ATLANTA—The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel, has completed construction. Located in Gulf Shores, Ala., within the revitalized 6,150-acre Gulf State Park, The Lodge includes a premium 350-room hotel, ballroom, restaurants, and meeting spaces. Skanska USA provided consulting and construction management agency services for the project.
With its ballroom and meeting spaces, The Lodge replaces the Gulf State Park Convention Center, which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Given its location in a region prone to hurricanes, the facility was designed and built with resiliency and sustainability in mind.
Working in partnership with Volkert, Inc., Skanska provided construction management-agency services throughout the programming, planning, design, construction, and closeout phases of the project. Skanska managed the overall project on behalf of the State of Alabama, including sustainability consulting and commissioning.
“This project truly transforms Gulf State Park and provides a much-needed resource that has been missing for some time in the region,” said Curtis Elswick, senior vice president and regional executive of Skanska USA building operations in its Atlanta office. “It allowed us to apply our extensive knowledge of green building practices to produce a model of hospitality and environmental sustainability.”
The three-building facility includes a 12,000 square-foot ballroom which can accommodate up to 1,000 guests; more than 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including seven meeting rooms and seven meeting suites with sleeping accommodations; four restaurants; and 350 guestrooms managed by Hilton. The Lodge will be the first hospitality project in the world to pursue LEED Gold, SITES Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial certifications.
The Lodge has a variety of sustainability features. The buildings sit more than 200 feet behind the Coastal Construction Line, to minimize its impact on the coastline. Plantings around the property feature native species to help restore dunes and the natural habitat.
Rainwater from the meeting space is gathered and redirected to the site’s functioning wetland. It is also naturally filtered, rather than being directed to the city’s sewer system. A permeable surface in the parking lot allows accumulated rainfall to drain into the ground to prevent flooding and replenish aquifers.
The Lodge is the centerpiece of Gulf State Park, which has been completely revamped and includes 28 miles of trails, an educational campus along Lake Shelby, and an interpretive center near the Beach Pavilion. Skanska USA and Volkert, Inc. also provided similar services for all of these projects.
The project was commemorated with a ribbon cutting, featuring Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, members of Alabama’s Congressional delegation and state and local officials, on November 2, 2018.