KEY COLONY BEACH -- The beachfront Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort next to Cabana Breezes Bar in this tiny Middle Keys town celebrated its grand reopening Jan. 5 after a nine-month renovation period.
Formerly the Ocean Beach Club built in 1957, the property was purchased 18 months ago by Jack and Judy Glunz of Chicago, who had been visitors of the resort for 27 years.
The reopening was a huge family celebration for the Glunzes and their seven children, who brought their spouses and children down for the festivities. On that day, the Key Colony Beach Beautification Committee also presented the property with its beautification award.
The new owners plan to remain in Chicago but will visit their hotel for corporate meetings and special events. They have operated a beer distributorship in Illinois for 25 years.
Day-to-day hotel operations will be overseen by Chrysse Langley, who serves as manager, and Eric Oestreich, the assistant manager. The renovation did not change the family feel of the resort, said Oestreich, but the building was stripped to its bones and redesigned. The 38 rooms consist of suites with full kitchens and standard rooms with a mini-refrigerator and microwave.
While the property includes a pool and hot tub, the beach continues to be the main attraction, Oestreich said.
Hotel employees can arrange water sports and fishing excursions for the guests with local vendors, he said.
As a show of its commitment to the Florida Keys, the Glunz family kicked off a campaign to fund the Coral Reef Restoration Foundation with a $10,000 donation. Resort guests are invited to contribute to the effort by donating a certain dollar amount per night, and the hotel will match the donation dollar for dollar, said Oestreich.
For more information, call 305-289-0525 or visit glunzoceanbeachhotel.com.