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The city's historic hotel

The Holiday Inn, Palm Beach Gardens' first hotel, opened in 1970.

Located at the corner of PGA Boulevard and Military Trail, it was also where Interstate 95 ended at the time, before the 44-mile missing link from PGA to Fort Pierce was completed in 1987.

Originally built as a 126-room hotel, the Holiday Inn was expanded to 280 rooms after it was purchased in late 1978 by John D. MacArthur's son, Rod, for $4 million.

Rod MacArthur acquired the hotel from a local real estate developer and made it a point to say that he had used his own money for the purchase, as he was a multimillionaire on his own, not from any inheritance from his father who had passed away earlier that year.  

As part of a $3.5 million expansion the hotel was enlarged to 280 rooms and renamed MacArthur's Holiday Inn. Unfortunately, Rod passed away in 1984 before all of his plans for the hotel, including a convention center, could be realized.

One of the most notable features of the hotel was MacArthur's Vineyard, its restaurant and lounge. The Vineyard was a popular local gathering spot for many years, with its very generous “happy hour” offering 2 for 1 drinks at all times. 

MacArthur's Vineyard also hosted the annual tribute to John D. MacArthur, the city’s founder, known as "March for MacArthur" each year on March 6, John D.’s birthday. The tradition, which started at the MacArthur-owned Colonnades Beach Hotel on Singer Island, moved in 1987 to the Holiday Inn after the Colonnades closed. 

It was held at MacArthur's Vineyard for the final time in 1997, commemorating the 100th anniversary of John D.'s birth. Rod MacArthur's heirs sold the hotel that year and it closed May 10, 1997. After an $11 million renovation it reopened as the Doubletree Hotel in late 1997.

The Doubletree remains and has since added meeting facilities and hosted the Palm Beach Gardens Historical Society’s annual holiday party Thursday night, Dec. 7.

Ed Dooley

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