That's not a beach ball, it's radar equipment

The Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Fla

Vacations take many forms. Some even include an itinerary with a social conscience. But hotel guests at the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn Resort are in for something entirely different.

Atop the hotel is what appears to be a very large beach ball. But upon further inspection, underneath that shiny, beachy veneer is military equipment.

More specifically, it's a rooftop station designed to receive radar signals. It also houses a secure conference room for meetings. 

To the vacationers, it's like any other resort, but to the military, it's Eglin Air Force Range Test Site A5 -- The military allowed the new hotel to be built on its land to raise money in an era of tight Pentagon budgets. 

Though, guests probably won't notice anything out of the ordinary -- access to the beach ball will be limited to very few people.

At most, the giant beach ball/military base makes for an interesting photo op.

 

About the author

Tobin Low is part of the digital team for Marketplace.

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