Developer touts benefits of redeveloped 'Pink Palace' for Bradenton

skennedy@bradenton.comAugust 17, 2011 

BRADENTON -- Officials representing a company that hopes to restore the former Manatee River Hotel today told the city council it could expect 50,000 overnight guests per year, who would generate $2.5 million or more annually for local businesses.

Brian Long, director of development for The Widewaters Group Inc., said each overnight guest at what is nicknamed “The Pink Palace” could be expected to spend a minimum of $50 per night in downtown Bradenton.

“I can’t think of a better incentive for existing business,” said Long, whose company hopes to transform the now-closed historic building into a Hampton Inn & Suites hotel.

The project, which would cost $15 million or more to accomplish, would create 35 full- and part-time hotel staff jobs and 100 construction jobs, he told the council.

Council members unanimously passed resolutions that designated the property at 309 10th St. W. a “brownfield area” for the purpose of environmental site rehabilitation and economic redevelopment, which could translate into tax incentives for the company, officials said.

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