Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air plans to spend up to $600 million to build a beachfront resort with a hotel, marina and nine condominium buildings in southwest Florida.
Allegiant plans to start construction of the development, called Sunseeker Resort, by mid-2018 on a 22-acre site in Port Charlotte.
Allegiant’s president, John Redmond, is a former Las Vegas hotel executive who expects the resort development to fit well with the airline’s operations.
Redmond told the Las Vegas Journal-Review that the resort project in southwest Florida “is an amazing opportunity for us because our airline caters to nothing but leisure customers.”
Redmond took over as Allegiant’s president about a year ago after serving as CEO of MGM Grand Resorts and as a board member of the Tropicana Las Vegas. He also held executive positions at Caesars World Inc.
Allegiant expects to open its planned resort in Port Charlotte by early 2020.
Preliminary prices for condos at the planned resort range from $650,000 for an 880-square-foot unit with one bedroom to $1.1 million for a 1,520-square-foot unit with three bedrooms.
The 22-acre development site in Port Charlotte, which Redmond personally assembled, is within six miles of the Punta Gorda Airport, where Allegiant is the sole carrier.
United Airlines and American Airlines launched hotel ventures that performed poorly, according to aviation consultant Mike Boyd, who runs Boyd Group International.
Virgin America has been more fortunate. The airline opened a boutique hotel in Chicago in 2015 and plans to open additional hotels in Nashville and New York.
Running an airline and a hotel may seem like “a perfect match, but it’s not,” Boyd told the Review-Journal. “We’ve seen mostly failure when airlines get into the hotel business.” [Las Vegas Journal-Review] – Mike Seemuth