NORTH HUTCHINSON ISLAND, Fla. - St. Lucie County commissioners will discuss a proposed plan for the Orchid Beach Resort after their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday. It will be the first time the board sees the plans for the beachfront resort and conference center.
Developer George Heaton has been drawing up plans for the vacant lot at State Road A1A and Shorewinds Drive. The space was home to a Radisson Hotel about a decade ago, before hurricanes damaged the property and the space was sold.
If built, the resort would house hundreds of rooms, a couple of restaurants, a spa and a large conference center.
Andy Brady says he worked at the former Radisson as an assistant manager. He is in favor of a resort.
“It was a big loss when that went down, we were bringing 100,000 people through Fort Pierce a year. And our payroll was $1.2 million and we had about 200 employees," he said.
Brady says, the employees who work at a large hotel also patronize area businesses and pay tax.
“A lot of people I know stayed at the Radisson, then came here about bought houses and moved here. The tourists come, they spend their money, everybody gets the economic impact, the county gets their tax and they go home and tell everybody else," he said.
Eric Gill with St. Lucie County said the property would be a nice boost to the economy, as there are few hotels with waterfront locations and conference centers in the immediate area.
It is unclear what the majority of the hundreds of residents will think of the idea. The discussion Tuesday is open to the public.
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