67.1 F
The Villages
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
67.1 F
The Villages

Top Story

Frustrated Villagers want answers about COVID-19 testing site at the polo fields

Consternation boiled over this week as exasperated Villagers sought answers about the UF Health Coronavirus drive-through testing site at the polo fields.

Letters

Your dog is your responsibility

A Village of Bonnybrook resident urges her fellow Villagers to take responsibility for the dogs.

Amenity fees and the right thing to do

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Fernandina resident offers an idea about what should be done about the collection of amenity fees.

Around Florida

DeSantis vows fixes to online system overwhelmed by unemployment claims

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced plans to rapidly repair the online system Floridians are using to file for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 crisis.

Obituaries

Richard B. Dodge

As the City of St. Petersburg (FL) administrator, Rick Dodge led the efforts to attract the Salvador Dali Museum, a major league baseball park, and win an expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Health

Singer-songwriter David Olney died onstage of heart attack

The death of singer-songwriter David Olney, who suffered a heart attack and died while performing onstage, reminds us of the value of knowing CPR. Dr. Gabe Mirkin offers his thoughts.

Business

Wal-Mart limiting number of customers inside stores amid COVID-19 outbreak

A major chain store with locations in and around The Villages has made a sweeping change that will impact customers amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

151-room Brownwood Hotel & Spa taking reservations for March as opening day nears

The finishing touches are being put on the Brownwood Hotel & Spa as its opening day quickly approaches.

The Brownwood Hotel & Spa will be opening soon.

Guests of the hotel will find luxury at every turn, including a heated outdoor pool, large convention spaces and massive chandeliers, among other things.

Reservations for the 151-room hotel, located at 3003 Brownwood Blvd., are being taken now for Sunday, March 15 and beyond. The hotel features seven suites offering living rooms, wet bars and clawfoot bathtubs, as well as standard guest rooms that include marble showers, raw cement ceilings, modern technology and barn doors accessing the bathrooms.

The 215,000-square-foot hotel sits on 32 acres just north of the Grand Traverse shopping center near the Paddock Square area of Brownwood. Villages officials have said the complex will fit right in with area and quickly become a showpiece for the entire State Road 44 corridor.

The Chuck’s Wagon food truck will be located at the Brownwood Hotel & Spa as one dining option for guests of the luxurious 151-room facility.

The facility will feature a restaurant designed by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Joseph Lee will serve as executive chef after previously working for a Disney Springs eatery that twice was named as the best theme-park restaurant in the world.

A seating area in the Brownwood Hotel & Spa includes a large photo of a buffalo – a favorite of late Villages Developer H. Gary Morse.

Guests will find a Chef’s Studio area for breakfast that promises more of a residential feel. That area will serve as a teaching kitchen where classes will be held throughout the year for residents and guests to enjoy and learn how to cook a variety of dishes. There also will be a lobby bar and a Chuck’s Wagon Food Truck, which seems to follow with a theme of placing food trucks in the southern end of The Villages.

A covered walkway will connect the hotel to the nearby Advanced Center for Healthcare at Brownwood, a bedless hospital of sorts that largely will focus on out-patient procedures. Patients of the five-story, 240,000-square-foot medical facility will be able to use a discreet exit and quickly retreat to their hotel rooms, thereby avoiding a hospital stay.

The Villages partnered with Amway Hotels of Grand Rapids, Mich., for the hotel’s design and construction. It will have a 10,000-square-foot conference center and banquet room and will keep some guest rooms in reserve for patients having procedures performed at the medical center.

General Manager Gilles Cassiani

Gilles Cassiani will serve as general manager of the new hotel. He grew up in a small town in the South of France and says he can’t wait to show his guests the many unique features the hotel has to offer. He’ll be joined by two Villagers – Banquet Manager Jackie LeBeau and Banquet Captain Tom Winters – as well as longtime hospitality executive Yomaira Borrero, a Villages High School graduate who will serve as the front office supervisor.

The first level of the specialty care medical facility will be an active environment incorporating a Walgreens retail pharmacy, lab, central registration, and an education and resource center to aid in the coordination of care for patients, as well as other complementary amenities. The multi-story building also will house physicians from The Villages Health, Lake Medical Imaging, Florida Cancer Specialists, St. Luke’s Laser Institute and Lake Centre for Rehab, among others.

The hotel and healthcare complex, which was first announced during the annual VHA-sponsored “Evening with the Developer” in May 2017, also boasts a large area for parking, although a parking garage that might be expected for medical patients doesn’t appear to be part of the plan. And it remains to be seen whether the facility will offer some type of shuttle service for guests and patients who are forced to park in the farthest-reaching areas of the expansive parking lot.

This large light fixture can be found in the Brahma Boardroom, one of several state-of-the-art meeting spaces in the Brownwood Hotel & Spa.

LIVE: Coronavirus Updates

Latest Posts

Richard B. Dodge

As the City of St. Petersburg (FL) administrator, Rick Dodge led the efforts to attract the Salvador Dali Museum, a major league baseball park, and win an expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Frustrated Villagers want answers about COVID-19 testing site at the polo fields

Consternation boiled over this week as exasperated Villagers sought answers about the UF Health Coronavirus drive-through testing site at the polo fields.

Fenney food truck to re-open weeks after numerous violations

A food truck is returning to serve residents of the Village of Fenney after an inspection last month turned up several health code violations.

No tee times after 4 p.m. at any golf course in The Villages

Starting Wednesday, April 8, all Championship and Executive Golf Courses will close at 4 p.m. following the last tee time.

More Headlines

Fenney food truck to re-open weeks after numerous violations

A food truck is returning to serve residents of the Village of Fenney after an inspection last month turned up several health code violations.

No tee times after 4 p.m. at any golf course in The Villages

Starting Wednesday, April 8, all Championship and Executive Golf Courses will close at 4 p.m. following the last tee time.

Photos

Opinions

Dr. Trump hawks outlandish ideas

Villager Miles Zaremski, writing in an Op-Ed, says Dr. Trump is hawking some outlandish ideas and what hangs in the balance is only our lives.

Crime

Wildwood police seeking help in locating stolen older-model Chevy pickup

Wildwood police officers are searching for a pickup truck that was stolen in the city recently.

Belleview man popped on multiple drug charges after ramming deputy’s patrol vehicle

A Belleview man was arrested Monday night after fleeing from Marion County sheriff’s deputies and then ramming into a patrol vehicle.