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Winter is coming: Famous porpoise's brand makes the leap from aquarium to seashore

The 'Dolphin Tale' star with the mechanical tail is the inspiration for a Clearwater Beach hotel makeover.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. February 14, 2020
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A Clearwater Beach hotel is set to get a makeover and rebranding that will align it with one of the area’s most popular residents: Winter the Dolphin.

Quality Beach Resort, at 655 S. Gulfview Blvd., will be converted to the first-ever Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club Hotel. The project, expected to be unveiled in the spring, is a joint effort that involves Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Winter, the star of the “Dolphin Tale” films, resides; Page Development Group; and Choice Hotels.

Quality Beach Resort is being remodeled and rebranded in honor of Winter the Dolphin. Courtesy photo.
Quality Beach Resort is being remodeled and rebranded in honor of Winter the Dolphin. Courtesy photo.

According to a press release, Page Development Group had considered razing the 91-room property and building from scratch, but decided a refurbishment that reused existing structures and materials would be more environmentally friendly. For example, rather than purchase new doors, every room has a refurbished original door.

In line with the CMA’s mission, Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club Hotel will protect marine life via efforts such as safe lighting for sea turtles and the elimination of single-use plastics. The resort, which will be part of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection, will also funnel a portion of its revenues to the nonprofit aquarium.

“The opportunity to partner with Clearwater Marine Aquarium is unique and special,” Page Development Group President Steve Page states in the release. “Our eco-friendly hotel will not only provide a great guest experience, but will generate revenue for CMA, enabling them to expand their marine life work which is near and dear to our family-owned company’s values. We are excited to convert this hotel to a new brand with an extensive renovation and include the CMA mission.”

The entire property will be redecorated with a marine life theme, the release states. Its jetties will be rebuilt in the shape of dolphin tales and guests will be able to observe the area’s marine life via a wild dolphin webcam.

“A Winter the Dolphin hotel is sure to delight guests from around the world, especially those who come to Clearwater Beach to visit Winter at Clearwater Marine Aquarium,” CMA CEO David Yates states in the release. “We’re confident that travelers will be attracted by the sustainability and opportunity to immerse themselves in marine life.”


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