- Kristina Webb Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
A new hotel is rising on a two-and-a-half acre property in Royal Palm Beach just west of the South Florida Fairgrounds.
With a working title of “The Flamingo Inn,” the hotel is in the perfect location to appeal to concert- and event-goers who face a shortage of available lodging in the western communities, said Ascension Inc. vice president Ashok Paul, who is behind the inn.
Royal Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien said there was discussion of how the hotel could benefit Wellington’s horse community. “There’s a lot of demand from equestrian groups for a place,” he said.
Paul hopes to open the hotel by the end of March and offer its 60 rooms starting about $89 a night.
This won’t be Paul’s first venture into the hotel business. He also operates the two-story Southern Pines Motel, between Military Trail and Haverhill Road on Southern Boulevard. Southern Pines opened in 1995 before the expansion of Southern Boulevard, and had to be rebuilt when the Florida Department of Transportation needed the land on which it sat for the road work. The inn moved back to a smaller parcel and now sits along the access road that connects Military and Haverhill just north of Southern.
Ascension Inc. also owned the Immokalee Inn, which it sold last year. Paul said that wasn’t for lack of interest in the property — it was more about the commute.
“I was running back and forth to Immokalee for work,” he said of the rougly two-hour drive. “It was too much, and with this opening, I need to be here.”
Ascension purchased the property on Southern Boulevard between Sunshine and Fairgrounds roads in February 2014 for $560,000, according to property records. Once completed, the property will span nearly 32,000 square feet. The Royal Palm Beach village council approved the plans for the hotel, which was nicknamed “The Sunshine Inn” during the planning process, in November 2015.