By Installation Management CommandJune 14, 2019
Every year, more than 1.7 million service members, retirees and their families visit an Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort to make vacation memories.
With a portfolio of over 2,000 rooms in Germany, Florida, Korea and Hawaii and an average occupancy over 80%, that level of use puts a strain on facilities over time. To ensure future generations of service members are able to experience the locations worldwide, AFRC Resorts are undergoing a strategic initiative to reinvest nonappropriated funds totaling over $145 million in facility improvements.
"The enhancements made at AFRC Resorts helps us to stay relevant for our customers and maintain our position as the preeminent symbol of commitment to our service members and their well-being," said Marc J. Jannsen, chief, hospitality programs (AFRCs and Army Lodging), Installation Management Command.
The iconic Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach, with its rich history, stunning location and unique culture, currently has more than 70 separate reinvestment projects. Redesigned to evoke the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands, the new outdoor aquatics complex compliments views of Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The redesigned pool is scheduled to open later this summer. It includes water slides, a wading pool, splash pads, baby slide, fountains, hot tub and water features for all ages. The new infinity pool overlooks colorful sunsets on the Pacific Ocean.
Many Hale Koa guests will be staying in one of 396 newly revitalized rooms in the Maile tower. The rejuvenation of the rooms with new furnishings, headboards, beds, carpeting and light fixtures will transform the guest vacation experience and reflect the islands' culture and vibe. Renovated guest bathrooms feature walk-in, all-glass showers, over-sized mirrors and porcelain tile flooring.
Additionally, projects that the guests won't see but which are vital to the operability and sustainment of the facility include roof replacements, new air-handling units, building systems such as electrical, plumbing and air conditioning, parking garage structure repairs and exterior lighting upgrades.
Director of engineering Derek Bacigal, tasked to manage the 75 renovation projects, recently was selected by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association as their Manager of the Year.
"All of the projects we are working hard to complete are focused on ensuring our guest experience is commensurate with their service to their nation," Bacigal said.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, often called the "most magical place on Earth," is home to the Shades of Green Resort. The AFRC resort is also investing substantially in sustainment projects. Workers recently finished renovating 284 guest rooms in the Magnolia Wing, including refurbished guest rooms, corridors and common areas. All the furniture in the main lobby has been redesigned. The attraction ticket sales area has been renovated, and the entire exterior of the sprawling resort is now being painted. Additional projects are being reviewed and planned.
The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, is working through a preventive maintenance and sustainment program to keep the building looking new. A new authorization this month allows active-duty military service members, retirees and civilian/military ID cardholders stationed or living outside Europe to visit the Bavarian resort on a limited, space-available basis.
The Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, South Korea, went through extensive remodeling four years ago.
Aligned with two of the major IMCOM priorities of investing in infrastructure and family resiliency programs, AFRC Resorts are committed to helping to create unforgettable vacation experiences for future generations of service members, retirees and their families.