The good news: Pacifica Companies has struck a deal to bring the Cohn Restaurant Group to a ground floor restaurant at Pier South.
The bad news: The date for the $28 million hotel to open has been pushed back yet again.
"It looks like about July is when we'll open, so we'll probably do a hiring event in the beginning of June, but right now I can't give a definite cause there's not a definite opening date at this time," said Pacifica Companies Director of Human Resources Regan Gralinski about a job fair.
Approximately 55 to 60 people will be hired to staff the hotel a month before it opens, Gralinski said.
It's safe to say the hotel will open by mid-summer but a firm date will not be set until more pieces of the project fall into place, said Pacifica Director of Planning Allison Rolfe.
"At this point, because of our past history I don't even want to say end of June because it will give people an expectation that it may or may not happen," she said.
Major exterior construction is finished and a model room has been completed, but the inside of the hotel is still bare as Pacifica and Marriott negotiate interior design for common areas, Rolfe said.
Interior lighting has not yet been installed and no furniture, appliances or other equipment have been been moved in or ordered yet.
"Once they come to terms on the common areas they still have to get the material. Even if they agree tomorrow, it takes a lot of time, a couple months sometimes, to get it delivered," Rolfe said.
The delays are not preferred, especially since every month of delay costs the company money, Rolfe said, but Pacifica's attitude is that "we're making an Autograph Collection hotel, so if we're going to do it, we should do it right and take the time."
Among other work that needs to be done before the hotel opens, a website to promote the hotel and advertise job descriptions is scheduled to launch in the coming weeks, she said. The company is still interviewing candidates to select a general manager.
Once materials for the interior arrive local residents can expect to see more activity and 24-hour security.
Since construction started in 2011, signs outside the hotel advertised an August 2012 opening date but that date was pushed back after Pacifica struck a deal to include Pier South in the Marriott Autograph Collection of indendently owned hotels.
Last year the hoteliers forecast an early 2013 opening, and in January the group expected to open by May.
Construction of the hotel was also delayed years but was kickstarted again after the Imperial Beach Redevelopment Agency purchased the property for $7 million and sold it back to Pacifica Companies for $1 in fall 2010.
A job line has been established for interested applicants to inquire about openings. The job line will be updated every two weeks, Rolfe said. Call 619-296-9000 ext. 247 for more information.
Rolfe will give an update on the hotel's progress at an April 17 Imperial Beach City Council meeting.