SPARTANBURG, South Carolina—OTO Development has added DoubleTree by Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront to its growing portfolio. South Carolina-based OTO Development, which is part of The Johnson Group, acquired the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cocoa Beach, Florida, from Pandey Hotel Group of New Zealand. The transaction—brokered by Paul Weimer, Christian Charre, Jennifer Jin, and Andrew Pastorino, all of CBRE Hotels—closed on Thursday, September 9, 2021. This is the sixth oceanfront property OTO has purchased since Q4 2018.
“We got our feet wet a few years ago in Key West, where we discovered the fun—and challenges—of operating hotels on the beach,” says Corry Oakes, CEO of OTO Development. That effort was followed by acquisitions in Marathon and St. Pete Beach, Florida; Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “Our team is intrigued by the potential at DoubleTree Cocoa Beach.”
Originally built in 1987, DoubleTree Cocoa Beach closed following Hurricane Irma in Fall 2017; it reopened in June 2021 after undergoing an extensive renovation. Upon swap of keys, OTO will launch a $3 million repositioning of the 150-room property with plans to convert four small meeting areas into seven additional guestrooms; construct a new resort-style pool with a lazy river; build out the beach bar; and refresh 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Current F&B space will transition to Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill, an original coastal concept initially launched at OTO’s Hilton Garden Inn in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
“As we welcome the DoubleTree staff into the OTO fold, we’re eager to merge our sales and operations strategies with the hotel’s advantageous Space Coast location,” Oakes says. “Demand drivers in Cocoa Beach include space, military, sports, and cruise—not to mention the beach itself. Proximity to Orlando is an extra plus.”
Nearby Cape Canaveral is the center of the country’s growing space economy, with NASA, non-government space companies, and privateers such as SpaceX and Blue Origin in its orbit. Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station employ 15,000 military and civilian personnel. The United States Specialty Sports Alliance fields a variety of events nearly every week of the average year, generating more than 100,000 hotel room nights. Port Canaveral is the world’s second-busiest cruise port.