HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- In mid-April, the tower of the famous Diplomat
Resort & Country Club here was leveled. Over a six-month
period, the interior was demolished in preparation for the final
implosion, which was witnessed by thousands last month.
Flash forward to Dec. 31, 1999. That is the planned opening of
the new Diplomat Resort & Country Club, a 1,000 room, 39-story
luxury resort and convention hotel to be built on the site of its
The owner, the United Association of Plumbers, Pipe Fitters and
Sprinkler Fitters, an AFL-CIO union, bought the property in late
1997 and is promising a tower with 200,000 square feet of meeting
space, a 50,000-square-foot grand ballroom, a 150-acre country
club, a spa, a fitness center, a tennis club and a marina. In
addition, 107 oceanfront condominiums will be built.
When completed, the $400 million project is expected to benefit
from the Diplomat's name recognition, according to industry
The hotel is expected to provide a significant impetus for
economic revival along Hollywood Beach.
The union that purchased the tower and its 19.5-acre beachfront
site paid $40 million to the previous owner, a life insurance
company owned by other AFL-CIO unions. The Diplomat is the first
hotel investment for the union, which has more than 300,000
Driscoll Development Co., part of a group of companies in the
Washington area that manages hotels, conventions and trade shows,
will manage the Diplomat as an independent hotel. A Washington
sales office is open, and others are planned for New York, Chicago
and the West Coast. According to Driscoll, the resort and an
adjacent banquet facility will feature nautical decor.
A huge portal in the center of the building will provide what
the developers call a "breathtaking view of the ocean and sky
behind the hotel." Open-air terraces will provide a panoramic view
of the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.
The 1,000 rooms will include 920 guest rooms, 74 suites, four
governor's suites and two presidential suites. Dining spots will
include a signature restaurant, an entertainment lounge and
restaurant, a lobby bar and a poolside bar and grill.
The 30,000-square-foot Country Club will have 6,000 square feet
of meeting space, two restaurants and an 18-hole golf course.
The spa will provide programs in basic fitness, nutrition,
lifestyle management and face and body care along with advanced
programs. A 2,500-square-foot tennis club will include 12 clay
courts, according to the Driscoll group.
Driscoll Development, Phone: (202) 362-0200