building.

Meanwhile, the property late this year will open a two-story golf clubhouse, he added, with a pro shop, locker rooms, storage and a restaurant with an outdoor dining terrace and bar area.

Also planned, according to Catherine Dickinson, chairman emeritus of the Boca Raton Historical Society, is the Mizner Museum. Located at the resort, the museum will exhibit items from the society's collection, including artifacts, furniture, paintings and papers.

In related news, the hotel created a one-night In the Pink Anniversary package, valid through Dec. 31, covering accommodations, a 75-minute couples' massage, $75 in Boca Bucks for on-site shopping and dining, a 75th anniversary commemorative gift and a bottle of wine.

Package rates through April 30 are from $380 per night, double; $315 from May 1 to May 24; $275 from May 25 to Sept. 30, and $315 from Oct. 1 to Dec. 20. Tax and service charges are additional.

For more information, call (888) 495-BOCA or check the major CRSs.

A look back at property's expansions

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Major expansions have occurred over the years at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

Among them was the expansion of the original Cloister wing to 338 rooms, including 49 concierge-level units tied to its Palm Court Club.

The most visible new structure was the 26-story Tower wing, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.

In 1980, the 214-room Boca Beach Club opened on a half-mile stretch beach. In addition, the resort's Golf Villas have 120 rooms and suites.

Over the past few years -- under the management of H. Wayne Huizenga's Boca Resorts -- intensive development also has included a new $12 million Tennis & Fitness Center, a $6.5 million renovation and reconstruction of the resort's golf course, and the Mizner Center, a $40 million meeting and conference center.

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