Expansions & Renovations

Nearly 1,000 New Hotel Rooms Expands Sarasota County's Accommodation and Meeting Space Offerings

SARASOTA, FL. August 7, 2017 – A surge of new hotel openings will add 1,112 new hotel rooms to Sarasota County’s accommodation offerings within a two-year span of time. The majority of these hotel rooms will be located in the downtown center of Sarasota within walking distance of restaurants, Sarasota Bay, and arts and cultural offerings.

“We have not had this many new hotels open in such a short span of time in more than a decade,” says Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota. “With expanded sporting events, cultural offerings and meetings, there is a demand for more hotel rooms. I am optimistic that our expanded sales efforts during the past several years will keep these hotels full year-round. VSC has initiated a robust plan to aggressively market these new and existing rooms in inventory.”

Just opened on July 28, 2017, the 255-room Westin Sarasota brings 26,000 square feet of upscale meeting space and a rooftop pool and bar area to Sarasota. The Westin Sarasota joins the recently opened Zota on Longboat Key. The Zota offers 187 rooms and with approximately 5,000 square feet of meeting space, making it ideal for corporate retreats and programs.

Art Ovation Hotel an Autograph Collection by Marriott is scheduled to open a 162-room property with two suites and several on-site restaurants in November 2017 and in early 2018 The Embassy Suites by Hilton will open a 19-floor property offering 180 suites. Carlisle Inn, in the heart of Pinecraft, an Amish and Mennonite community within the City of Sarasota, will open its first hotel with nearly 100 rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting space in late 2017. Finally, The Sarasota Modern:A Tribune Portfolio Hotel with 89 rooms is slated to open in 2018 in the trendy Rosemary District of downtown.

These additional hotels join the 139-room Aloft Sarasota which opened in downtown Sarasota in early 2016. The Aloft offers 550 square feet of flexible Sarasota meeting space.

About Sarasota County

Located on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a diverse array of culinary experiences, a circus heritage unlike no other in the world and a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the clear waters and the great outdoors. Sarasota County provides a beach getaway with numerous sprawling, white-sand beaches, including Siesta Beach, named the Trip Advisors’ People’s Choice Award for “Best Beach” and the “Best Beach in America” by Dr. Beach in 2017. In 2017, Sarasota County’s Nathan Benderson Park will host the 2017 World Rowing Championships—the first United States destination to host the event in more than 20 years. For more information on visiting Sarasota County, visit www.visitsarasota.org or call (800) 522-9799.

Media Contact:
Jenna Archambault
Public Relations Intern
NJF Public Relations

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.