19 Jan Here We Grow Again… in South Florida!
This property has seen quite a bit over the years… Take a look at this timeline!
- In 1953, the Diplomat Hotel started as the 150-room Envoy Hotel and was one of the first hotels situated between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
- Just a year later in 1954, the hotel expanded to 370 rooms and was renamed the “Diplomat.”
- The Diplomat was home to many television and radio shows, including Lawrence Welk’s, The Jackie Gleason Show, and Arthur Godfrey’s radio show.
- Since 1974, every U.S President has addressed the labor unions at the Diplomat.
- On New Year’s Eve 1974, Frank Sinatra came out of retirement for an hour-long performance at the Diplomat for the low, low fee of $200,000.
- The Diplomat was home to famous entertainers like Bing Crosby, Xavier Cugat, Milton Berle, Woody Allen, Lena Horne, Joan Rivers, Sammy Davis Jr. and Judy Garland. They would perform at either the Café Crystal or the Tack Room Lounge. Up and comers like Jay Leno and Billy Crystal were the opening acts!
- Over the years, The Diplomat Resort continued to add rooms, topping off at 1,170 with two golf courses and 19 tennis courts.
- In 1984, the hotel reopened following arson and welcomed President Reagan, who addressed the International Longshoreman’s Association, and Bob Hope, who hosted the New Year’s Eve Gala.
- In 1998, the hotel was imploded for redevelopment.
- The 39-story hotel reopened in 2002 with 998 rooms. The new Diplomat became the tallest and most expensive building in Broward County. The lobby features a five-story, 60-foot atrium surrounded by waterfalls with the water motif continuing in an outdoor infinity-edged pool with waterfalls splashing into a 240-foot lagoon pool below.
- Whew, need to catch my breath… now; in 2014, the Diplomat was sold to Thayer Lodging as one of the biggest real estate transactions in Florida and one of the largest in the country this year, at $460 million.
- As part of the sale, the hotel is now part of the Hilton family under a new brand entitled the “Curio Collection.”
- One more date to go down in history: Starting at 12am on December 1, 2014, Towne Park added this astounding hotel to its portfolio, and all of us will have the opportunity to add to the history of this hotel!
Towne Park will offer Valet, Greeter, Shuttle, Cashier and Ramp Coordinator services at The Diplomat. That’s 70 associates and 3 new AAM’s, led by Account Manager Eric Maynard!
Thank you to everyone involved with the new site opening!
Submitted by Tim Heath, Manager, Task Force Operations