The Bradenton area is well known for its yearly happenings, annual events and laid-back atmosphere that keeps visitors coming back and residents never at a loss for things to do.
I love that each new year brings new excitement, new places to explore and new opportunities to get out and enjoy the area – all of which have a positive impact on our community.
In fact, 2017 might be one of the most exciting to date, as the area prepares to open two new luxury hotels and for the World Rowing Championships.
Zota Beach Resort, formerly the Hilton Longboat Key, will bring much-needed rooms and event space to Longboat Key. The $24 million property offers a secluded beachfront setting, pool area, restaurant and wine bar, more than 2,500 square feet of event space and 187 guest rooms and suites. Guests will be able to rent jet skis, kayaks and water sports gear.
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Waterline Resort, opening on Marina Drive in Holmes Beach, will feature 37 1,100-square-foot rooms with gourmet kitchens and a full marina, providing 50 boat slips for guests who arrive by water, charter boats for family outings, eco-tours, guided fishing excursions, sailing adventures and daily sunset cruises; along with jet-skis, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
The resort’s separate beach club will offer exclusive beach access with lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach toys and a desalination zone for guests to cool down and relax. The resort also includes Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen and additional dining options with views of the marina.
The hotels represent only a portion of the new accommodations headed for the Bradenton area during the next two years, bringing with them new jobs – from culinary artisans to valet, front desk to bartenders, you name it – in one of our area’s most important industries: hospitality.
And, in keeping with the destination’s mission to bring world-class events to the Bradenton area, on Sept. 23, the World Rowing Championships will return to the United States for the first time since 1995 when it kicks off at Nathan Benderson Park, one of the world’s top sprint rowing courses.
With organizers expecting more than 40,000 visitors from 60-plus countries, as well as dozens of domestic and international TV stations and media from around the world, the event is bound to be one for the record books in terms of economic impact and exposure for the Bradenton area.
So as we head into the new year, I am already looking forward to the many new and exciting things happening in the Bradenton area, with much more in the works.
I hope you will take advantage and make 2017 one to remember.