PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. – A resort destination cherished by generations for nearly 50 years launches as the new Sandpiper Bay Resort. New local ownership Altitude Hospitality selected OTH Hotels Resorts, an emerging hotel management company with a diverse portfolio, to oversee the conversion of the iconic property – formerly the Club Med Sandpiper Bay – which is recognized as a mainstay of Port St. Lucie tourism with visitors from both domestic and international markets. Briefly closed to resort guests at the end of this summer as the property changed ownership, Sandpiper Bay Resort will reopen this month as part of the Trademark® Collection by Wyndham, with plans for a full-scale renovation to the 307-room, 216-acre property. One of the very first resorts to open in the Palm Beach area, the activity-filled retreat is idolized as the only all-inclusive resort for families and active corporate groups in North America.
“Sandpiper has a storied history as a beloved, active and attainable vacation destination where families and groups choose to return year after year,” says Todd Felsen, CEO & President, OTH Hotels Resorts. “Altitude Academies, a subsidiary of the new locally based ownership group, brought its wide array of sports education and experiences to guests of the resort more than 13 years ago, so it was a natural evolution for their parent company – Altitude International Holdings, Inc. - to purchase the property. OTH Hotels Resorts is pleased to bring the Wyndham flag to this celebrated Florida destination while creating a significant economic impact in the region as we hire and onboard more than 400 employees at the new resort, ultimately creating both the product and level of service discerning guests seek.”
Bringing a notable background in property renovations and re-brandings, OTH will oversee the extensive transformation. With $25 million slated to be invested in Phase One, the waterfront hotel will see a complete refresh. All guestrooms will get a full makeover with modern new furnishings, fixtures and designs and impressive updates are planned to the on-site golf course and driving range, tennis and pickleball courts, volleyball courts, soccer fields – countless sports offerings supported by Altitude Academies for property guests and Academy students alike. In addition, the marina and the additional amenities of the full-service, all-inclusive resort will be updated through the process with expected completion over the next two years. The resort will remain open to guests throughout the renovation.
Zel Capital Partners represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. Zel Capital’s unique Sale Leaseback Platform allowed Altitude Hospitality to conserve their equity, reduce equity dilution with less partners and acquire financing rapidly.
“Working with both Altitude and OTH was a combined joint effort, a master class in financial modeling, strategic planning and franchise negotiations. We had an extremely tight window of just seven weeks from Letter of Intent to close for such a large and complex transaction. The dedication and teamwork necessary to get this deal across the finish line was beyond impressive,” said Stephen Y. Schwanz, President and CEO, ZEL Capital Partners.
“OTH is thrilled to be a part of this remarkable deal with Altitude Hospitality,” says Felsen. “We look forward to a long, fruitful partnership with our ownership team, while bringing Wyndham to the table to create an undoubtably unique experience for guests.”
“The new Sandpiper Bay Resort will be a world-class hub for hospitality, sports and education opportunities,” said Gregory Breunich, chief executive officer of Altitude International Holdings. “The property rebranding and repositioning promises this destination’s continued status as a favorite and will enable even more growth for our sports academy, ultimately providing a positive local economic impact and bringing long-term value to our shareholders.”