Topping Off Celebration: The Henderson going up fast

Savannah Vasquez

The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort, held a Topping Off celebration lunch Tuesday at it's new location currently under construction just east of Henderson Beach State Park.

The event was in appreciation of the hard work put in by the construction crew and building staff which began work on the project in January.

On the second floor of the unfinished building, more than 225 construction workers were honored with a catered lunch by Buck's Smokehouse and a raffle giveaway. The spread featured pulled pork sandwiches, barbecue chicken, sausage and several sides and drinks. Lucky raffle winners were awarded with prizes such as new construction equipment, a television, a kayak and the grand prize of a one night stay in the resort and dinner for two.

During the event Project Manager Shannon Hall encouraged the team of workers.

“Thank you sincerely to all you guys for all your hard work,” he said. “It’s been a hot, hot, hot summer and I really appreciate what you have done.”

Property owner Bill Dunavant III also gave a short speech recognizing the hard work of the entire team.

"You are creating something that has never come to the Gulf Coast,” he said of the project.

After lunch construction crew members signed their names to what will soon become the upper beam of The Henderson’s three story multi-million dollar project.

“It’s tradition in the construction industry to sign and have their names on the building forever,” said Matt Owen, corporate director of public relations for Salamander Hotels and Resorts.

The 170 room resort and spa will be the anchor resort in a family of projects in Destin under the management of Salamander Hotel and Resorts. The Henderson Resort and Spa is set to open in summer 2016.

In addition to The Henderson, the group will also include luxury condominiums, The Henderson Lofts and the Henderson Park Inn. The project is estimated to create more than 1,557 direct and indirect jobs.

For more information on the projects visit