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Business Observer Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022 2 months ago

Towering cranes fall on Port Charlotte resort construction site

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Sunseeker Resort officials are assessing damage after Hurricane Ian knocked down two cranes.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

Two of the five massive cranes used in the construction of the Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor were knocked down during Hurricane Ian.

The company, in a Thursday statement, says construction crews “took significant precautions prior to the storm but are aware that with the intense winds and flooding” the cranes fell.

“We will take the coming days to assess the damage to the resort’s construction site.”

The Port Charlotte resort is being built by Allegiant Travel Co. The company paid around $35 million for the 24-acre site for Sunseeker in 2017.

Construction on the $618 million Sunseeker resort has already come to a standstill once before. In March 2020 the company halted work because of COVID-19. At the time, phase one of the project was about one-third complete.

The closure wound up lasting 17 months.

Construction started back up late last year and early this year the resort began taking reservations for a May 2023 opening. Also this year, a 50-by-10-foot rooftop spa — which measures 1140 cubic feet, weighs 19,863 pounds and will hold 11,000 gallons of water — was installed.

Something else that has gone up is the price tag, rising from a reported $510 million in August 2021 to $618 million according to a first quarter earnings report in May. The company blamed the cost increase on inflationary pressures and supply chain issues.

For now, and likely for days to come, it is unclear how long construction will be delayed and if the storm will push back the resort’s opening.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian,” the company says in the statement, “our first priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our team members on the ground in the Charlotte, Arcadia, Lee and Sarasota counties.”

 When it is complete, Sunseeker is expected to have 785 rooms, two pools, a spa and salon, a 117,000-square-foot “ground level experience,” an adults-only rooftop retreat, 60,000 square feet of meeting space, a harbor walk and an 18-hole golf course.

Included in the room mix will be 189 luxury one- to three-bedroom suites that will range in size from 875 square feet to 1,700 square feet and come with chef-level kitchens, private balconies and separate check-in, services and private lounges. The company calls this hotel-within-a-hotel concept Sunsuites.

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