According to Pat Harney, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology, which currently owns the Fort Harrison, the $30 million dollar renovation project started in January of this year and will be completed in early 2009. While the building itself will be an attraction for its historical significance and updated splendor, the Church is opening up its dining facilities and state of the art event venues, which will greatly augment the redevelopment efforts of the downtown. These restaurants are the fine-dining Hibiscus Restaurant, the Garden Restaurant which is the only poolside restaurant in Clearwater and the Hourglass Deli—a home-town deli with an international twist to appease every ethnic palate. The Grand Ballroom and Crystal Ballroom will offer up-to-date wedding and event venues.
Present at the reception were the Downtown Clearwater City Manger, Courtney Orr, members of the Downtown Development Board and the Downtown Clearwater Partnership, the President of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, Doug Linder and dozens of business owners, developers and Downtown Clearwater development enthusiasts.
Eight-foot designs of the Fort Harrison interior and historical photos were on display at the reception as well as at the 4 days of Open House which followed for the general public. Also featured were several DVD loops displaying past weddings and events at the Fort Harrison, a flythrough of the new designs and construction photos of the ongoing renovations and some of the handcrafted furniture from the Church’s mill.
Clearwater looks forward to the reopening of the grand Fort Harrison Hotel in early 2009.
- Tampa Bay Informer
The Good News Newspaper