Laketown Wharf Showing Signs of Life

This Thursday, June 18th 2009, Sterling Resorts will host a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate 300 units available for rent. As many know, this announcement has been long in the making.

For those who have not followed the Laketown Wharf soap opera, Laketown Wharf, the towering Thomas Drive edifice completed back in 2007, was supposed to redefine Panama City Beach luxury as a city within a city with 765 total units and unique amenities unmatched on Panama City Beach like a Vegas-style musical fountain display, a 650-seat live performance theater, 5 restaurants, 1,000’s of square feet of retail space and a private lake.

But, due to economic nosedives and various other reasons, by September 2008 developer Jerry Wallace signed over the mostly empty resort to Corus Bank based out of Chicago. Even still, in February of 2009, Corus Bank reported a quarterly loss of $260.7 million and stated that more than a third of their “$4.1 billion in outstanding loans were nonperforming,” all the while the massive structure remained empty, all those lovely amenities wasting away. Lucky for them, in January Corus signed an agreement with Sterling Resorts to operate the condo’s rental management program.

That brings us to this week, when Sterling Resorts plans to rejuvenate excitement in the estimated $200 million property, opening its doors to vacationers. Sterling Resorts should do well considering the rental company currently manages 24 Gulf Coast properties between Panama City Beach and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and has strong familiarity with the tourism trends on Panama City Beach. Currently, online rates at Laketown are set to compete: a 2 bedroom/2 bath for this weekend was set at $292.20, just a little more than I, personally, expected but not bad. If things go well, the opening should act as somewhat of a defibrillator, resuscitating a property in need of a new life.

If you intend on attending the ribbon cutting ceremony RSVP with Kristy Keen: 850-563-0457 or email here at

**Date correction: The event will be June 18th at 4PM**

3 thoughts on “Laketown Wharf Showing Signs of Life

  1. I hate to be a party pooper but all this means is there will be 300 more available units to further dilute the current anemic occupancy rates along the beach. If one was to check VRBO for the two peak months of June and July, you would find on average just a little better than 50%, you can imagine the percentages for the other 10 months. Granted as overbuilt as PCB is, 300 more or less is not the end of the world.
    For those complexes that Sterling has, it will have more of an impact as it will just be 300 more units to rotate in on their calls. I can’t imagine those owners being too “excited”, in a positive way that is.
    I would think a better use of Lake Town Wharf would be long term rentals especially with it being across the street from the beach.


  2. Interesting to hear this, but not a surprise. My husband and I stayed at Sterling Resorts for a week in September. The unit we stayed in had dirty carpeting, needed painting and was not cleaned thoroughly. There was writing on the wall in one of the bathrooms. We noticed that there were maintenance issues throughout the resort .


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