Year-Round Success Stimulates Hotel Investment in Panama City Beach

-More than $300 million in New Builds and Renovations Underway-

            PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., April 13, 2016 – Panama City Beach is in the midst of a seven-year trend of record-breaking tourism success, reporting a direct visitor spend of close to $1.5 billion for 2015, up more than 10-percent over the previous year. This success is catching the eye of major hotel brands including Hilton Worldwide (HLT), Starwood (HOT), Marriott International (MAR) and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), which have recently announced new builds or major renovations of existing properties in Panama City Beach. A recent survey spotlighted more than a dozen projects in the works for the northwest Florida community, easily representing more than $300 million in investment in Panama City Beach.

            “Panama City Beach is poised for tremendous growth over the next three years as the investment community has taken notice of the value available in our scenic Gulf coast communities,” shares Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe. “As we embark on the 80th anniversary this May, I look forward to the continued growth and investment evolving Panama City Beach into a recognized world-class destination.”

            Highlights of current projects include:

  • Innisfree Hotels recently announced a $100 million investment in building a Gulf front 182-room Hampton Inn & Suites to open Spring 2017 within walking distance to Pier Park.
  • The developer is also planning a 200-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott that will include a lazy river and more family-friendly amenities opening in Spring 2018. Both properties are located on beachfront property and are poised to become favorite hotels for future visitors.
  • A $30 million renovation of the Sheraton Bay Point, home to an award-winning Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and the lodging choice for two sitting U.S. presidents visiting the area is currently underway. The resort is scheduled to re-open November 2016.
  • A $16+ million project is underway to build a156-room Holiday Inn Express on Front Beach Road. The hotel is expected to open March 2017.
  • Close to the geographic middle of Panama City Beach, the Frank Brown Park recreation & aquatics center, is undergoing a $4 million upgrade, while plans are moving forward on the east end of the beach to build a 200+ acre, $30 million Sports Park to host additional tournaments.
  • A new Fairfield Inn & Suites under construction near the planned sports park will certainly be a draw for visiting athletes and their families.
  • Plans are also moving forward for a luxury boutique hotel on the west end of Panama City Beach, which is expected to open by winter of 2018.
  • On Front Beach Road, architectural plans have been unveiled for a unique 160-unit, 220-foot tall eco-friendly development by The Continental Group priced at $60-70 million.
  • Nearby, a new 250-unit, 22-story Calypso Resort & Towers III will appeal to the growing year-round visitor market and is directly adjacent to the popular Pier Park shopping and lifestyle center.
  • Also on Front Beach Road, the family owned Bikini Beach Resort Motel was purchased for $7.3 million by an investment group with plans to renovate and place under third-party management.
  • Likewise, the Beach Tower sold to By the Sea Resorts for $5.3 million, and has been rebranded as Beach Tower By The Sea.
  • Other major construction projects moving forward in Panama City Beach include a Best Western, a new Panama City Beach Public Works building, and a new Panama City Beach Police Department headquarters.

            “New construction, investment in infrastructure and a wide-range of retail additions is apparent on an afternoon drive in almost any direction from the heart of Panama City Beach,” continues Rowe. “I am proud that so many businesses share my sunny forecast for the future of Panama City Beach.”

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