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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.
What does it take to convert a bunch of old US military trailers into a select service hotel? Apparently, just a little indoor plumbing and some catering. That's what's happening over at Camp Bucca in Iraq, just outside the town of Basra.
Among hundreds of other US military bases across Iraq that have been recently abandoned, an Iraqi developer saw the potential to develop this particular site into a hotel. The only drawback? It's a former prison camp. The NY Times reports that many, if not all, of the recent guests have been oil company executives—and boy, were they shocked when the bus dropped them off in front of an empty, dirt-walled trailer park enclosed by barbed wire.