• Residents hope hotel sale will mean renovations for Daytona Beach eyesore


    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Spring breakers once packed the beach patio of the Desert Inn in Daytona Beach.

    "I mean, it was like the place where people wanted to stay, you know, and look at it now, it's not so good," said Daytona Beach resident Toni-Marie Arduini

    The hotel has been around since the 1950s. Now, it's in the hands of new owners.

    "I just hope something new comes out of everything. The new ownership has taken over, maybe the business will prosper. That means new visitors coming in town," said Sammy Mistry a local business owner.

    The Summit Hospitality Group purchased the hotel for $6 million. The company has plans to sink as much as $12 million into it for renovations.

    The hotel has a rocky past. The website TripAdvisor.com once rated it among the top ten dirtiest hotels in the United States. In 2011, the FBI raided the hotel and arrested hotel manager, Denis Devlin, accusing him of producing child pornography at the hotel.

    The hotel has also been the scene of a string of petty crimes, burglaries, robberies and even shootings over the years.

    The Desert Inn is on A1A and because of its reputation many have considered it a rough spot along the tourist strip.

    If it gets fixed up, residents are hoping it fits in with the Wyndham, the Hilton and the other new development anticipated for the area.

    In the next few years, construction is expected on a new Hard Rock Hotel, a new convention hotel, and the Hilton is set to be remodeled.

    According to public records, since 2003, the Desert Inn has also had 26 code violations cases involving everything from appearance to leaky pipes with the last one in August.

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