Margaritaville moves ahead with new resorts

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The pool deck at Margaritaville’s new Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound in Bradenton, Fla.
The pool deck at Margaritaville’s new Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound in Bradenton, Fla.

Despite a challenging landscape, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts is moving full speed ahead on expansion.

"Fortunately, the team at Margaritaville has been very busy despite the pandemic," said COO Brad Schwaeble. "Our pipeline plans have not been impacted greatly, aside from minor construction delays while shelter-in-place orders occurred."

Among the group's additions is the Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound, which opened in Bradenton, Fla., on July 15 as the inaugural outpost of the brand's Compass by Margaritaville flag. 

Unveiled in 2018, the Compass spinoff is billed as a more intimate, smaller-footprint Margaritaville hotel concept.

The Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound spans 123 guestrooms, all featuring water views. Amenities include a Provisions grab-and-go retail store as well as two dining venues: the Floridays Woodfire Grill & Bar, which serves up seafood, salads and steaks alongside a selection of signature cocktails and craft beer; and the Compass Bar and Chill near the hotel's outdoor pool.

"Compass by Margaritaville is designed for on-the-go travelers, rather than consumers looking to spend a week or more with us," Schwaeble explained. 

He added that the concept is a particularly strong fit for "newbuilds, adaptive reuse and conversion projects in smaller leisure markets, vibrant downtown hubs and college towns." Two additional locations, the Compass Hotel Beaufort in North Carolina and the Compass Hotel Louisville in Kentucky, are slated to open next year.

Concurrently, Margaritaville is continuing to expand its core hotel and resort brand. The brand's first Texas resort, the Margaritaville Lake Resort Lake Conroe — Houston, opened June 26.

Situated on 186 acres of waterfront property, the resort has 303 all-suite guestrooms and 32 cottages. The extensive array of amenities includes five bars and restaurants, 72,000 square feet of conference space, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, five pools and a 3-acre waterpark.

The property is roughly an hour's drive north from downtown Houston, targeting demand for drive-to leisure travel offerings in more rural and traditional resort markets. 

"Margaritaville Lake Resort was an obvious location for us, as being outdoors is a key element of our brand DNA," Schwaeble said.

Margaritaville, however, isn't shying away from plans to make more urban forays. On the heels of opening its first city hotel in Nashville in December, the brand remains bullish on New York, where it plans to open the Margaritaville Resort New York in Times Square this winter.

According to Schwaeble, the company was originally scouting the Big Apple for a single restaurant space but stumbled upon a location better suited for an entire resort. The 234-room, 29-story property will feature multiple Margaritaville dining concepts, retail space and a year-round, heated rooftop pool. 

"The upcoming New York property offers the same features our guests know and love, served up in a different way," Schwaeble said. "Most of our resorts are horizontal, with many amenities spread throughout. Knowing real estate is harder to come by in New York, we've made this a vertical resort, with dining concepts overlooking the cityscapes. Our goal is to spread the Margaritaville lifestyle far and wide, whether it be on lakes or beaches, in mountains or in the city."

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