Florida Keys

The Keys’ Hawks Cay resort was clobbered by Irma. The landmark hotel will reopen Aug. 30.

Hawks Cay, a resort that closed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, will reopen Aug. 30, 2018.
Hawks Cay, a resort that closed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, will reopen Aug. 30, 2018.

A landmark Florida Keys resort that closed due to damage after Hurricane Irma struck 10 months ago will fully reopen in time for Labor Day weekend after a $50 million renovation.

Hawks Cay, which employed more than 200 people before the storm, will reopen Aug. 30 at mile marker 61 on Duck Key, complete with its main hotel with 177 rooms, six restaurants and a full-service marina.

In March, the resort had a partial reopening that included the Angler and Ale restaurant, Calm Waters Spa, Coral Cay Kids Club, the Sunset Pool and 100 villas. Many amenities weren’t available, however.

And the resort is hiring, a spokeswoman said. After Irma, 260 employees were laid off, nearly the entire staff at Hawks Cay.

“It’s going to come back fully to what it was,” said Holly Zawyer, who handles public relations for the resort. “The renovation focused on the main resort area. The main hotel was completely renovated so it will have a new design. The restaurants are in the same locations.”

The resort is currently staffed with 200 people in preparation for Aug. 30, Zawyer said. The resort wants to have 350 employees on staff for the upcoming high season.

Hawks Cay was among the dozen or so signature tourist resorts damaged by the Category 4 storm that struck along the island chain on Sept. 10, 2017.

“We’re bringing back what guests loved about Hawks Cay with a fresh design in the main hotel and new experiences that will take the resort into a new era,’ said Sheldon Suga, the resort’s managing director in a statement released Tuesday.

Hawks Cay will reopen in time for its 10th annual Heroes Salute event, which includes a 5K run/walk, a live music concert and fireworks. The event will be on Sept. 1.

The Connecticut-based company HEI Hotels owns Hawks Cay and manages 70 hotels and resorts across the country.

Big Pine Key residents and county officials try to address the canals on the key filled with debris from Hurricane Irma.

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