GAINESVILLE, Fla., Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The 205-room DoubleTree by Hilton celebrated the official grand opening event in style with a tailgate-themed party featuring the University of Florida's cheerleaders and dazzlers. Guests, local dignitaries and Hilton Worldwide executives were joined by Ken Ferretti, vice president at CrossHarbor Capital Partners; Steve Johnson, executive vice president of Driftwood Hospitality Management; and Dennis Morgan, director of brand performance for Hilton Worldwide, to help officially welcome the hotel to Gainesville.
"We're excited to offer a hospitality, bar and dining experience unlike anything else in Gainesville," said Ken Ferretti, vice president at CrossHarbor Capital Partners, who led the redevelopment. In 2015, CrossHarbor acquired the property - formerly known as the independently-flagged Cabot Lodge, and successfully led the transformative process to fully redesign, renovate and convert the property to DoubleTree by Hilton. Driftwood Hospitality Management will be the hotel manager. "We were fortunate to have the opportunity to start with a blank slate and design a hotel that would excite and attract guests and give them a reason to call us home. With the hard work of Connor & Gaskins, (general contractor), DLR (architect) and PDSI (construction manager), we are thrilled with the hotel and guest experience we have created here in Gainesville." To introduce the community to the property, the hotel hosted an evening cocktail reception with live DJ, champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres and the spirit of the University of Florida cheerleaders and dazzlers. Wednesday's occasion gave attendees the opportunity to tour the hotel and experience first-hand the atrium-style lobby and bar area and outdoor courtyard space ideal for social events and corporate meetings - where guests may unwind over a variety of beers and cocktails, while watching sports on the 12-foot-wide TV wall.