Sundial Beach & Golf Resort on Sanibel purchased for $2.3 million

August 2, 2012

8:06 AM, Jul. 26, 2012
Guests relax Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at the Sundial Beach and Golf Resort on Sanibel.

Guests relax Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at the Sundial Beach and Golf Resort on Sanibel. / Kinfay Moroti/
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The Sundial Beach & Golf Resort on Sanibel has been purchased for $2.3 million by a private equity group with ambitious plans to rejuvenate the 407-unit project.

For the first time in decades, the resort will be managed as an individual property rather than as part of a large company’s portfolio, the Sundial’s new manager said.

An affiliate of Newtown, Pa.-based CoreStates Capital Advisors LLC bought the Sundial from The Blackstone Group on July 16.

Sundial “is a landmark. … We’re excited new blood is coming in,” said Ric Base, president of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

The new owners “are going to put money back into the place, and fix it up. They’re going to open the restaurant and the pool tiki bar back up to the public,” Base said. “All of those things are good for the community.”

CoreStates hired Pittsburgh-based CAM Hospitality Advisors & Management to develop a multimillion-dollar refurbishment of the Sundial, said CAM’s Christopher Mannino.

Right now, Mannino said, “we’re in the early stages of understanding what’s most important for the guests who stay there and the owners” of the condominiums.

There’s no formal plan yet, but some ideas being considered are a full-service spa, a marketplace/general store/cafe in addition to a new fitness center plus new banquet and catering space, Mannino said.

CAM’s focus will be on creating an individual identity for the Sundial, which has long been managed and marketed as part of Blackstone’s inventory of resorts. Before that, it was owned by Meristar, also a major owner of resorts.

“It has a long history of being styled together with other resorts like the Sanibel Inn and South Seas Resort,” Mannino said. “This will be the first time in 20 years, maybe more, that it will be freestanding, an individual business not tied to other businesses. When you see the new website it’ll be strictly the Sundial resort.”

Blackstone bought Sundial and nine other properties in Florida from MeriStar Hospitality Corp. in 2006 for $367 million.

Meristar had owned the resort since 1998, when it purchased the Sundial as part of its acquisition of South Seas Property Co. LP, which owned South Seas Plantation on Captiva as well as Sundial and five other properties on Sanibel plus the Radisson Suite Beach Resort on Marco Island.

South Seas Property had bought the Sundial in 1994 as part of a $9 million acquisition from Marquis Hotels and Resorts Co.

Sundial was built starting in 1972, when it was known simply as “Sundial condominium.”