Commissioners unanimously passed an inducement resolution last month which reflected the board was unified in its support of the first phase of the project, a 350-room Westin Hotel to be constructed on the property, according to Foxhall owner Harrison Merrill Sr.
“What we hope is that first hotel, with construction we hope to begin in the next 12 to 16 months, would be followed by other hotels to be built in the next 10 to 12 years on this property,” he said.
The Westin Hotel is a $135 million project of which Merrill has approached the commission about backing the project with $35 million in bonds.
The commission has stated it supported the project but not yet voted to back the bond issue.
In return for the county backing the project, Foxhall would give the Development Authority of Douglas County ownership of a planned attached conference and exhibition center at the site, in addition to infrastructure improvements.
If Merrill is able to secure the needed private funding for the hotel project, approximately $100 million, he would likely return to the board of commissioners and ask the county to back the bond issue.
Merrill said the Westin Hotel, which is the first phase of the project, would generate $5.4 million in Douglas County taxes.
“Foxhall is 25 minutes from the world’s busiest airport but, when you are here, you feel as through you are 250 miles from civilization,” he said, in reference to Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
He called the Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club the first urban sporting club of its kind in the country which has been six years in the making. The facility is on the Chattahoochee River in the county’s mostly rural southeast corner near the Fairplay community.
Harrison Merrill Jr., chairman of the board of the Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club, said the goal of the project is “to provide people with a better quality of life.”
“We want Foxhall to be a location where people, both residents and visitors to Douglas and surrounding counties, will want to come out and visit,” he said.
Merrill Jr. said he has seen a rather unique situation developing now where people do not have just one hobby, like golf, but multiple interests.
“Our ambition here at Foxhall is to be a location where people can do a variety of activities, like target shooting at the Beretta Club, golf, nature walks, fishing or just about any hobby they want to pursue and be able to do it in one location,” Merrill Jr. said.