Quality Inn Clearwater Beach Begins Renovation and Rebranding to Dolphin Sands Beach Club

USA, Clearwater Beach, Florida. January 07, 2020

The Quality Inn beachfront hotel, located at 655 S. Gulfview Blvd., is currently undergoing a complete transformation and will relaunch

in the Spring as Dolphin Sands Beach Club. The all new hotel will become part of Choice Hotels' upscale Ascend® Collection which features historic, boutique and one-of-a-kind hotels that reflect the cultural fabric of their communities, creating a truly unique and rewarding guest experience.

Dolphin Sands Beach Club boasts a premier location on the south end of Clearwater Beach next to the Hampton Inn and Suites, affording easy access to the area's top attractions, including the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The five-floor beachfront hotel features 91 rooms and suites and offers guests top-notch amenities, including an outdoor heated pool, sundeck, beach cabanas, private balconies, free Wi-Fi, a full-service restaurant and tiki bar, and direct access to sugar-white sand and tranquil Gulf breezes.

The property is owned by Page Development Group, and will be managed by local, award-winning hotel management company, McKibbon Hospitality of Tampa. Sebring-based Taylor Construction is serving as the project's general contractor. Owner Steve Page explains the new concept, "We are very excited to be a part of Choice Hotels' Ascend® collection, as it gives us the flexibility to create a unique new identity for the hotel that is a perfect fit for its location on the #1 beach in the nation. We hope to create an enjoyable experience for everyone, with a special emphasis on family fun. The dolphin theme will reflect the spirit of Clearwater Beach as well as our goal to help preserve and protect our beautiful native wildlife and surroundings."

The hotel will remain open during the renovation process and will feature all new decor throughout, including the lobby, guest rooms and a new hospitality suite. Hospitality Interior Designers Rachel Myers and Katie Walker of Pittsburgh-based design firm HFD collaborated with Page Development Group to ensure that every selection and design detail has a purpose, all with the guest experience in mind. The attention to detail, style, and quality ensures that the design of the hotel will offer a memorable visit and inspire guests to embrace the local lifestyle while staying at Dolphin Sands.

HFD Designer Katie Walker describes the design concept for Dolphin Sands, "Clearwater is home to world class sunsets, white sand gulf coast beaches, and a laid-back philosophy that time moves more slowly at the beach. We've made sure that our curated collection of furniture, finishes and accents embraces the beach lifestyle and creates a light and airy aesthetic. Artisan inspired materials, organic patterns, warm wood tones, and an oceanic inspired color palette feel right at home in this beachfront boutique hotel."

Dolphin Sands will also be home to the new Clearwater Oyster Company. The seafood restaurant and oyster bar are part of the Crabby Bill's Family Brands, legendary purveyors of fine local seafood. In partnership with the Pages, Matt Loder, owner of the Original Crabby Bill's restaurant on Indian Rocks Beach brings his passion and a wealth of knowledge to this fresh, new restaurant concept that features locally sourced, sustainable foods. Clearwater Oyster Company opened earlier this year and is already consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants in the area, offering classic Florida seafood dishes with a creative twist. On the water side of the hotel, the famous Tropix Tiki Bar will continue to serve light island-style fare in a casual, tropical setting. Tropix serves mixed drinks including their signature Rum Runner, plus a wide selection of beer and wine. Guests can put their toes in the sand and enjoy a spectacular Florida sunset and live music on select nights. Both Tropix and Clearwater Oyster Company will be providing poolside and beachside service to guests of Dolphin Sands.

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Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.