Local developer Mike Wampold and Atlanta-based development firm Songy Highroads have purchased a resort on Lake Conroe, north of Houston, with plans to renovate it into Texas’ first Margaritaville Resort.
The 186-acre site is currently home to La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa, a 445-key hotel on Lake Conroe, which is an hour north of Houston and roughly three hours from Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Wampold-SHR duo will transform the site into a Margaritaville Resort, catering to families and professional conferences, Wampold says, with renovations to begin in July and expected to be complete by summer 2020.
This is the biggest deal the two developers have pursued together, but not the first.
Wampold and SHR co-founder David Songy, a Louisiana native, are friends who have worked together in the past, including on the 2013 purchase of six office buildings in Baton Rouge.
“Margaritaville is one of the hottest resort and hotel franchises going in the country right now,” Wampold says. “This is the first project on this scale for us. It’s pretty exciting.”
The renovated resort will feature hotel rooms in the main tower and waterfront villas on the lake, while the two existing restaurants will become Margaritaville’s signature Landshark Bar & Grill and 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar & Grill. Other features include an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, spa, outdoor pools, a lazy river and 62,000 square feet of conference and meeting space.
The location is attractive as Lake Conroe is within driving distance of Texas’ four largest markets, Wampold says, adding Louisiana is not too far away either.
“We see such amazing potential in the Lake Conroe property,” he says. “I envision this resort will also be a destination for Louisiana residents to enjoy as well.”
Wampold and SHR will serve as co-managers of the Margaritaville Resort, while Benchmark Global Hospitality will be the resort manager. The property will be Wampold’s first in the area. SHR currently owns two other properties in the Houston market—a Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Place near the Galleria.
“The Margaritaville lifestyle brand is one of the hottest in the country, and Texas is a prime market for it,” said Todd Nocerini, SHR Chief Operating Officer, in a statement. “The fact that the lakefront resort is an easy drive for residents of the state’s four largest markets only adds to the excitement and potential pool of guests.”