The long-delayed and over-budget Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor will finally open next week and to commemorate the fact has started taking dinner reservations.
The Allegiant Travel Co.-owned resort in Port Charlotte is allowing guests and others to book a table at a steakhouse and Italian restaurant on the property for meals starting Dec. 15.
Walk-ins will be welcome at a half-dozen other eateries. Two others are for hotel guests only.
The Sunseeker says in a statement that in all the resort will have 20 options for dining including seven signature restaurants, 11 bars and lounges and a 25,000-square-foot food hall.
The two restaurants now taking reservations online are Maury’s Steak, Seafood & Spirits and Stretto Coastal Italian Table.
Sunseeker, in a press release, describes Maury’s as an “elevated seafood and steakhouse” with a dining room that “exudes a masculine ambiance with rich, dark wood and contemporary touches.” As for Stretto, it’s said to be “an indoor and outdoor casual trattoria” with a brick oven “serving as the centerpiece and complementing the glass-enclosed show kitchen.”
That the resort has begun taking reservations is huge signal that after years of delays caused, in part, by a global pandemic and hurricane, the reality is that the Sunseeker is finally opening its doors.
Since starting construction in 2019, the resort seems to have been hit with one piece of bad news after another.
At the time work started, it was expected to open in late 2020. But that's been pushed back over and over again with the causes ranging from the pandemic, which shut down construction for 17 months starting in 2020; to Hurricane Ian, which caused widespread damage in 2022; to fires on the worksite earlier this year.
The most recent delay happened earlier this year when an October opening date — which had been pushed back from August — was scrapped and no new date given. The Dec. 15 date wasn’t announced until early November.
The delays have raised the cost of the project as well.
It was originally budgeted at $510 million, but according to a third quarter earnings report issued Nov. 2, the company has spent more than $653 million as of Sept. 30. Third quarter capital expenditures on the project came in at $71.6 million.
Along with the 20 restaurants and bars, the 785-room resort will have two pools, a spa and salon, a 117,000-square-foot “ground level experience,” an adults-only rooftop retreat, 60,000 square feet of meeting space, a harbor walk, and the 18-hole golf course.