The St. Joe Company Plans to Open 5 New Hotels in The First Half of 2023 Adding 646 Keys to Portfolio
The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) ("St. Joe") anticipates completing and opening five new hotels in the first half of 2023. These hotels include The Lodge 30A, an 85-room boutique hotel located on Scenic Highway 30A that opened in February.
Over the next four months the Company anticipates opening the 255-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton Panama City Beach Resort; the waterfront 124-room Hotel Indigo Panama City Marina; the 107-room Home2 Suites by Hilton Santa Rosa Beach; and Camp Creek Inn, a 75-room boutique hotel overlooking Camp Creek golf course. Once complete, these properties will more than double the number of available hotel rooms in St. Joe's portfolio, from 531 to 1,177 rooms.
As detailed in St. Joe's recently released Full Year 2022 Results, hospitality revenue increased by 29% to a single year record of $97.2 million in 2022, as compared to $75.3 million in 2021. The company's planned hotel openings in 2023 will increase the number of available rooms by 122%, and represent the potential for continued strong growth in recurring revenue.
Two of the new hotel properties are located within Florida's famed Scenic Highway 30A area, where the Company has seen strong historical demand at its three boutique hotel properties (The Pearl Hotel, WaterColor Inn, and Watersound Inn). With the addition of Camp Creek Inn and The Lodge 30A, St. Joe will grow its significant hotel presence in this area. Just west of Scenic Highway 30A, Home2 Suites by Hilton Santa Rosa Beach will offer convenient access to the 30A corridor, as well as the vast, undeveloped beaches and natural areas of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, and the plentiful activities of the popular Sandestin and Destin areas. These hotels are well positioned to answer the high demand already apparent in South Walton, where in 2021 5.4 million visitors generated an annual economic impact of over $7 billion.
In Panama City Beach, Florida, St. Joe plans to open a Gulf-front Embassy Suites by Hilton Panama City Beach Resort adjacent to the popular Pier Park shopping and lifestyle center. This resort is well situated to take advantage of the area's year-round appeal, where a combination of the world-famous beaches and a popular lineup of events helped to generate nearly 20 million total visitor days in 2021, for over $3 billion in total visitor spending.
Likewise, the Hotel Indigo Panama City Marina will enjoy pride of place as the only hotel in downtown Panama City's historic waterfront district, with commanding views of both St. Andrew Bay and downtown Panama City's walkable central business and entertainment district. The Hotel Indigo Panama City Marina will feature a 5th floor sky bar to take advantage of the beautiful waterfront views, as well as a restaurant on the first floor that will offer guests breakfast, lunch and dinner.
An indicator of the area's growth can be seen in recent passenger counts at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP). The airport reported seeing 1.5 million passengers in 2022, which represents a 19% increase over passenger numbers in 2019. In 2021 Simply Flying ranked the airport among the top 4 US airports in terms of capacity growth.
"Northwest Florida is seeing more visitors from more parts of the country than ever before," said Andrew Czarnecki, Vice President of Resort Operations at The St. Joe Company. "The hotels that we plan to complete in 2023 are well-positioned to meet that demand and we are excited to see them come to fruition."
St. Joe has additional projects across other business segments that are expected to be complete in 2023 and beyond.