BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Members of the Tourist Development Council in Brevard County met on Wednesday to discuss the future of the $300 million Westin resort set to replace the International Palms in Cocoa Beach.
Driftwood Capital, the developer, said it wants to use a $30 million grant from Brevard County over a 30-year period for its own marketing.
Though most members with the tourist development council have been opposed to the proposal saying that money should not be spent.
“I’m floored that we are considering this proposal. The fact that it’s half of what they’ve previously asked for is laughable because that shouldn’t have even been considered for a moment,” Chair Tom Hermansen said.
“We should not be helping them do that, make additional money from our important bed tax,” TDC Member Giles Malone said.
The Westin Cocoa Beach resort will have 500 luxury rooms and a conference space with the goal to bring more tourism to the area.
Though tourism council members voted on a motion on Wednesday requesting a written legal opinion from the county’s attorney office to see if the grant proposal constitutes the use of the county’s bed tax.
“I think to really boil it down, which I tend to do, transformational, nice hotel, yes. 30 year grant? Outrageous. Absurd. Extreme,” Hermansen said.
Regardless of the TDC’s recommendation, it’s still up to Brevard County commissioners to vote on whether to approve Driftwood Capital’s grant proposal.
The target Westin opening date is early 2024.