Allegiant Travel delays Florida resort debut after Hurricane Ian

Allegiant Travel Co. has pushed back the expected debut of its resort in southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian caused widespread flooding and destruction in the area.

The Las Vegas-based airline said in a securities filing on Friday that the under-construction Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor was previously selling rooms as early as May 2023, but, realizing there will be “some delays” caused by the hurricane, it has now “pushed the sale date to September 2023.”

“As the extent of the damage is not yet known and the company cannot predict how quickly resources will become available to complete construction, it is too early to say whether delays will be longer or shorter,” said the carrier.

Access to the site “has been restricted” since the hurricane swept through the area late last month and power was out “for a while”, but it appears the project has been “protected largely by the design of the construction”. said Allegiant.

Plans called for building resort structures 16 feet above the mean high tide line and a seawall along its border with Charlotte Harbor, the company said.

Allegiant said it hired outside specialists, including structural engineers, “to assess the damage and advise on what to do to ensure the safe completion” of the project.

The company also said it “maintains strong hurricane damage insurance coverage and will pursue claims to recover losses.”

Sunseeker, which is being built along the Peace River in Port Charlotte, is expected to feature 500 hotel rooms and more than 180 extended-stay suites, as well as bars, restaurants and conference space.

Allegiant opened the station in 2019, suspended construction in March 2020 amid the early chaos of the pandemic, and resumed construction in the summer of 2021.

It secured a $350 million construction loan for the project last year.

An ultra-low-cost airline, Allegiant is known for flying from underserved small towns to hot-weather vacation spots, often with no competition on its routes.

It has something of a captive audience for Sunseeker, as Allegiant accounts for nearly all air traffic to and from Punta Gorda airport, located approximately 6 miles from the proposed resort.

This year through September, passenger numbers from Allegiant to Punta Gorda totaled 1.43 million, or nearly 99% of all air traffic there, according to data from the Charlotte County Airport Authority. .

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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