Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach has new managing partner
By Steve Huettel, Times Staff Writer
Ocean Properties also owns a nearby property, the former Adam's Mark hotel site on Clearwater Beach.
The Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach has a new managing partner, one that owns a site for a new hotel nearby.
Ocean Properties Ltd. bought a 50 percent stake in the luxury hotel Thursday from Greenfield Partners of Norwalk, Conn., which provided funding to build the 3-year-old hotel, said Michael Cheezem, CEO of JMC Communities of St. Petersburg.
JMC developed the Sandpearl and still owns a share of the resort along with Cheezem and the Hunter family of Clearwater Beach.
Ocean Properties and its affiliates own and manage more than 100 hotels in the United States and Canada, including a Treasure Island Residence Inn and a SpringHill Suites in Tampa.
The Sandpearl opened in 2007 as the first new beach resort in Tampa Bay in 25 years. The hotel has 253 rooms and features a spa, two restaurants and a lagoon-style pool. It was among just four Pinellas hotels to earn a four-diamond AAA rating for 2010. No hotel in the county scored higher.
The company is taking over management of the Sandpearl from Coral Hospitality with "very few personnel changes," said Cheezem. Otherwise, the change in ownership should be invisible to guests, he said.
Sandpearl will keep the same name and continue operating without a major hotel brand affiliation. Keeping rooms filled can be a tough job without the worldwide reservations systems and customer loyalty programs brands provide. But the Sandpearl has performed well as an independent property unfettered by standards imposed by hotel chains, said Cheezem.
"We've been committed since day one to create a unique and very special hotel environment," he said. "We have a level of personalized service and community involvement that brands don't have the flexibility to do."
No one at the Ocean Properties headquarters in Delray Beach was available to talk about the transaction Friday. Cheezem said he couldn't disclose how much the company paid for its stake in the property.
In 2007, Ocean Properties bought the former Adam's Mark hotel site in Clearwater Beach. The company's plans for a 230-room hotel on the 2.5 acres stalled as financing for hotel projects dried up.
Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard hopes the company's new stake in the Sandpearl will hasten its development of another luxury property on the old Adam's Mark site when construction financing loosens up.
"They have a depth of experience and (strength) in the financial sense, too," he said. "You need to have deep pockets and experience both."
Steve Huettel can be reached at email@example.com.
On Friday, December 3, 2010, Courtyard by Marriott Key Largo will begin welcoming guests to the newly renovated, 91-room property at Mile Marker 100 in The Florida Keys.Formerly the Ramada Resort & Marina Key Largo, the new Courtyard by Marriott Key Largo is operated by the newly appointed General Manager Greg McDonnell, who has also overseen the renovation and been on-site for the entire conversion.
“The Courtyard by Marriott Key Largo is a great addition to our family of resorts and hotels, and a wonderful presence in The Keys,” stated Andy Berger, Vice President of Operations for Ocean Properties, Ltd. “The hotel offers all the best of The Keys, with the added appeal of the stellar guest service and full-service amenities associated with the Courtyard name.”
The three-story property boasts the trendy design and layout associated with Courtyard by Marriott.Well-known features include the 52-inch touch-screen GoBoard™; Eat, Drink, Connect Bistro with breakfast and dinner items; Starbucks coffee all day; Media Room; Business Library and complimentary WiFi throughout the resort.All newly renovated and over-sized guest rooms feature new carpeting, lighting, sofas and chairs, artwork and plush linens.In-room amenities include a 32-inch LCD flat-panel, high-definition television, mini refrigerator, and coffee makers, to list just a few.All rooms also feature private balconies overlooking the marina or with pool views. Outdoor pleasures include a heated freshwater pool and man-made beach. Upgrades to the pool and Jacuzzi area include all new furniture and renovated restrooms.Additional amenities include complimentary covered self parking and a 24-hour fitness center.
With a 77-slip deep-water marina right next door, guests can also take advantage of daily deep sea and back country fishing, glass bottom boat cruises, and dive and snorkel trips. Located in the upper Keys, the hotel is just 55 miles south of Miami, 100 miles from Key West, and minutes from John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Everglades National Park, and Dolphin Encounters.
A graduate from Boston University’s School of Hospitality, General Manager Greg McDonnell has managed properties for OPL since 2007 in Maine and Key West.
For more information and reservations, call (305) 451-3939 or toll-free (866) 384-2873, or visit www.marriott.com/mthcy.
About Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott is the leading select-service hotel brand in the United States.Providing guests with a combination of casual comfort and time saving services, Courtyard hotels feature large, functional guest rooms and are conveniently situated where people travel.All Courtyards now offer free high-speed internet service to guests.Locations range from airports and office parks to downtown areas and recreational destinations.Several locations feature revitalized historical buildings.Courtyard has more than 700 hotels worldwide, including properties in the U.K., Germany and China.Courtyard participates in the company’s award-winning Marriott Rewards® frequent guest program.Members earn their choice of points toward free vacations or frequent flyer mileage for dollars spent at more than 2,500 Marriott hotels worldwide.
Key TV's Margit Bisztray with a Key West Dining Tip. Latitudes restaurant at Sunset Key Guest Cottages offers an upscale, yet casual, setting with indoor and alfresco beachfront dining overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Readers and professional Meeting Planners were asked to vote for their favorite locations to conduct business and The Westin Key West Resort & Marina won top honors for 2009 for the South! The resort was presented a plaque honoring its selection as the 'Best Meetings Planner Venue in the South'. Congratulations to the entire Key West Westin Team!
Hollywood Beach Marriott Executive Chef Ron Duprat is sharpening his knives, saying good-bye to Hollywood’s sandy shores – temporarily – and heading to the city of neon lights to prove his culinary talent on Bravo’s “Top Chef: Las Vegas,” which premieres August 19, 2009 at 9 p.m.
This fall, Duprat will compete against 16 contestants in Bravo’s sixth season of the number one food show on cable television. The “cheftestants” will battle in a series of elimination challenges to test their basic culinary abilities, innovativeness, and, most of all, their ability to outperform the competition and take home the impressive title of “Top Chef.”
“We are not surprised with Chef Duprat’s selection for Top Chef,” stated Hollywood Beach Marriott General Manager Josh Morris. “His incredible culinary technique and outstanding personality will undoubtedly make him a favorite on the show.”
A native of Haiti, Duprat began cooking alongside his grandmother as a means of survival on the island – fishing the waters and gathering fresh produce from their garden. Following his passion for cooking, Duprat studied at some of the most innovative culinary schools in the world, including the College Aimee Cesaire and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine. He has also collaborated with such greats as Emeril Lagasse, Adam Savage, Ingrid Hoffman, and Pierre Doussan, to name just a few.
Absorbing the flavors and culture from his worldly travels, Duprat has combined these tastes with his own Haitian-Creole influences to create unique, flavorful menus for Heads of State, various dignitaries and world-class resort guests. A few of his signature dishes include, fresh ahi tuna served with a sweet orange mint dipping sauce; jumbo scallops with sweet chili tahini sauce and a watermelon and avocado slaw; rasta pasta with Caribbean jerk chicken; and his signature flourless chocolate cake.
After an extensive period with The Montauk Yacht Club in Long Island, NY, Chef Duprat joined the executive team at Ocean Properties, where he is currently. Located along the sandy shores of Florida’s east coast, the warm atmosphere is the perfect location for Duprat’s ever-changing menu of fresh seafood, steaks, and other entrees, all created with a touch of island flair.
Chef Duprat resides in Hollywood Beach, Fla., and is a member of the Black Culinarians Association, The American Culinary Federation, Real Men Charities, Flipany non-profit organization, and the College of Culinary Arts in Miami, Fla.