World Golf Village spurs area hotel development

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ST. AUGUSTINE -- World Golf Village, which marks its first anniversary this month, apparently has helped spur area hotel development, according to visitor officials. ôWeÆve got 10 hotels either recently opened or under way. Rumors are two others are planned. ItÆs quite a bit for such a small town,ö said Elaine Marie Austin, public relations manager for the St. Johns Visitors & Convention Bureau.

The Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Fla The community has 12,000 residents. Austin said the area had 3.2 million visitors last year. ôIÆve talked to various attractions, and most of them tell me their numbers are upö for 1999, she said.

Industry sources attribute the hotel boom largely to World Golf Village (which is within the 6,300-acre community of St. Johns, eight miles to the north), to the areaÆs affordability and to its beaches. World Golf Village includes a 408-unit time-share, the World Golf Hall of Fame, the PGA Tour Academy, the 300-unit World Golf Resort Hotel & Convention Center and 54 holes of championship golf. The larger St. Johns development also encompasses six residential complexes.

World Golf Village is expected to draw 1 million visitors a year by 2001. ôThe demographic profile of our visitors thus far suggests that we are developing good awareness not only in north Florida and the Southeast but across the U.S. and into other countries,ö said Michael McPhillips, World Golf VillageÆs vice president of marketing.

Among the new hotels is a 162-unit Comfort Suites, across Interstate 95 from World Golf Village. It offers one- and two-bedroom suites, a courtesy breakfast and indoor and outdoor pools. Each unit has two phone lines and high-speed modem connections. Rates are from $79 for a standard room.

Also opening recently were:

  • The 80-room Hilton Garden Inn at St. Augustine Beach, with rates from $115.
  • The seven-room Centennial House Bed and Breakfast Inn in St. AugustineÆs historic district. Each room has individual thermostat settings; some have fireplaces. Rates range from $125 to $195.
  • The 23-room Anastasia Inn near the Bridge of Lions in downtown St. Augustine.
  • Rooms have refrigerators and microwave ovens. Rates, including breakfast, range from $57 to $80.

    In related news:

  • Beachers Lodge All-Suite Oceanfront Hotel, St. Augustine Beach, completed a $1 million renovation. A kitchenette is in each of the 85 rooms. Rates are $89 to $169.
  • Casa Monica, a 137-room property dating to 1888, will reopen Oct. 1 as a Grand Theme Hotels affiliate after a renovation. Bookings are being accepted now; rates are $139 to $400, single or double.
  • A Hampton Inn & Suites, a Courtyard by Marriott and a Holiday Inn Express are to open over the next year near World Golf Village.
  • St. Johns County VCB

    Phone: (800) OLD CITY

    World Golf Village Resort Hotel

    Phone: (888) 446-5301

    Comfort Suites at Saint Johns

    Phone: (904) 940-9500

    Centennial House Bed and Breakfast

    Phone: (800) 611-2880

    Anastasia Inn

    Phone: (904) 825-2879

    Beachers Lodge

    Phone: (904) 471-8849

    Hilton Garden Inn

    Phone: (904) 471-5559

    Casa Monica Hotel

    Phone: (888) GRAND-123

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