Daytona Beach, FL - One of the Daytona Beach area's newest and more controversial hotel projects gets some national recognition.
The Hard Rock Hotel on State Road A1A in Daytona Beach is named a "Four Diamond" hotel by AAA, the first year the hotel has made the list.
AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins says the Hard Rock - which became one of the beachside's biggest symbols of blight when it was known as the Desert Inn - is the only hotel in Daytona Beach to make the list.
"Florida truly has something for everyone, and that includes some of the best hotels and resorts in the world," Jenkins added. "When Florida residents and visitors want the ultimate combination of luxury, beauty and elegance, they can find it at Four and Five Diamond properties."
The only other hotel in Volusia and Flagler counties to make the "Four Diamond" list is the Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, which has been on that list every year since 2014.
Only ten hotels in the Sunshine State were chosen as "Five Diamond" by AAA, its highest ranking. None of those are in the Volusia/Flagler area.
The Hard Rock's inclusion comes after Volusia County allowed its developer to ban vehicles from entering its beachfront area, eventually leading to a lawsuit from "Sons Of The Beach", a local group dedicated to preserving vehicular access to the beach.
That lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice by Sons Of The Beach last October, according to Volusia County court records.