After 18 years flying as an airline for the price conscious, Allegiant Travel Co. wants to add real estate development to its list of corporate activities. The company is embarking on an audacious plan to build a 22-acre resort compound with a hotel, condominiums, bars, and restaurants on the Florida Gulf Coast in Port Charlotte.
The real estate offshoot, called Sunseeker Resorts, will have a 75-room hotel, along with about 720 condo units, ranging from $650,000 to $1.1 million based on size. The property, when finished in late 2019 or 2020, will also include North America’s largest private-resort swimming pool.
Longer term, Allegiant wants to tout its success with the Sunseeker property as a bid to begin managing other leisure-destination hotels for fees, further diversifying its revenue, President John Redmond said Tuesday. It also sees lucrative opportunities in developing new food and beverage brands and restaurants it can use at other locations, plus meeting and banquet space, a marina with boat slip leases, and the ability of owners to rent their condos as part of the hotel operation.
All this new business development is, of course, far afield from the core operation of running an 88-jet airline with nationwide, less-than-daily service from small burgs to leisure destinations in Florida, Las Vegas, and Phoenix—a model that has proved wildly profitable. The airline is simultaneously working this summer to improve its operational reliability, which suffered earlier this year, while also shifting to an all-Airbus fleet by 2020.
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