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Sarasota County commissioners today paved the way for a 103-room hotel next to Der Dutchman.
Sarasota Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2016 5 years ago

Commissioners bless 103-room Pinecraft hotel

The Sarasota County Commission has approved plans for a new hotel in the Pinecraft neighborhood.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

The local Amish and Mennonite Pinecraft communities will soon have more room for visitors from up north.

Today, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved plans for a four-story, 103-room hotel in the heart of the Pinecraft neighborhood. Ohio-based Dutchman Hospitality Group needed zoning changes to allow the development of the Carlisle Inn of Sarasota behind the popular Der Dutchman restaurant.

Timothy Miller, co-owner of the neighboring Miller's Dutch Haus Furniture, told commissioners the region has difficulty attracting new visitors from Ohio — who haven’t yet experienced Pinecraft — because of the lack of standalone accommodations. Usually the only option is to stay with relatives, preventing families who haven’t visited the county from doing so.

“If we have the hotel, that door will open and we’ll have a lot of new people,” Miller said.

Once complete, the property will include 465 parking spaces and three large bus parking areas.

The hotel proposal includes a new pond northeast of the intersection of Bahia Vista Street and Beneva Road, and a 20-foot landscape buffer to blend the more intense development with the surrounding neighborhood.

“It’s going to become quite a nice little area,” said planning consultant Joel Freedman.

In a previous interview with the Sarasota Observer, Dutchman Hospitality Group President Mike Palmer said the tentatively named Carlisle Inn of Sarasota will feature Amish decor similar to that of Der Dutchman’s decor, with high-quality woodwork, quilts and emblems. It would also have communal spaces for gathering, playing games or conversing.

During season, it will cater to a broad range of tourists from the Midwest. Offseason the hotel could attract travelers and teams visiting Sarasota for events such as rowing competitions at Nathan Benderson Park.

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