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  1. Real Estate

St. Pete's historic Vinoy hotel tells members to expect changes

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club will soon have a new owner. [Tampa Bay Times photo]
Published Aug. 8, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance may be closer to having a new owner.

The resort and golf club's management already said earlier this year that current owner, RLJ Lodging Trust, would be looking to sell the resort this summer. Now it's on the market.

In a note sent out to its members earlier this week, the Vinoy wrote: "Ownership has stated that they have a very exciting announcement in a few weeks." Exactly what that news would be was not specified.

The note also said as RLJ markets the property, the pavilion in the Tea Garden will be removed. Phase three of redevelopment plans — a fitness center and spa — will stay on hold.

Previous coverage St. Petersburg's historic Vinoy hotel could soon be for sale again

The hotel's previous owner, FelCor, was acquired by RLJ a year ago through an all-stock deal. Most of RLJ's holdings are moderately priced hotels such as Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn — not luxury resorts like the Vinoy.

The hotel said a sale would have no bearing on its management agreement with Marriott International.

"We are being transparent with you by sharing all of the information that we can," the memo to club members said. "As soon as there is more information available, we will be communicating it with you."

The historic hotel has changed hands several times since it opened 1925: it's been leased to the military, slid into decline, and saved from the wrecking ball.

FelCor bought the Vinoy in 2007 and embarked on $50-million-plus in upgrades that's brought two new restaurants and renovations to rooms, the golf course and clubhouse.

Representatives from the Vinoy said they could not elaborate beyond the letter to members.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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