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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral-area hotels, motels of the 60s
Canaveral
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From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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posted 04-23-2006 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Canaveral   Click Here to Email Canaveral     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which hotel in Cocoa Beach do you believe represented the hub of the action during the 60's space race?

Also, can anybody clarify what year the Satellite Motel was torn down on the main strip?

KC Stoever
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posted 04-23-2006 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's easy.

The Holiday Inn, managed by the legendary Henri Landwirth.

Bob M
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posted 04-24-2006 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Holiday Inn of Cocoa Beach was often used by the Mercury astronauts and it's mentioned in quite a few books about the early US space program, along with the Mercury astronauts' many antics there.

I was fortunate to obtain a Holiday Inn of Cocoa Beach stationary sheet that was signed by the original 7 Mercury astronauts.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 04-24-2006 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the Atlantis Beach Lodge anywhere near the Holiday Inn? I stayed at the Atlantis in 1975 but it seems to have disappeared.

spaceuk
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posted 04-25-2006 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Holiday Inn was close to what was the Atlantis Beach Lodge Motel.

The Satellite Motel was a bit further along the road with its satellite/Earth globe on the hotel ad pole!

Also, the Wooden Nickel "shack" that served pretty good - and much cheaper than motel/hotel - food! Us Brits in those early long haul charter days were on a tight budget!

A lot of the big aerospace companies (NAA, McDonnell, Boeing, Grumman) would take over hotels for week or two to have their PR people giving news handouts, freebies, etc. and organising site visits. Also, some of the countdown and support staff would be housed in them.

There was a bar in Cocoa, I think it was Jack's Bar, near the Cocoa Beach Post Office. Used to get rowdy in there with lot of pad technicians going into it after work! To them Apollo was work!!

Blackarrow
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posted 04-25-2006 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You say the Holiday Inn was near to "what was" the Atlantis Beach Lodge. What became of the Atlantis? What is it now?

Canaveral
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posted 04-25-2006 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Canaveral   Click Here to Email Canaveral     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder what ever happened to the Satellite Motel display on the main strip (the satellite and world design). I wonder if it sold on eBay prior to tearing down the motel?

spaceuk
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posted 04-26-2006 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
What became of the Atlantis?
I didn't stay in Cocoa Beach last time around, so didn't go down Cocoa Beach area. Certainly doesn't appear in any hotel listings or Cocoa Beach under its original name.

I've got a early 70's pic of the Atlantis Beach motel and a view of that Satellite globe in front of its hotel.

Rick Boos
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posted 04-26-2006 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "Starlight" was the first major motel to be built at Cocoa Beach. It had over 100 rooms and was built in 1956. It's location was right in the middle of what was to become "Motel Row" off of A1A.

Other popular motels were: Satellite Motel, Polaris, Vanguard, Sea Missle, Holiday Inn, Silver Sands, Sea Air (sp?), Astrocraft, and the Cape Colony Inn, to name a few.

The Cape Colony Inn hosted a full news center in 1964 with offices for LIFE, National Geographic, NBC, CBS and the wire services.

Romon's was a popular restaurant for Cape workers back in the 50's, and was built in 1958. Fat Boys was a popular place that the Mercury astronauts would eat at. Gus Grissom loved their ribs and would make a point to fly down there just to get them. This was told to me by his wife, Betty.

A really great book about the early Cape and the Cocoa Beach area is titled "The Missilemen" by Mel Hunter. It was published in 1960 by Doubleday and reminds me of the film of "Growing Up With Rockets."

Another good history book to get about Cocoa Beach is titled "The City Of Cocoa Beach: The First Sixty Years" by Glenn Rabac.

One interesting note: A sign was put up that read "Cocoa Beach 8 Miles From Confusion" and was paid for by the Cocoa Beach Booster Club. Locals didn't like it because of the word "Confusion."

The story behind the motels at Cocoa Beach is quite interesting. At the time the Cape was being built there was nothing there and a lot of motels had to go up in a hurry to make up "motel row". The last time I was down there the "Silver Sands" motel was still there and so was the Sea Air. They both look a little out of place, but glad they are still there.

Another thing, Guenter Wendt would put up the Mercury astronauts at his place when they wanted to get away from the press.

quote:
Originally posted by Canaveral:
I wonder what ever happened to the Satellite Motel display on the main strip
The Satellite Motel globe became badly weathered over the years and sometime in the 80's it came down as a result of a storm. They removed it from the highway location and stored it at the South end of their parking lot where it was covered by all kinds of vines.

While doing some research for a book I was working on I talked to the owner of the motel about it and he let me have some nice pieces from it (all fiberglass).

You can see all the "original" motels of Cocoa Beach in "The Missilemen," including the Satellite Motel.

Sy Liebergot
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posted 04-26-2006 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I used to stay (and on occasion "hug the toilet") at the motel next to the Mousetrap Restaurant & Bar, now Durango Steak House. I believe it was then the Apollo motel, now a best Western.

Rick Boos
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posted 04-26-2006 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just remembered that Jim Irwin told me, as did the motel owner, that he often stayed at the "Silver Sands" motel.

Rick Boos
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posted 04-26-2006 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found the photos of the Earth globe from the Satellite Motel. One photo shows the globe in decayed condition still standing. Note that there is a large hole at the top and how the paint is faded. Also note that one satellite is missing while the other one slid down the rod. The other photos show the globe after it was taken down and covered with vines. I also see that the vine covered photos were taken in 1997 if that helps.

spaceuk
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posted 04-26-2006 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shame about the decay of the globe, it was a "must see" item down there!

Canaveral
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posted 04-26-2006 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Canaveral   Click Here to Email Canaveral     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks very much Rick for the information and pictures. How come it doesn't surprise me that the Satellite Motel satellite/world piece was left abandoned? Just like many of the other historic launch facilities a little further north at the cape.

DavidH
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posted 04-27-2006 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last time I was down there, I stayed at the La Quinta, which had a sign in the courtyard saying it was originally owned by the Mercury Seven astronauts.

Anyone know the story there?

Ken Havekotte
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posted 04-27-2006 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The old Atlantis Beach Lodge is now the Ocean Landings Resort, just south of Holiday Inn in Cocoa Beach on the ocean side. Throughout the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo era, the Atlantis Beach Lodge was the Carriage House Motel. Its popular Gemini Room featured a restaurant and lounge.

The Satellite Motel was only about a quarter of a mile north of Holiday Inn. Yes, Rick is correct, as their famous "satellite orbiting Earth" signpost was damaged during a hurricane and was getting badly corroded throughout the many decades the sign was in use by the motel.

Blackarrow
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posted 04-27-2006 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks for clarifying this! I hope to visit Cocoa Beach and I would like to (at least) visit the Atlantis/Ocean Landings Resort.

Scrapyard Ape
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posted 05-03-2006 12:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scrapyard Ape     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Boos:

I found the photos of the Earth globe from the Satellite Motel.


Wow. This pic really stirs some memories. I lived in Satellite Beach from 1974 to 1980 and the Satellite Motel sign was a familiar landmark every time we went up to the Cocoa Beach area.

If my memory has not failed, I'd say the above picture was taken after Hurricane David brushed by Florida in 1979. I remember that both of the smaller, spheres were still in place prior to that storm (though the upper one had already "migrated" down the rod by that point).

On a related note: The nearby Holiday Inn had just installed a brand new sign a few months before which was completely destroyed while the eyesore that was the Satellite sign was relatively untouched. Go figure.

spaceuk
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posted 05-03-2006 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When you read about some of the technical proposals for the new CEV and its launchers I don't think the Apollo-era has "finished" - its just being perpetuated in a different form.

For instance, they are talking about using modified J-2 engines in the launcher!

Durham Red
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posted 07-19-2006 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Durham Red     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There seems to be three Holiday Inns in Cocoa Beach. Can anyone specify which one was owned by John Glenn and visited by the other astronauts? I plan to book a few nights there.

goldbera
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posted 07-24-2006 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for goldbera     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I understand, the original Holiday Inn-Cocoa Beach (that was referenced above) is currently the La Quinta Inn here in Cocoa Beach.

Holiday Inn wanted to expand (years ago) and they were limited by their location, so they bought the property directly across A1A and moved there. Someone please correct me if this isn't correct.

bshockley123
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posted 07-25-2006 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bshockley123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, this posting brings back memories. My company built the optics for the Apollo lunar module, so I was in the area a number of times in the 60s and 70s. I often stayed at the Satellite (and the Holiday) and often dined at the Mousetrap until I was slicing off a piece of bread at their bread table and a cockroach ran out from under the bread, which unfortunately my wife saw. That was my last visit!

DavidH
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posted 07-26-2006 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a pic of the sign at the La Quinta that I took in August. (Not very good, I'm afraid, from a cell phone camera.)

Durham Red
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posted 08-05-2006 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Durham Red     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bshockley123:
I often stayed at the Satellite (and the Holiday)...
Having stayed there at the time, can you confirm that "the" Holiday Inn is now the La Quinta?

SpaceDust
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posted 08-05-2006 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceDust     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was watching "The Time Of Apollo 1975" last night and it shows a very shot clip of the Satellite Motel.

kr4mula
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posted 01-11-2008 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard the infamous Gemini 3 sandwich came from Wolfie's Deli. Anyone confirm or deny and know if that place is still around?

DCCollector
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posted 01-11-2008 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DCCollector   Click Here to Email DCCollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On a related note, are there any remaining "historic" hotels or motels to stay at? Is the La Quinta that others have asked about an interesting landmark?

Philip
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posted 01-20-2008 03:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a new book on the subject of Florida's Space Coast: "Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach & Florida's Space Coast: Great Destinations: A Complete Guide" by Dianne Marcum (January 2008).

Lola Morrow
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posted 01-20-2008 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lola Morrow   Click Here to Email Lola Morrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The hotels during the 60's were the Holiday Inn, Ramada (next door), Cape Colony and later the Hilton at Cape Canveral that centered around the astronauts, NASA and contractors, officials, celebrities, NASA and Astronaut VIP guests and those tourists who knew these hotels were the place to catch a sight of VIPs and astronauts.

The astronauts stayed at the Holiday Inn where Henri Landwirth was a manager, he was replaced by Larry Koen, Ed Wilson and Jack Bovard during that period.

When the Mercury 7 astronauts "invested" in the Cape Colony, they stayed there. When NASA frowned on their participation in the hotel, they went back to the Holiday Inn. The Lounge was one of their hang-outs, another was the Ramada's Wolfie's for late night snacks after partying. Also the Ramada featured entertainers, such as Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Trish, who was a popular folk singer.

The Cape Colony was very popular because of Mark Wayne's band with Johnny Bolan at the piano. They kept the place "hopping" and always full.

Ramon's, the Surf, Alma's and the Mousetrap were the best resturants to be seen or to just indulge.

The Holiday is still there, Ramada became the Carriage House, the Cape Colony is now La Quinta, the old Hilton is gone.

Alma's, Ramon's and the Mousetrap are no longer and the Surf is under new owners.

There were other restaurants and places of entertainment but the ones mentioned above where the most prominent. I lived there during that time and have lots of fond memories of each and every place mentioned.

ApolloAlex
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posted 07-19-2009 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am currently planning my families next trip to Florida in November to watch the launch of STS-129 but I have accomadation for all nights except the last and I was wondering if anybody could give me any pointers in regards to a hotel/motel that has a little bit of history in regards to the space program?

I understand that there are such hotels as the Holiday Inn, La Quinta and the Best Western Hotel but can anybody recommend a hotel that they think reflects the time of Apollo, firstly as it will be a fitting end to a holiday in my favourite place in the world, , plus my daughter and I will be celebrating our birthdays as well, in fact my daughter's birthday is on the day of the actual launch itself (not forgetting its the 40th anniversary of Apollo 12 as well).

I myself quite like the idea of La Quinta or the Super 8 Motel in Titusville near the Kennedy Space Center but any advice as usual is always gratefully received.

Editor's note: Threads merged

moorouge
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posted 08-29-2009 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stayed at the Atlantis Beach during the Apollo-Soyuz launch. There were certainly a lot of NASA people about. One evening had a meal with the guy who organised the astronaut trips abroad and on another night sat next to (but not same table) as Harrison Schmitt. Best memory though is spending three days with Linda Ball by the pool. Linda was the original National Airlines "Fly Me" girl.

spaceman1961
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posted 07-23-2010 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1961     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just in Cocoa Beach in May. I stayed at the Oceans Landing Resort, which once was the Atlantis Beach Lodge. Defintely still a 60s vibe to the place. Right next door was a empty building that appeared to have once been the main lobby for the Starlite Motel. It had the same roof canopy with the elongated points I've seen in old postcards of the Starlite.

I've been collecting old postcards of these great motels.

drscoop
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posted 10-06-2010 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drscoop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The old Holiday Inn, as managed by Henri Landwirth, now appears to be the International Palms resort, on A1A.

Across the road is the La Quinta, which used to be Cape Colony, with which the original Mercury 7 astonauts were involved. There is a suggestion that this site used to be the old, original Holiday Inn but there was insuffcient space to expand so they sold up and moved across the street, making the original motel available for purchase by the Original 7. However, a book on the history of Cocoa Beach suggests the Cape Colony was a new build, at the time the largest motel in the area, casting doubt on the above suggestion. Also, there is suggestion is that the Original 7 planned to invest the money paid by LIFE magazine for their exclusive stories in this motel, but this was frowned upon by the upper echelons of management at NASA. The above-mentioned book suggests the Mercury 7 were forced out of part-ownership of the motel before construction was completed. Again, this conflicts with reports of the Original 7 staying there whilst still owners.

Trying to find definitive evidence as to which account is correct and the timelines has been complicated. However, I came across this, in Wally Schirra's 2003 book: "Leo DeOrsey had proposed to us that we build a motel in Cocoa Beach... Henri Landwirth, also a part-owner, quit his job at the Holiday Inn to become the manager. We named the motel the Cape Colony Inn. ... The motel didn't do as well as we hoped and Leo suggested we sell... End of story, almost. Henri had to leave Cocoa Beach because of a no-compete clause in the contract to sell the Cape Colony. He and John Glenn later became partners and today they own two very profitable Holiday Inns adjacent to Disney World in Orlando." That would appear to clear that one up.

As I understand it, the hotel and pool area have been altered and updated but the basic building has remained largely unchanged since the Mercury days and the upper apartment section was reputedly the home of the families of the Mercury 7 while they were in town for the launches. Next door (now a beach shop?) appears to have been the office building complex that became a fully functional press suite.

Next to the Holiday Inn, to the south, is the Ocean's Landings Resort; this used to be the The old Atlantis Beach Lodge. Before this, the Atlantis Beach Lodge was the Carriage House Motel and before this, was the Ramada, famous particularly for Wolfie's Deli, home of the infamous Gemini III Corned Beef and Pickle on Rye sandwich.... Other sites suggest the Ramada was subsumed by the Holiday Inn on expansion but from what I've read, pulling together various pieces and threads, I think the above is more probable unless anyone has evidence to the contrary?

The fourth motel often debated in discussions around early space program lodgings was the original Hilton at Cape Canaveral. Most sites list this as demolished, and confirming the original location hasn't been straightforward. However, from a book on Cape Canaveral it appears that the Cape Canaveral Hilton was not demolished, but acquired by Dr Carl McIntire. As far as I can make out, he moved his bible college (Shelton College) there for a while and re-launched as the “Gateway to the Stars, the Bible Conference and Freedom Center". The book notes that, after the end of the Apollo Program ended, real estate prices crashed and the site was picked up fairly cheaply; other sources state the site was acquired in 1971 as the program was winding down. The college itself (at the Cape site) closed in 1992. Archived documents give the address of the center as 8701 Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral. This is now the site of the Radisson Resort at the Port. I have no evidence if this is the original building but the site seems plausible. Certainly the current appearance of the area fits with the description from a former student who describes "a residential neighborhood filled with split-levels, basketball hoops and two car garages". Mention is made of the "Under the Stars" hotel; I'm unsure as to whether this is what the Hilton became before the buy-out, or what the college became after it closed in 1992. I have also found a second reference confirming the Radission as the location of the Cape Hilton in a site featuring Cocoa Beach trivia.

Some other motels from the same era:

The Satellite Motel (home of the apparently oft-frequented Pillow Talk Lounge) with it's famous Globe sign has now gone, having been demolished. The site is now, as far as I can tell, occupied by the Resort at Cocoa Beach.

The Starlight motel was the first major motel to be built at Cocoa Beach, built in 1956. I believe this was/is next to what is now the Oceans Beach Resort mentioned above. I am working on pinning down the exact location. This appears to be where Henri Landwirth first got a job as a motel manager in Cocoa Beach. I note the recent comments of the poster above and would welcome clarification on which empty building was being referred to...

Silver Sands motel appears to be still in existence at 225 N Atlantic Avenue though I can't confirm with certainty yet if this is the original site/building. The Sea Aire motel, from the same area, also seems to be in existence at the original location, at 181 N Atlantic Avenue.

The Apollo motel is now a Best Western, at 5600 N Atlantic Ave. The Durango steakhouse in the same area used to be the Mousetrap Restaurant and Bar, which was a frequent haunt of the NASA staff. Again, I presume this is the original building (rather than a new site or simply re-use of the name) but have yet to confirm this. The location of the Apollo would indicate that the Apollo motel and the Polaris motel, also mentioned in these discussions, were actually one and the same, during different eras.

Finally, the Sea Missile Motel appears to have been located at the corner of Cocoa Beach Causeway and A1A, now the site of the CVS opposite Ron Jon's surf shop.

If I find more information, or receive corrections, I will try to keep this updated and as correct as possible. Hope someone finds it useful.

spaceman1961
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posted 10-11-2010 07:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1961     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your research into the Cocoa Beach motels. I am the one who mentioned the abandoned building next door to the Ocean Landings Resort that I believe was the lobby to the Starlite Motel. I actually just got back from another trip to Cocoa Beach and I again stayed at the Ocean Landings. The abandoned building I refered to is immediately south of the Ocean Landings lobby and connected to it by a driveway. If you do a search on Google Maps for 900 N Atlantic Ave and click on the street view, it is the building with the large brown roof. It appears that at some point in time the Starlite was "absorbed" by what is now the Ocean Landings as it is all one large property. The abandoned building/Starlite lobby building was "updated" with the brown shingle roof and stone columns some time ago, but the basic shape of the roof canopy, with its elongated points at the corners, is still evident.

In August I stayed at the Sea Aire Motel. It is still run by the same family who built it in the early 1950's. I chatted with Gary, the manager who is the grandson of the original owner(s). One of the interesting things he told me that was that Werner Von Braun stayed in Room 10 - a fact apparently well known to German tourists, who Gary said seek out the room for that reason.

I have also continued collecting postcards of the motels from this era, and came across two places I had never heard mentioned. The first is Crossway Motor Inn, 3901 N. Atlantic Ave. Today, a Comfort Inn is located there, which appears to be a completely new building, not a remodel of the Crossway. The second is the Bal-Ray. There is no address listed, but the card says it is (was) "directly on the beach" and "close to the shopping district", which may mean "downtown" Cocoa Beach.

On edit: Also, Gary at the Sea Aire told me the Silver Sands was "right down the street" from them (pointing north) and that it had been mismanaged then torn down; there is a condo building there now called Ocean Oasis, built in 2004.

dsenechal
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posted 11-04-2010 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dsenechal   Click Here to Email dsenechal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another '60's era hotel is/was the Ocean Suites Hotel, 5500 Ocean Blvd, Cocoa Beach. When I was doing work in the area back in the 1990's, I made it a point to stay there. It may no longer exist, and I'm not sure if that was the original name, but the hotel was definitely of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo era. It even had vintage furnishings, as I recall, which were cool to see but a little creepy to sleep on.

jcook
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posted 03-09-2011 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jcook   Click Here to Email jcook     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm doing a historical preservation project on the Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach (now the International Palms), once managed by Henri Landwirth. I know the Mercury 7 astronauts frequented this hotel. Does anyone have any stories or pictures of this hotel from the 1960s?

I have a few good sources but would like to enhance the richness of my research. I've already come across some very amusing anecdotes, one concerning a boat in the swimming pool. (I would love to know more about that, by the way.)

My ultimate goal is to preserve locations that remember the lives of those who were seminal in the development of Florida's space coast. If anyone has anything they would like to share, it would be very much appreciated. — Jennifer

mode1charlie
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posted 03-12-2011 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In regards to the original Hilton at Cape Canaveral mentioned above, I have no first-hand knowledge as I was too young at the time and lived in Texas, but Al Worden made a remark at the Apollo 14 Gala on Jan. 29, 2011 about "the old Hilton." The cocktail reception for the Gala was held at the Radisson Resort at the Port, and in opening remarks Worden stated that this was the old Hilton, and that the room we were in (I think it was the Montego Room) used to be the bar. He mentioned that after the Hilton sold it, it was used by a bible study group, and how that was especially ironic if they only had known the good times they had there back in the day. I might be misremembering some details, but that was the gist.

That said, the room layout at the Radisson didn't look like what I think of as a typical Hilton layout at all, how the rooms are laid out reminds me more of a Holiday Inn sort of set up, but I wasn't around during that time so who am I to say. If Worden said so, his word is definitely better than mine. Hopefully others who were at the event can chime in and add to my (quite possibly incomplete) recollection of his remarks.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 03-12-2011 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I, too, recall Worden's remarks during the Apollo 14 anniversary gala at the Port's Radisson Resort. In fact, it was the Cape Kennedy Hilton in Cape Canaveral that was in the location area of the now-Radisson during the Apollo era.

Just north, or next door, of the "old Hilton" was Camelot Restaurant. Right across the street from the Hilton was the NASA Apollo News Center where media types all across the world would register for an Apollo launch coverage.

mode1charlie
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posted 03-12-2011 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Ken. Just to clarify, the Cape Kennedy Hilton later became what is now the Radisson Resort at the Port. But is the old Hilton building structure mostly the same, or was the Hilton torn down and a new structure put in the same location?

Ken Havekotte
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From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-12-2011 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During the Apollo era, the Cape Kennedy Hilton was the only far-north motel resort adjacent to Port Canaveral.

The now-Radisson Resort at the Port is of the same location as the old Hilton was on.

Yes, indeed, just about all the old Hilton foundations and structures were completely re-built. The resort's convention center, if I recall, still maintains a similar structure in use today.

I think the bar that Worden made reference to at the old Hilton was the Pieces of Eight Lounge near the motor inn's romantic Gaucho Steak Room.

During the Cape/Hilton days, the Norm Schooping Trio, with Norm at the piano, was one of the most popular Space Coast beach entertainment spots.


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