Local

Construction begins on Ponce Inlet ‘boat hotel’

PONCE INLET, Fla. — Construction is underway on a “boat hotel” in Ponce Inlet.

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The developers are calling it a “boatel,” but its official name is the Lighthouse Landing.

Owners John Hinton and Al Jarrell describe the project as a riverwalk where people can dock their boats and walk to things and then stay overnight. There will also be two house boats for rent.

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The idea was inspired by Ponce Inlet leaders. Hinton said they stressed the importance of including the town’s historic lighthouse in the building’s design and sticking with an old Florida feel.

“People go all the way from New York to Key West,” Hinton said. “That is the intercoastal waterway right there.”

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Jarrell says he hopes it will help local restaurants expand by offering more quick-service meals to boaters while giving visitors easy access to parks and the Marine Science Center.

“There’s not many inlets in Florida,” Jarrell said. “The next one is St. Augustine and the next one is the Space Center.”

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The entire property will be open to the public. It will include fuel stations and a catch and cook kitchen.

The project will take about a year and a half to finish.

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