JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The USS Orleck has reportedly attracted over 10,000 visitors since its arrival in downtown Jacksonville outside of the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel back in March. That’s according to the president of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship association Daniel Bean.
However, the floating naval museum may have overstayed its welcome.
The USS Orleck’s planned final home is Pier One on downtown Jacksonville’s north bank. It was scheduled to arrive at its permanent Pier One mooring in October but has had the move delayed due to concerns about accessibility.
Pier One still requires further work, like construction on its dock, before the ship’s move from in front of the Hyatt can occur. Also, parking improvements must be completed.
Now, Joe Hindsley, general manager of the Hyatt Regency, claims the ship has caused a “significant negative financial impact” to the hotel.
“I can assure you that since the day that ship was put in front of the hotel, we’ve seen significant negative financial impact on our business,” Hindsley told Jacksonville City Council on Monday.
Hindsley cited the Orleck’s blocking of the hotel’s panoramic views from its terrace decks as a reason for the negative impact.
“We thought the marriage was good, and it was very helpful we thought to both entities, and it gave their clients and customers a place to go,” says Bean. “But apparently they don’t feel that way and so we’re off to Pier One, which is where we were headed to in the future.”
Bean also says he’s yet to see any proof of financial losses from the hotel. In fact, Bean says the Orleck is projected to draw in $3 million to $4 million of revenue for surrounding hotels, restaurants and other businesses each year.
Nonetheless, Bean says he expects the Orleck to be moved to its final destination at Pier One by late February 2023. Meanwhile, Downtown Investment Authority Chief Executive Officer Lori Boyer says the latest possible deadline for the Orleck to make its move under its current agreement is March 31.
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