The demolition has begun in earnest and progress of the Holiday Inn upgrade is going well and on schedule.



“Everything is going great so far,” said Joseph Farley, general manager at Holiday Inn On the Beach Destin. “Everyone is doing a wonderful job. So far, it’s running very smoothly — I’m very pleased.”



To watch a video on the demolition of the Holiday Inn, click here.



The plans for the hotel are to rebuild more spacious guest rooms and create a large pool area and a lazy river while taking advantage of the view of the Gulf.



“The east building is in the process of being demolished, we’re probably about two thirds of the way with the room section of the building,” he said. “We hope to have the entire demolition of the east building and the swimming pool area completed by the first week of November.”



Construction of the new building is planned to begin in the fall of next year.



“Once the demolition is completed and we can get that site cleaned up, we will start construction on the swimming pool,” he said.



Nov. 3 is the scheduled date to begin construction on the swimming pool. On the other side of the property, construction workers are starting at the top and working their way toward the floor level.



“The round tower is in the process of being completely renovated,” said Farley. “The floors on eight, nine and seven, I believe, are completely gutted and we are gradually working our way down. We haven’t started any reconstruction in that area yet.”



Farley added, “We’re taking that building pretty much down to the bare concrete walls, and rebuilding it from the inside.”



The round tower is not being completely demolished like that of the east building, but everything going inside the round tower will be new, including plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical wiring.



He said that they are still planning to reopen the new round tower and swimming pool area no later than June 1 of next year.



“It was quite a sight the other day, when we first started demolition on Saturday and Sunday; there were actually crowds on the beach cheering and taking pictures as the demolition began,” Farley said.



He added that the community enthusiasm surrounding the project is very “encouraging.”



“Everybody is sad about the process, but really excited about what the future holds,” said Farley.