Soundside Lodging facility opens after two years of construction
By Senior Airman Ryan Whitney , 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 31, 2010
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The newest lodging facility at Hurlburt Field, collocated with the Soundside Club, opened March 28 after two years of construction.
The new facility has two floors housing 120 rooms, bringing the total of Hurlburt visiting quarters from 123 to 243. Included in the 120 rooms are seven handicapped-disability-accessible rooms.
"Soundside Lodging was built to the most recent Air Force standards designed to standardize the lodging facilities across the Air Force," said John Davey, 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron lodging manager. "The new standard keeps a familiar feel to the rooms across the Air Force, so when Airmen go on [temporary duty] they will know what to expect and how everything operates."
One of the biggest changes under the Air Force standard for lodging facilities is to equip each room with its own bathroom, as opposed to the older Commando Inn and Air Force facilities, where two rooms are connected via a shared bathroom.
All of the rooms are equipped with a 32-inch high-definition TV, miniature refrigerator, microwave, phone, coffeemaker, wireless internet, iron and ironing board. There are also washers and dryers located on each floor.
One new addition to the rooms at Soundside Lodging is the inclusion of wireless internet, free of charge to the customer. For those who do not own a computer with wireless internet capabilities, there is also a business room with two computers that offers unrestricted access to the internet.
"A majority of our customers here are Airmen on TDY status," Mr. Davey said. "We want to make sure they have everything they need to be able to do the job that they came to Hurlburt to do."
The Soundside also follows strict energy-efficiency guidelines to reduce the power consumed by the facility and its patrons, as well as conserving natural resources like water.
The Laundry rooms, located on each floor, contain four washers and dryers that consume less energy, and reduce the amount of water used throughout their lifespan. The building also features certain areas with motion-sensing lights that automatically shut-off when no one is present, as well as energy efficient lighting in all areas.
"Air Force lodging is not a profit-making business," Mr. Davey said. "We try to keep our prices as low as possible by saving money where we can. That way we can return the savings to the customers."
Although Air Force lodging facilities are now standardized, the Soundside facility offers a few things that customers can't get at most other lodging facilities. One such item is a cardio fitness rooms, including treadmills and stationary bicycles. A "Richenbachers" coffee house is also located near the front desk, offering customers access to gourmet coffees.
The Soundside Lodging is also collocated with the Soundside Club, making Hurlburt the only place both services organizations are located in the same building.
"We work independently of each other, but the convenience of being able to use the business center or club rooms in the same building is something no other club can boast," Mr. Davey said.
For more information, contact the Lodging facility desk at 850-581-1627.