Florida Keys resort reopens 6 months after Hurricane Irma

ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) — Another major Florida Keys resort is reopening after being heavily damaged by last September's Hurricane Irma.

Islamorada's iconic Cheeca Lodge Resort & Spa resumes operations Friday, more than six months after Irma's storm surge devastated the resort's lobby and landscaping and destroyed a 525-foot-long (160-meter-long) oceanside dock. Many of the 27-acre (11-hectare) hotel's 214 guestrooms suffered water intrusion.

Resort officials say they've done about $25 million of work, including some renovation projects beyond storm repairs.

With Cheeca's reopening, tourism officials say 80 percent of the Florida Keys' lodging properties can host visitors. In Key West, more than 92 percent of accommodations are open.

Cheeca officials say they didn't lay off pre-storm employees during the closure and that they assisted with the property's recovery.

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Online: Cheeca Lodge, https://www.cheeca.com/

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