Condos on the Space Coast

Tuckaway Shores debuts

The "Condotel" Concept
Tuckaway Shores Resort located at 1441 S. Miramar Ave. in Indialantic is the newest trend sweeping the country. Tuckaway Shores has been recently purchased by brother and sister, Michael and Jacqui McPhillips, and converted to a condotel.

When Jacqui first heard about Tuckaway, she went to see it imagining that, as a developer, they could tear it down and build high rise deluxe condominiums to sell. When she saw Tuckaway and then went into one of the Junior Suites, she immediately changed her mind. Her first thoughts were "This is way too nice to tear down; I'd love to own one of these units and I bet other people would too."

That started Jacqui's research into the condotel phenomenon that has been sweeping the country for the past few years. She found out that the concept isn't really new at all. It's been around for the past 10 or so years but has really taken off in the past few years. It seems to have started in South Beach and then kept coming up the coast, then to the Orlando area and the other side of the coast. Many are being built in Las Vegas and other prime locations in popular destination resort areas.

Jacqui's research taught her that condotels are a hybrid. Like a typical condo, they have an association that takes care of the common areas such as the pool, lawn, utilities and insurance, while they also have a hotel management program, which takes care of the day to day hotel operations of renting the units on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis. The hotel takes care of all of the day-to-day operations of marketing the property, the front desk to check people in, the maid service and checking people out.

"It's basically, a hassle free way for owners to have a vacation home when they want to use it and have others generate revenue for them when they're not. I really liked the idea when I finally understood it," Jacqui said. "Most condos split the revenue with the owner with the owner getting anywhere from 30-60 percent. We've tried to make our rental program as owner friendly as possible with the owners receiving 60 percent. The hotel management pays all of the associated hotel operations out of the 40 percent.

"Tuckaway Shores also has a wonderful return guest list. People have been returning to Tuckaway for years," she said. "I've spoken or met many of them and they all keep saying the same thing, 'You're not going to change anything are you?' I don't want to change any of the character because that's what everyone seems to like, that 'old Florida' ambience as well as the great staff."

Tuckaway enjoys a wonderful direct oceanfront location with 150 feet of white sand.

"All we're going to do is tweak it," Jacqui said. "We're heating the pool next year, changing out the appliances such as the refrigerator, TV, microwave and two burner range top. All of the queen beds will have pillow-top mattresses. We also want to resurface the pool deck and gussy up the lobby and the pool community building."

Tuckaway has 32 Junior Suites that sleep four with a full kitchenette. Many people stay there for up 90 days. Last year, Tuckaway Shores enjoyed an average year-round occupancy of close to 79 percent, which is quite high in the hospitality industry.

"My personal goal is to improve on that number and the revenue," Jacqui said. "If our owners are really happy, they just may want to buy a unit at the next property we convert."

"We just recently started to market Tuckaway Shores as a condo hotel and we have already sold or have reservations on 12 of the Suites. We're keeping one of the units ourselves."

The pricing starts at $244,900 for the first floor ocean view and range up to $274,900 for the third floor direct ocean.

"We plan on putting in a window wall system on the third floor, which I'm excited about. We think it will be like sitting on a balcony while you're really sitting in your living room. No one else has that in this area. It's been really exciting working on the repositioning of Tuckaway as a condotel. In fact, after we sell out all of our two-room Suites, we're probably going to be looking for more possibilities."