Resort North of Tampa Changes Hands

The seller had acquired Plantation on Crystal River in 2010 and was met with great interest when it put the property on the market this past summer.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Crystal River Resort golf course
Crystal River Resort golf course

Tampa, Fla.—Scout Plantation Owner LLC has sold the Plantation on Crystal River, a 196-room resort on the Nature Coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

CBRE Hotels represented the seller in the transaction, while Hilda Allen of Hilda Allen Real Estate represented the buyer, whose name was not disclosed.

The property includes two golf courses, a spa, and a marina on 232 acres. The property also features nearly 33,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, four food and beverage outlets, and an Aveda spa, among other recreational amenities.

“This was a pretty expansive piece of property and what the buyer was attracted to was all the moving parts, which creates in the mind of some investors, opportunity,” Paul Weimer, CBRE Hotels’ vice president, told Commercial Property Executive. “There was a lot of land here, with well over 200 acres of land, a lot of waterfront and a lot of rooms.”

The seller had acquired the property in 2010 and was met with great interest when it put the property on the market this past summer.

“Some investors were attracted to the golf courses, which quite frankly weren’t making any money, but what they saw was that they didn’t need to maintain two golf courses and could do with one and cut expenses and do something else with the land,” Weimer said. “Whether it’s a housing development or recreation vehicle park, which they felt really fits in with the area. This is a big fishing destination and a lot of the business is being driven by the manatee tours in this area.”

The Plantation on Crystal River opened in 1962 and sits along the banks of the Three Sisters Springs in Kings Bay, the only place in North America where visitors can legally swim amongst the continent’s largest population of endangered West Indian Manatees.
The challenge with the property, Weimer said, is that it’s not located in a major metro area like Miami or Orlando, and sits a good 90 minutes away from Tampa. Still, there was a lot of interest.

Scout Plantation Owner LLC had done renovations on the property in the years it owned it, and according to Weimer, the new buyers have plans to renovate some of the rooms and the golf clubhouse.

Image courtesy of Plantation on Crystal River