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TradeWinds Island Resorts, the operator of the Island Grand and RumFish Beach Resort, will deliver a new upscale product along St. Pete Beach. 

The local resort operator has filed to construct new buildings, adding 650 guest rooms, new pools, retail and more that would allow the resort campus to attract a new demographic. 

“One of the reasons we are doing this now is because we’re seeing a lot of demand for upscale accommodations, it’s an unmet need in the marketplace,” said Joe Smith of 1754 Properties, the hotel owner. 

TradeWinds was able to add 141 rooms as it acquired the Alden Suites last March and incorporated into the RumFish Beach Resort. The resort operator published on its website the grand scale of its vision for the beach resorts, calling it Next Generation TradeWinds. 

The proposed plans entail converting the large and mostly empty parking lots into buildings, bringing more amenities and upscale rooms. For comparison, the current suites at the resort may accommodate an entire family while the new future rooms would be tailored toward one to two guests. Smith said the rates have not been determined, but based on today’s market, the upscale unit rate may be at least 50% higher than the existing rate. 

The plans also show 33,000 square feet of conference space, encompassing a state-of-the-art 20,000-square-foot ballroom, and nearly 18,000 square feet of new retail space, which includes activating space along Gulf Boulevard. 

According to its website, TradeWinds will also add: 

  • Three new swimming pools with slides and other amenities for families. Smith said they are also planning to build a bowling alley for kids and bridges that will connect all of the pools. 
  • Create three new parking garages to adequately park guests’ cars.
  • Upgrade the overall aesthetic appearance.
  • For the first time ever, TradeWinds will have a new 30-foot-wide landscaped, paved and well-lit beach access that will be built, paid for, and maintained by TradeWinds. It will also be building a large 10-foot sidewalk and a landscape barrier on TradeWinds property for the benefit of the community and will not use Gulf Boulevard right-of-way.

“The overall experience will be much more modern where guests can check-in from their app rather than keys, and we are designing a new lobby that opens up to a waterfall that pours into a pool,” he said. 

The expansion is privately funded and is expected to bring more than $19 million in new annual tax revenue to the community. It will create approximately 300 new permanent jobs and 500 construction-related jobs.

An exact timeline of the project and costs were not disclosed, but Smith said there will be a community meeting on July 14 about the proposed plans with other meetings to follow. 

TradeWinds wrote that it is working with the Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects, which is the same firm that has designed many luxury hotels for Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton. 

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