It was a memorable first week for Delaware North’s new hotel on Florida’s Space Coast, hosting a morning rocket launch viewing party on opening day, followed by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday that was attended by Delaware North leadership and local dignitaries.
The five-floor, 152-room Courtyard by Marriott Titusville – Kennedy Space Center opened April 8, fulfilling a long-held vision of Delaware North to own and operate a hotel near the famous space port.
Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs was joined in cutting the ribbon by Scott Socha, group president of Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts division and Australia operations; Derek Zwickey, the division’s chief operating officer; Titusville Vice Mayor Robert Jordan; and Brevard County Commissioner Rita Pritchett.
The ceremony and rooftop reception that followed were attended by Parks and Resorts division leaders who were attending the east regional meeting; former Delaware North executives Dennis Szefel, Chuck Moran and Bill Bissett, the latter two of whom are company board members; and local officials and other invited guests.
“Delaware North has a long history of commitment to the Space Coast as the operator of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex since 1995,” Jacobs said. “For many years, our company envisioned having a hotel in Titusville that would serve the visitors to Kennedy Space Center and the private space industries located here. A number of stars aligned to make this the time to do it, including the resurgence of the Space Coast’s economy and its appeal as a tourist destination with the visitor complex.
“We’re so proud of this hotel – it’s an important part of our hospitality portfolio, and we hope that visitors here to the Space Coast will enjoy the incredible experience and views it provides,” Jacobs said.
Pritchett thanked Delaware North “for building this wonderful hotel and for everything they do for North Brevard (County). I’m so proud of everything this company brings to the area – it’s always excellent and good quality.”
Added Jordan: “We are beyond thrilled that Mr. Lou Jacobs and Delaware North chose Titusville to build such a great facility for all of those people who will experience our launches, our weather, shopping, food and entertainment throughout our area. This one-of-a-kind hotel is another indication of our future, which is bright and exciting.”
Socha outlined the many amenities afforded by the hotel, including that it features extended suites, eight ground-floor walkout rooms, a large outdoor resort-style pool with a children’s section, cabanas and a bar; a ground-floor Bistro featuring a bar and outdoor seating and serving full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as Starbucks® products; a 700-square-foot meeting room; and charging stations for electric cars.
He noted that the hotel’s signature feature is the rooftop deck with The Space Bar, offering a broad menu of casual but chef-driven fare, space-inspired cocktails and unobstructed views of the space center’s launch complexes, 39A and 39B.
“We’re also hopeful the hotel will make for longer and more convenient visits to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” Socha said. “We’re proud to have worked with our NASA partners to add many memorable and educational attractions in the last decade. There is more than a day’s worth to see and experience there. And coming this spring to the visitor complex is Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, and we can’t wait to introduce everyone to that incredible experience.”
Socha also thanked the team responsible for bringing the hotel through more than two years of construction, including Zwickey; Eliot Hermanson, vice president for the east region; General Manager Wayne Soard, who moved from his position as general manager of Delaware North’s Shenandoah National Park operation; Soard’s management team, who also attended the ceremony; the rest of the Parks and Resorts team and the corporate teams that supported the project, especially Director David Ruede and other members of the Design and Construction group that oversaw the contractors.
The hotel debuted on April 8 with a special morning opening of The Space Bar for viewing of the successful launch of the SpaceX NASA Axiom-1 crewed mission.
Along with the launch view, guests enjoyed the restaurant’s full menu for purchase, and admission was only $10 with a portion of proceeds going to support the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, which is across the street from the hotel.
Photo Caption 1: Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs (center), was joined in cutting the ribbon at the new hotel with, from left to right: Derek Zwickey, Delaware North Parks and Resorts chief operating officer; Scott Socha, group president of Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts division and Australia operations; Titusville Vice Mayor Robert Jordan; and Brevard County Commissioner Rita Pritchett.
Photo Caption 2: Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs (center), and Regional Vice President Eliot Hermanson (left), pose with hotel team at the ribbon cutting. From left to right are: Karina Costa, sales manager; Iris Sanchez, executive housekeeper; Allison Flaglor, assistant front office manager; Leo Diaz, chief engineer; Linda Antle, human resources manager; Chris Chadwick, executive chef; and Wayne Soard, general manager.