NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The owner of the historic Hacienda Hotel told Spectrum Bay News 9 that renovations on the 95-year-old building are expected to wrap up in the next four-to-six weeks.

There is still work to be done after that, including hiring staff, but Marketing and Public Relations Manager Dylan Gamez said the hotel is aiming for a mid-May opening.

What You Need To Know

  • Renovations on the historic Hacienda Hotel are expected to wrap up in the next six weeks

  • No opening date has been set, but the hotel’s marketing and PR manager said they’re aiming for mid-May

  • The project faced delays caused by the age of the building and the pandemic

  • The renovation incorporated many of the hotel’s original features, including lobby chandeliers and the courtyard fountain

“We’re hoping, and we’re getting very close, and we’re just finishing up the last little bits of details now,” Gamez said.

The hotel’s renovation is a project nearly 20 years in the making. It gained momentum after developer Jim Gunderson, who also renovated the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora, bought the hotel in 2018. At one point, city officials thought an opening during the 2019 holiday season could be possible.

The project ran into delays, in part as a result of the building’s age.

Hacienda Hotel Owner Jim Gunderson sits behind what will be the hotel’s front desk in New Port Richey on March 31, 2022. (Spectrum Bay News 9/Sarah Blazonis)

“Over 85% of the woodworking in the entire building had to be taken out just strictly due to moisture damage and things that have just been neglected through the years,” said Gamez.

The pandemic also slowed down work, as did supply chain issues.

Part of the renovation involved preserving original features of the hotel. Gamez said the restored lobby chandeliers are the same ones that greeted guests in 1927. All mouldings are original, and the top of the bar in what will be the hotel’s full-service restaurant is made with reclaimed wood taken from other parts of the building during construction. 

The fireplace in the Hacienda Hotel in New Port Richey on March 31, 2022. (Spectrum Bay News 9/Sarah Blazonis)

“Keeping as much of the history as part of what we are creating now is so important to Mr. Gunderson, and also to anyone who really loves history. It’s so important to keep those elements and keep as much of it as we can to celebrate what a great time period,” said Gamez.

The 40 guest rooms will also follow the original floor plan, making each room unique.