BRADENTON -- A Super 8 motel that changed hands at the start of August is one of several along Tamiami Trail that have found buyers this year.
On Aug. 5, a Bradenton company managed by Nikunj Shah purchased the 50-room Super 8 motel at 6516 14th St. W. for $2.4 million. The seller, Kana Corp., had owned the 27-year-old motel since buying it in 2001 for $1.4 million.
Shah's company, Shah Hotels, financed the purchase with a $2.19 million mortgage from Insignia Bank, according to county property records.
The purchase is the latest in a string of hotel and motel transactions that have put established rental properties under new ownership. It's a trend that Manatee County's tourism chief says comes with a good visitor economy. Occupancy rates hovered between 71 and 78 percent at overnight rental properties in late spring and early summer, according to Elliott Falcione, director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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At that level, local hotels are attractive investments.
"I can tell you that the visitors that come to the Bradenton area have a 95 percent satisfaction rate," Falcione said. "That says the quality of the accommodations is there."
Most hotel properties selling in and around Manatee County this year have national chain flags.
In March, an 81-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 78-room Marriott Residence Inn adjacent to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport sold to American Realty Capital in a $22.9 million deal.
The previous owner, Equity Inns Realty of Irving, Texas, purchased the properties in 1997.
Also in March, a company controlled by Connecticut resident Dharmesh Patel bought The Americas Best Value Inn at 607 67th St. Circle E. for $2.55 million. The sellers, Wilhelm and Margareta Bering, had owned the 54-room property since 1992.
In January, another Tamiami Trail hotel, the former Sarasota Suites at 7251 N. Tamiami Trail, sold in a $2.28 million transaction.
A Sarasota company, Royale Hospitality, bought the 41-year-old, 148-room property just months before construction began next door on a new RaceTrac convenience store and gas station.
Falcione said hotels that change hands find the most success when they keep up the standards of their brand or align with franchises with even higher standards. Overnight guests like consistency, he said. Brand upgrades also make an impression.
"They might be excited about the better flag," Falcione said.
More area hotels are for sale, according to commercial property listing website LoopNet. A 60-room Best Western at 648 67th St. Circle E. is expected to go up for auction in September. The starting bid is $1.25 million. Also listed is the 105-room Sunrise Inn on 67th Street Circle East.
The listed selling price is $4.5 million. The property is owned by a Homestead company.
About 15 percent of Manatee County's estimated 6,500 overnight rental units are in hotel and motel properties, according to CVB statistics. The average room rate was $155 in June, up from about $143 at the same time in 2014.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.