CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, a new hotel has officially opened in Clearwater Beach.
The Edge Hotel, 505 S Gulfview Blvd, welcomed guests to tour the 10-story facility on Thursday evening. The hotel offers 155 guest rooms, each with a view of the Gulf of Mexico or Intercostal Waterway.
"Between the view and all the amenities, it's just a gem on the beach," said Wendy Bouffard, who lives in Island Estates. "A lot of times the new hotels coming in on the beach tend to be very expensive, where this one is more of a family hotel and something within everybody's price range."
According to hotel representatives, The Edge will cater to families to meet the demands of people flocking to the area in recent years. The tourism boom is partially credited to Clearwater Beach being ranked as a top beach in the nation.
"Clearwater Beach over the years, I've had a home here for 30 years, was always a Mom and Pop beach. It's really evolved into a destination spot," said Jeff Keierleber, President of Decade Properties, the company that owns the Edge.
Clearwater Beach has encouraged hotel development for the past few years, offering density incentives to help developers build more rooms on their property.
Mayor George Cretekos said the goal is to protect the beaches during the city's growth.
"I want to make sure that we preserve the beach so that our sugar sands remain for generations," said Mayor Cretekos.
City leaders said they're confident that the Edge will benefit other businesses on the three-mile island as well.
"Restaurants support restaurants, hoteliers support hoteliers," said Darlene Kole, President of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce. "The beautiful thing about it is, if one hotel is full, they call immediately next door or down to their neighbor, and they say, 'Can you help these people?'"
For information on booking a stay at the Edge, visit http://edgehotelclearwaterbeach.com/