Laketown Wharf to Undergo $10 Million Renovation

Looks like they’re trying to breathe some more life into Laketown Wharf.  I have history with this resort and have always thought it was a fantastically interesting place.  The developer certainly went big when it was developed and I’ve always thought it had huge potential.

There are several pools, the condos are large and quite nice and most of them have wonderful views of the gulf.

The renovations include adding new amenities including a grocery store and deli, leasing center, redecorated hotel lobby, conference/meeting rooms, business center, new pool and boardwalk furniture, family zone, owners’ lounge and arcade.  Additional renovations include expanding the deck, adding new fountains and landscaping, opening the lake to the public and more. Plus, area residents and visitors should be on the lookout for Laketown Wharf turtles that will be coming to town soon. The project is expected to be completed by June 2013.

Read more about Laketown Wharf here.

Full press release.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (March 12, 2013) – Laketown Wharf, currently offering short- and long-term vacation rentals in the heart of Panama City Beach, FL, will undergo a $10 million renovation, adding new amenities including a grocery store and deli, leasing center, redecorated hotel lobby, conference/meeting rooms, business center, new pool and boardwalk furniture, family zone, owners’ lounge and arcade. Additional renovations include expanding the deck, adding new fountains and landscaping, opening the lake to the public and more. Plus, area residents and visitors should be on the lookout for Laketown Wharf turtles that will be coming to town soon. The project is expected to be completed by June 2013.

“The renovations at Laketown Wharf will make this a premier property in the area,” says Wade Hundley, CEO of ST Residential. “There’s no better investment than beach property and these upgrades are greatly increasing its value.”

The renovations at Laketown Wharf coincide with city improvements in the area, further increasing the investment opportunity in this incredible property. Laketown Wharf already boasts the area’s most comprehensive set of amenities with five pools, including one zero-entry pool overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, a 10th floor rooftop pool and an island pool secluded in the middle of a private lake, along with a spectacular nightly fountain and water show.

With spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, sweeping views and convenient beach access, Laketown Wharf offers all the elements of a great vacation home with the casual luxury and convenience of a resort. Additional resort amenities include 52,000 square-feet of lakefront boardwalk, a fully-equipped fitness center, covered parking and kids’ playground along with the sugar-white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. All hotel rooms are fully furnished and professionally decorated featuring 32″ flat screen TVs and high-speed internet. Every balcony faces the water, offering spectacular views of the Gulf, lake and golf course. And, with a playground overlooking the lake and seasonal kids’ programming through Kidz Club, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy at Laketown Wharf. Kidz Club offers a variety of activities for children ages four through 12 including a nightly drop off program, “dive-in” movies, crafts, games, poolside activities and more.

Whether it’s for a quick getaway or a lengthy stay, Laketown Wharf makes an unforgettable beach vacation attainable with great pricing and specials throughout the year. Weekly stays begin at just $500 for a one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo that sleeps up to four people; $700 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo that sleeps up to six people; and $900 for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo that sleeps up to eight people.

Nightly rates vary throughout the season and great deals and specials are often available. With a one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo that sleeps up to four people beginning at just $109 per night; a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo that sleeps up to six people beginning at $129 per night; and a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo that sleeps up to eight people beginning at just $149 per night, Laketown Wharf is ideal for a quick escape to the beach.

Apartments are also available for rent, with leases ranging from seven to 18 months. One-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments start at $935 per month; two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments start at $1,195 per month; and three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartments start at $1,495 per month. Rent includes cable with HBO, trash and quarterly pest control services. Military discounts are available.

New retail space on the property will also be available for lease soon.

5 Ways to Update your Vacation Rental Property for Rental Season

Spring is almost here and for many of us in Panama City Beach, we’re thinking about how we can best maximize the rental season just ahead of us. At Panama City Beach Luxury Properties, you can be sure we see our fair share of opportunities to update, renovate, suggest and redo to help out properties make the most money they can make.

If you have a rental property, you know how important it is to keep everything updated and in good shape. Letting anything fall too far behind can cost positive reviews or worse, a great rental season.

Here are five easy things you can do to help freshen up your Panama City Beach vacation rental property.


One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to give your place a totally new look is to install new bedding in your vacation property. There are a variety of local options, including Target, Marshall’s and local retail stores that sell a great variety of quality, inexpensive bedding options for all sized beds.

When you’re buying new bedding, make sure you pick out styles and colors that are consistent with the theme of the property. And make sure it’s easily washed incase it needs to be laundered during the rental season. If it needs to be dry cleaned, a quick turn around on a turnover day may be impossible.

Also, when you replace bedding, go the extra mile and get some matching throw pillows for each bed to help finish off the look.

New or Additional Art

So often we walk through new condos and they are fitted with the standard setup they came with when they were brand new. There are many advantages to these kits, including having a cohesive look throughout and a design that was likely well thought out.

However, in the interest of saving costs, the property is often left bare with few art hanging on the walls. I’m a fan or organized and purposeful blank spaces, but when the place looks empty, it feels empty.

There are tons of local places that sell great art that is tasteful, beachy (if that’s your thing), and inexpensive. I’ve even picked up some neat stuff from Marshall’s.  There are also a lot of amazing places to shop for art along 30A.

The art you hang should reflect a fun personality, should match the decor of the rental property and should be creatively hung. Take advantage of bare walls to create patterns of pictures and don’t be afraid to hang some family portraits to make it feel personal.

New Furniture

Lets face it, this is probably one of the more expensive things to update in a vacation rental property. Furniture can be costly and very difficult to move in. But, when that old couch can’t be cleaned anymore and the cushions are looking slouchy, it’s time to replace it with something new. The more you try to squeeze that last rental season out of it, the more you’re going to hurt your reviews and repeat visitation.

Sometimes it isn’t all about wear and tear either. Its important to keep your property looking up to date as well. The style and decor of your property should be reviewed about every 5 years or so as styles change. What was considered “in” back in 2008 isn’t necessarily in-style today. You have to realize as new property owners come online and redecorate, eventually you’ll see an industry wide shift in style. And if you miss it, you’ll be left behind.

Decorative Nick-Nacks

One thing I’m asked a lot is, “What about decorative nick-nacks? Should I have them, what if they are lost or broken, and how much is too much?”

These are all great questions. I don’t have some magic formula for how much is a good amount or what to go where, but I reiterate, if it looks empty, it feels empty.

Just like art on the walls, there should be decoration on the shelves, countertops, and nooks and crannies. Now, this is not to say there should be something on ALL countertops and shelves, but there should be some.  The trick is to stay tasteful and consistent with the decor and have a balance of not too much and not too little.

Also, just like art, many neat decorations can be found in the same places you’re looking for art. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Consistent with all rental properties, I would strongly consider the amount of money you put into decorative items knowing they could be broken or lost by guests, or their children. I never recommend keeping things you’d have serious heartburn over if it were harmed.


Again, like furniture, this is one of the more expensive things to address in an aging vacation rental property.  But, it is something that needs to be taken care of on a regular basis.

The first thing I recommend on the property with carpet is to have the carpet replaced with a hard-surfaced floor.  Now, I like having a soft surface in the bedroom just as much as the next person, but that is easily accomplished by putting in a nice big rug that is easily replaced when needed.

Many people prefer just to tile the entire place, and while that can be a very tasteful solution, there are many other things that you can do to make your condo stand out from the rest.

One of my personal favorite flooring options is a  manufactured laminate wood floor.  This flooring material is intentionally created to be extremely durable and very good-looking.   Generally speaking, it is manufactured so well, that upon first inspection it is indiscernible to the real thing.  The reason I personally favor the laminate hardwood flooring is because of its durability, low cost, and it’s ease of replacement should it ever need to be replaced.

When I get to do it however I want, my personal preference is to have a hardwood floor surface in the bedrooms with a huge rug under the bed (extending out the sides) and tile throughout the living and all common areas.

Some Examples of Tasteful Decoration


This is one of our Southern Exposure townhomes.  It’s been a phenomenal rental, partly because it’s a townhome right on the beach; but also because it was very tastefully decorated.  Guests comment regularly that it’s one of the nicest places they’ve stayed in, hands down.


This condo is one of our Calypso three bedrooms owned by Karen Smith at Beachy Beach (one of the owners of  When she bought it, she went all out, buying local art, some new furniture and decorative items to spruce up the existing furniture.  What she has done with her rental has created a frenzy of activity that will net a tangible revenue one-upmanship over the competition.


This home is one of our rental properties in Watersound West on 30A.  Our 30A rental company, Swantree 30A manages this one and it’s tasteful decor promised positive reviews and a comfy, beachy style.



Great Deals on Family Spring Break Vacation Rentals

If you’re still planning your family spring break trip to the beach, there are still some sweet deals to be had down here at the beach.  We have a number of condos in family friendly resorts that are nicely amenitized (like that made-up word?) and guaranteed to provide you with a blast of a vacation.

We have condos in Emerald Beach Resort, Towne of Seahaven, Calypso Resort, Majestic Resort, Tidewater, Sterling Breeze, Splash Resort, Edgewater Beach Resort and a cute little house next to Pier Park.

Spring Break Vacation Rental Deals

Here are some sweet deals in all of our condos.  These prices are good for the rest of March and the first week in April.  The “April” rate starts that second week in April.  The second week in April, all the prices drop quite a bit. While some of these condos are available for less than a week, I’m just showing the weekly rates.

I should also note, these rates include all taxes and all fees.  The price below is the final out the door price.

1 bedrooom condos

2 bedroom condos

3 bedroom condos

4 bedroom condos

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