NAPLES — The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, with a storied history that goes back to just after World War II, has officially announced a closing date of May 23 to make way for a new development on the site.
The owners of the 125-acre beachfront property, the Watkins family, sold the property to The Athens Group in 2019. The Phoenix-based development firm intends to supplant the existing 319-room resort with a new 220-room luxury hotel and as many as 195 condominiums in a series of four- and seven-story buildings. The $250 million redevelopment, approved by the Naples City Council in April 2109, also includes refurbishing Naples Beach Hotel’s retail and restaurant offerings, including its signature restaurant, HB’s on the Gulf.
“Our family has had the privilege and honor of welcoming guests and groups to The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club for more than 74 years,” says resort President Michael Watkins in a statement on the property’s website. “We are so very appreciative of our valued and cherished patrons who have stayed with us, dined at our restaurants, played golf on our championship course, experienced our spa or tennis center, attended a wedding or event, enjoyed our fun annual SummerJazz on the Gulf free concert series, or appreciated a spectacular sunset at The Sunset Beach Bar & Grill. We’ve taken great pride in our family tradition of providing outstanding hospitality for more than 70 years, and we look forward to celebrating our final season with our guests and patrons this winter and spring.”
The Watkins family has owned and operated the property for three generations.
The original hotel, first constructed in the 1880’s and aptly named The Naples Hotel, was built 1.5 miles south of what would eventually become the site of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. In 1946, Henry B. Watkins Sr., a retired toy manufacturer from Ohio, bought the original hotel along with The Beach Club and its golf course. He proceeded to create a new beach resort between the golf course and the Gulf of Mexico – the site of the current resort.
“Our beautiful resort is where so many guests have such fond memories from their visits over the years,” General Manager Jason Parsons says in the statement. “It is certainly understandable, as the resort is perfect for a relaxing getaway with its incredible setting, and array of on-site recreational options, which provides something to please almost anyone. We look forward to providing more treasured memories for our guests and patrons who visit before we close in May.”