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This Holiday Inn Is Also A Classified Military Base

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1299 Miracle Strip Parkway [map], Fort Walton Beach, FL, United States, 32548
June 25, 2014 at 8:26 AM | by | ()

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it (fittingly) a giant beach ball on the roof of this beachside Holiday Inn?

Nope, none of them. It’s a military radar thingy.

Taking working with the military to a whole new level beyond giving servicemen and women discounts, the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn in, you’ve guessed it, Florida, has joined forces with the military to create a beach resort-military base combo. Why hasn’t Vegas thought of this before?

According to the Miami Herald, in a story that made us triple check it wasn’t April 1 today (until the hotel confirmed the news on its Facebook page):

The combination resort hotel and military test site opened in late May in an unusual partnership between the military and private business in a time of tighter military budgets. In exchange for allowing the Innisfree Hotel company to build the 152-room resort on Air Force land, the military was able to construct a rooftop station that receives radar signals and a secure conference room for classified meetings. The dome hiding the military equipment is painted red, white, blue and yellow like a beach ball.

Ah, the beach ball. It was done up that way, apparently, to render it “less military and more visitor-friendly." There would, of course, be another way to render the hotel less military, and that would be to not share your hotel with a military base.

Apparently, that stretch of beach actually belongs to the military, but they’re unable to use it for “beach training exercises or test missions” without having a radar tower. So they’re kindly renting the building below their equipment to the hotel in order to be able to do these, um, missions.

The military base, by the way, is called Eglin Air Force Range Test Site A5. If you’re into thanatourism, and depending on how patriotic you feel (that Iraq fund may need topping up soon, after all), a stay tonight will set you back a whopping $320. Just don’t blame us if your cellphone gets blocked.

[Photo: Hotel's Facebook]

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