The effort resulted in an estimated $26 million economic impact for Jacksonville.
Jacksonville City Council president Tommy Hazouri, Visit Jacksonville and the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront presented a Council resolution to the U.S. Marine Corps on June 28 recognizing a mission contract that resulted in an estimated $26 million economic impact for the city.
Because of the pandemic, from Jan. 10 to July 11, the Marines are using the Hyatt to quarantine recruits before they are transported to Parris Island, South Carolina, for basic training.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely difficult for many companies including our downtown local lodging and hotel industry, which had a great effect on the area’s economy in general. The support of the Marine Corps through the recruitment contract helped our vibrant city to recover more quickly than many other destinations both in Florida and nationally,” Hazouri said in a news release.
During the six-month mission, the hotel will host more than 7,000 recruits and staff and serve about 500,000 meals.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic affected the travel and hospitality industry globally, the support of the United States Marine Corps helped the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville to continue to provide jobs for hundreds of colleagues residing in the local community and bring in a significant source of hotel revenue,” said Joe Hindsley, general manager of Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, in the release.
The Marine Corps also is supporting area businesses including veteran- and minority-owned companies that provide transportation, laundry service and food and beverage products.
The mission also contributed to local nonprofits including Trinity Rescue Mission and Sulzbacher Center by donating more than 15,000 pounds of food.
In the release, Visit Jacksonville CEO Michael Corrigan said the contract helped usher Jacksonville much more quickly into recovery from COVID-19 losses.
“Being able to host events of this size and caliber here in Jacksonville shows that the city can host almost anything,” Corrigan said.
“Not only did the hotel provide a safe and secure location for quarantining purposes, it also provided a level of seamless service that helped to ensure the success of our mission and to safely transport more than 7,300 new poolees from Task Force Commitment, here in Jacksonville, to the Yellow Foot Prints of Parris Island,” said USMC Col. Riccoh Player in the release.
The Council resolution can be downloaded here
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