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The Town of Belleair, in its decision to separate from the city of Clearwater, incorporated in 1925 following the development of its first subdivision in 1924 as tourism boomed attracting golfers and businessmen. However, Belleair's resort-town roots can be traced back to 1896 when the Belleview Hotel was built by railroad magnate, Henry B. Plant on a bluff located south of Clearwater which had its grand opening in January of 1897.
The Belleview Hotel offered many amenities of rustic living to their affluent guests including golfing, horseback riding skeet shooting, bicycling and yachting. Due to the high demand by World War I, the Belleview's original nine-hole sand green golf course created in 1897 was expanded to two of Florida's first 18-hole grass green courses which, of course, is the Belleair Country Club, Florida's first golf course. The Belleview Hotel's name was changed to the Belleview Biltmore Hotel subsequent to its purchase in 1920 by international sportsman and owner of the Biltmore chain of hotels, John McEntee Bowman. This grand hotel it doors in 2009.
Florida's first land boom came to an early and sudden end with the stock market crash of 1929 which, of course, impacted Belleair's growth, similarly. With the hotel being re-purposed as a military training post in the 1940's, World War II brought new life to the town.
With such storied beginnings, newlywed veterans settled down in Belleair as the war concluded which revitalized the boom. Although Belleair has since gone through much growth it has maintained the same small-town charm and community spirit which differentiates itself from other areas.
Subsequent to World War II and Pearl Harbor, the Eagles Nest Japanese Gardens which had been a popular tourist attraction was closed in 1952 due to the decreased appeal of Japanese attractions as well as public interest and developed into the Eagles Nest subdivision.
This once opulent hotel was left to decay until it was purchased in 2014 and demolished except for the main part of the hotel which underwent an extensive 4-year, $13 million restoration to take a step back in time with the opening of the 35 room Belleview Inn in December 2018.