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Historic hotel in Destin demolished to make room for new resort

DESTIN, Fla. -- It's out with the old and in with the new in Destin.

The iconic Hawaii-Kai Hotel is being torn down.

The hotel was the original high rise of Destin. It was the happening place for weddings and parties. But it's history now.

Piece by piece, crews are tearing down the former Hawaii-Kai Hotel.

Many people remember the landmark and the revolving restaurant at the top. It was the place to be and be seen.

"I used to go and we liked that place," said Anastas Pazevic.

Once the building is gone, a new resort will rise in its place.  It will have larger rooms overlooking the Gulf, a lazy river, and private cabanas by the pool.

"We really feel we're creating a gem on the Gulf Coast. Truly unique resort," said General manager Joe Farley.

Tearing down the iconic building was not an easy decision.

"It was going to cost us as much to build a brand new building."

Some people who live nearby are sad to see this piece of Destin history fade to dust.

"I guess we have to be ready for that," said Sondra Pace.

It will take about 4 weeks to finish tearing down the building. The new resort should open its doors spring of 2015.