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Hacienda Hotel, Sims Park undergo renovations in downtown New Port Richey

An iconic hotel from yesteryear along with a popular park in downtown New Port Richey are both getting revitalized as the city focuses on making downtown a more livable and walkable area.

The Hacienda Hotel, built in 1929 in the center of downtown, most recently served as an assisted living facility, which closed in  2006. The once lively rooming quarters has been sitting vacant ever since.

“We plan to re-open the Hacienda as a historic boutique hotel,” says Mario Iezzoni, Economic Development Director for the city of New Port Richey. “Work on the hotel will begin in December, and is expected to be completed by April of next year.”

Iezzoni goes on to say that the city is looking at different plans for the 34,000-square-foot hotel, however, a 40-room layout seems to be ideal. What is of most importance is keeping the historic elements of the hotel intact, he says.

“There is a generational connection with the Hacienda Hotel,” he says. “Being built in the 1920s, people have moved in the area throughout the years, and many have a strong connection to the hotel. Whether they had their prom there, or they had a parent work there or even a loved one living in the nursing facility when it was used in that capacity, many of the residents have some kind of connection.”

Sims Park, which is located next to the Hacienda Hotel, is getting upgrades thanks to funds from Pennies for Pasco. The park, which hosts many events throughout the year, will have its renovations completed by the end of 2015.

Upgrades at the park include a new playground, splash pad and more walkways.

According to Iezzoni, the $2-million dollar project will is expected to pay off as its economic impact on the community will be great.

“We reached out the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council to help us with some analysis, and they told us on an annual average basis we would see a $4.5-million dollar economic impact to our urban downtown area per year,” he says. “It’s important we invest in these projects, because it really is the centerpiece of downtown.”

Read more articles by Kimberly Patterson.

Kimberly Patterson is a news editor for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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