$24M Best Western sale shows 'huge demand' for beachfront hotels in Okaloosa, Panhandle

Northwest Florida Daily News/USA TODAY NETWORK

OKALOOSA ISLAND — The six-story, 100-room Best Western Fort Walton Beachfront hotel at 380 Santa Rosa Blvd. has been sold to a new owner.

Officials from the commercial real estate brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap Inc. recently announced that the 1.4-acre property sold for more than $23.6 million.

David Altman, Robert Hunter and Leo Reilly, investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Fort Lauderdale office, had the exclusive listing to market the property for the seller, Ft. Walton Beach Hotel Group Inc., according to a news release.

The buyer, OTO Development LLC, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was secured and represented by Hunter, Altman and Reilly.

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The Best Western Fort Walton Beachfront hotel on Okaloosa Island has a new owner.

“The seller originally built this hotel in 1998,” Altman said in the news release. “After going through the height of the COVID-19 period and coming out on the other side with record revenues in 2021, the group decided this was the perfect opportunity to sell the hotel.

“During our marketing process, we generated approximately 20 competitive purchase offers from buyers throughout the country. This activity shows that there is a huge demand for well-performing assets in Florida, especially beachfront hotels.”

The six-story, 100-room Best Western Fort Walton Beachfront hotel stands at 380 Santa Rosa Blvd. on Okaloosa Island.

Altman also said that the 12-month average revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the Florida Panhandle hotel market grew at an exceptionally strong 65.9% annual rate to achieve a RevPAR of $100.57.

“The Fort Walton Beach submarket exceeded this market rate by achieving RevPAR growth of 81.8% over 12 months,” Altman said. “The Best Western’s competitive set, comprised of nine competitive properties, achieved a 12-month average RevPAR of $157.58. This growth shows that the Florida Panhandle, which was once an afterthought, continues to be a market that investors should keep an eye on.”

The Best Western Fort Walton Beachfront provides guests with direct beach access and private balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Amenities include offsite fitness center access at Gold’s Gym, a business center, an gulf-facing outdoor pool area, Cabana Bar, and live entertainment nightly in the Swizzle Stick Lounge.