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Allegiant Travel Company Attempts to Crack the Hotel Business

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

While the idea of incorporating hotels into an airline's portfolio and strategic vision isn't anything new, the Allegiant Travel Company (parent of Allegiant Airlines) is taking a unique approach.

Allegiant Aircraft Taxi at Fort Lauderdale, Photo Credit Markus Mainka, 123rf

Adding a hotel portfolio to an airline seems like a natural fit. After all, if an airline can put up its employees in a company owned hotel and book hotel rooms in addition to flight tickets, the business case is obvious. In 1946, Pan Am established its first Intercontinental Hotel in Brazil. The brand remained a Pan Am asset until it was sold in 1981 to Grand Metropolitan PLC, a British conglomerate. In 1967 the Trans World Corporation (then the parent of TWA) acquired Hilton International. Trans World Corp. was separated from the airline in 1979, eventually selling Hilton International to the Allegis Corporation, then the parent of United Airlines in 1986. United had owned the Western International (later Westin) chain of hotels since 1970. In a major restructuring, in 1987 UAL Corp. sold its Westin and Hilton International chains to focus on the core airline business. All the mentioned hotel chains are thriving, and in the case of Pan Am and TWA, even outlived their parent airlines.

Artist's Rendering Sunseeker Resorts Port Charlotte, FL. Courtesy Allegiant Travel Company

Announced in 2017, Allegiant Travel Company is currently developing its first Sunseeker Resort property, Sunseeker Resort – Charlotte Harbor on the Gulf Coast of Florida. According to Allegiant Travel, the 22-acre waterfront site will open in the Spring of 2021 and include 500 hotel guest rooms, over 180 extended-stay “Sun Suite Residences” conference space, meeting rooms, restaurants, retail and a scenic walk along the harbor. The resort will also boast a luxury fitness and spa center, a rooftop oasis pool and a ground level lagoon-style pool.

Artist's Rendering of King Room, Sunseeker Resort - Port Charlotte, FL. Courtesy Allegiant Travel Company

The property is near the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) an Allegiant Airlines base which served over 1.5M passengers in 2018. One of the truly unique features of the Sunseeker Resort – Port Charlotte are the one, two and three bedroom Sun Suite Residences. Starting at $350, $500, and $800/per night these luxury suites offer a home away from home for up to ten guests, while hotel rooms start at $199. According to Sunseeker Resorts the residences will include floor-to-ceiling windows with waterfront views, fully equipped kitchens with start of the art appliances and waterfall countertops, ample seating for dining and entertaining, oversized walk-in showers and a full-sized stacked washer/dryer.

Artist's Rendering of Kitchen in 3-Bedroom Sun Suite Residence, Courtesy Sunseeker Resorts

The largest Sun Suite Residence will be 1,500 square feet with three bedrooms, two baths and a 240 square feet covered private balcony with breakfast table and sun loungers.

Last May, Allegiant Travel appointed hotel industry veteran Paul Berry as Vice President Hotel Operations for Sunseeker Resorts. Mr. Berry has been a hotelier for over 30 years, holding management positions with numerous Las Vegas resorts including Aria, Bellagio, Treasure Island and The Mirage.

Last July, the Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company announced its 66th consecutive quarter of profitability. Allegiant has led the industry in both profitability and capitalizing on bundled associated leisure travel services. Allegiant’s record of profitability has withstood periods of severe economic downturns in the airline industry, including the 2007-2009 financial crisis. In a Press Release on Allegiant’s second quarter 2019 results, Allegiant CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. stated, “This combination of superior financial results and industry-leading performance, along with the propriety model we have developed and continue to operate is a tribute to our excellent team members. Looking forward, we are excited about the opportunities in front of us including our ability to operate our leisure model to Mexico and the Caribbean in the coming years.”

We are looking forward to the grand opening of the nearly half-billion-dollar Sunseeker Resort – Charlotte Harbor, FL in the Spring of 2021. Although past performance never guarantees future success, we wouldn’t bet against Mr. Gallagher and his team. If Allegiant Travel is successful with its attempt to capture even more travel-related “supply chain,” dollars, we have no doubt that Sunseeker Resorts will begin to appear in unique and exciting destinations throughout their system.

Source: Allegiant Travel Company



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