ST. PETERSBURG BEACH — A slice of sand and sunshine along Gulf Boulevard is where owners of the TradeWinds Hotel want to build their newest property, a proposed 12-story, 217-room hotel complete with multi story parking garage, timeshare sales office, spa and fitness center.
“I think any time you’re at the beach, anything new is really good,” said Butch Lewis visiting with his wife from North Carolina.
“There are some [hotels] that really need some work,” said Lewis after driving from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater. “I think anything you can do to update and keep it updated is going to be a great thing for tourism.”
According to our partners at the Tampa Bay Times, the $55 million Sugar Sands Resort would be built on the site of the original Coral Reef Hotel, which was partially torn down and purchased in 2014.
But some residents worry if the city’s aging infrastructure can handle all these new rooms, especially after flooding from Hurricane Hermine sent sewage overflowing onto streets. For that reason, TradeWinds CEO Tim Bogott says his company is considering leading a project to loan the city up to $4 million to pay for improving sewer lines serving the hotel district.
“Everybody should get involved and help update the systems so that it brings in tourism,” suggested Lewis who said he already looking forward to his next visit to St. Pete Beach.
The TradeWinds hopes to break ground on the new property by the end of this year.
The St. Pete Beach Planning Board will meet to discuss the future of this project Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m.
(© 2016 WTSP)