Folly Beach Holiday Inn no more

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The end of an era on Folly Beach is at hand as the Holiday Inn prepares to become the Tides Hotel.

The official transition happens Nov. 16, but the hotel will light its new sign Thursday, Nov. 11.

City of Folly Beach officials will join hotel ownership for a 5:30 p.m. ceremony marking the occasion.  As well as lighting the new sign, the hotel will bury a time capsule to memorialize the new stage in the hotel's history.

Hotel ownership announced they would be ending its affiliation with Holiday Inn Hotels in June 2010.

The hotel completed a $5.5 million renovation of its lobby, meeting space, some guestrooms, and created Blu Restaurant in 2009.  Phase two of the renovation project is set to begin that will see the remainder of the guestrooms renovated one floor at a time.

That work should be completed in February of 2011.

The hotel's General Manager, Ken Merkel said, "The team is excited at the opportunity that presents itself with breaking free from a national chain. It allows us to be more relevant to our surrounding community of independence and free-spirited thinking. This will be the benchmark of everything we do from here."

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and preview the new rooms on Thursday.

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