April 2015; McKillop


This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Marathon for a nice 3 day weekend, the intent of my trip was to visit the Turtle Hospital and the Dolphin Research Center. I booked the Hyatt Place since it was advertised as new, so new the link on Google Maps shows it as an empty lot. We stayed two nights and walked the grounds several times, and dinned in the hotel restaurant. Being a Fire Inspector does have it’s drawbacks for my wife as I am constantly looking at all forms of fire protection and Life Safety features wherever I say or dine. I must say I was very impressed with the design and layout of all Fire Protection features built with this hotel. Especially the design of the waterside pool area and marina. A nice accessible Fire Lane was installed but to the untrained eye it just appears as a nice wide paver walkway. Nice placement of standpipes for the docks and fire hydrants nearby but set back inside the fenced in area for the pool to keep the look and ascetics of the resort. As I walked the fence line looking for a gate to access the hydrants (again Fire Inspector curiosity) I finally realized that the fence was designed with the sections near the fire hydrants to easily lift off giving a much wider assess point that a gate would, very clever. The upgraded fire protection for the onsite gasoline and diesel fuel tanks for the marina was impressive. Manual pull stations at each stairwell on all three floors was a very nice additional safety feature, in my opinion you can never have too many back up ways to alert occupants to an emergency.

Most of the time I come away from my hotel stays with a list of things I saw wrong or lacking that I keep for future reference. This time I came away with a list of things I saw done right and done with occupant safety as the primary goal that i can use in future plan reviews.

The Hyatt Place in Marathon is a very nice hotel with a very nice gourmet quality restaurant, that to most people would just be another nice hotel. To me being a Firefighter and Fire Marshal it is a very nice hotel with exceptional fire safety features that I felt very comfortable staying in.

Excellent job of working with the customer to incorporate the best fire safety features into their establishment, while maintaining the look and astetics of the resort.

The Hyatt Place in Marathon should be the example and standard for other hotels being built to provide the best and safest experience for customers.

You, The City of Marathon Fire Rescue and Hyatt should be proud, Job Well Done.

With all the time I spent looking for fire safety features I still managed to see a beautiful sunset from the nice paver walkway, We will be back for many more visits.

 Jim McKillop
Fire Marshal
City of Indian Harbour Beach