Hawks Cay Resort and the island of Duck Key have led many lives throughout the years. From the Key’s first mention in recorded history to weathering hurricanes and renovations, and even hosting a couple of presidents, our slice of paradise has stood the test of time. The development of the Hawks Cay Resort as we know it today began in the 1950s, but its story starts in the 1800s when the first family settled on Duck Key. While we look forward to welcoming guests for decades to come, take a look back at how we got here.
British General George Gauld names the island Duck Key in his chart of the Florida Keys. The name comes from the shape of the island, which resembles a duck’s head when viewed from above.1775
Duck Key is gifted to Spain by the English as a token of appreciation for their assistance in the war.1814
The Honorable Charles Howe buys Duck Key for approximately $1,700. He later begins salt production on the island, producing around 40,000 bushels of salt a year for transport to Key West.1827
The famous Labor Day hurricane hits Duck Key, putting an end to salt production.1937
Real estate developer Bryan Newkirk purchases Duck Key for $4 million dollars, roughly $173 million to today’s standards, and builds the first Indies Inn and 9-hole golf course. He also builds the present-day canals and fills in much of the marshes and mangroves, nearly tripling the land size of Duck Key.1951
A wooden bridge is built to connect Duck Key to the Florida Keys causeway in 1951, with the completion of US1 following in 1953.1951-1953
Acclaimed architect Morris Lapidus is brought in to design the hotel in the West Indies fashion. He adds individual touches throughout the hotel, including the circular dining pavilion, and the Indies Inn is born.1955
While the hotel went through various iterations to this point, by 1963 the Indies Inn had become a gala resort worthy of a visit from a former president. Harry Truman stays at the resort with his family, vowing to remain “as long as my money holds out.” The island’s main bridge is named in his honor. Two more presidents would later stay at the Indies Inn.1963
The Pompano Beach Barrington Group buys Duck Key and renovates the existing Indies Inn, reopening the hotel as Hawks Cay Resort.1984
Hawks Cay undergoes a $50 million renovation. In addition to the new Overseas Ballroom, 295 villas are added to the resort, allowing for more visitors.1999
The Calm Water Spa and Indies Club Recreation Center—now known as Coral Cay Adventure Club—are added to the property. The marina and conference facilities are also renovated.2003
Hawks Cay Resort executes approximately $56 million of renovations, transitioning the tropical theme to a West Indies-inspired design concept seen throughout the rest lobby, guest rooms and villas.
Hawks Cay introduces the Heroes Salute Program in 2008, honoring the nation's heroes with discounted rates, special offers and a tribute weekend filled with family-friendly events.2008
In 2008, Hawks Cay Resort becomes the title sponsor for the renowned sport fishing show, Saltwater Experience. Known for world-class fishing and its full-service marina, Hawks Cay becomes the homebase for Captains Rowland and Tudor after days of Florida Keys fishing.2008
New ownership initiated a multi-phase renovation that concluded with the opening of Angler & Ale, the waterfront marina restaurant, in May of 2016. The restaurant added a new casual dining outlet focused on fresh Florida Keys seafood.
Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on September 10, 2017 and devastated the resort, resulting in a year-long closure. During this time, Hawks Cay underwent a $50 million renovation and redevelopment.
The reimagined Hawks Cay Resort reopened with the #HawksCayRises campaign on August 30, 2018, featuring a new coastal casual design, two new restaurants, expanded adults-only area, and upgraded programming and amenities.
After a whirlwind 2020, Hawks Cay welcomes back guests with a new music series, Keys to Country. Highly acclaimed artists including Lee Brice and Easton Corbin perform sold out shows at our island venue.2021