New Madeira Beach hotel banking on staycationers until visitors return

Despite a drop in travel from the pandemic, Madeira Beach officials are hoping a new hotel can help bring back visitors. The new 125-room waterfront Cambria hotel is now open for business near the Madeira Beach Marina 

Since March, the pandemic has forced many to cancel their travel plans, which killed business at area hotels. The owners of Madeira Beach’s newest hotel are hoping to pump some life back into Florida’s tourism industry.

"We were worried about opening and what it was going to be like because we have what's called a ramp period in the hotel business when hotels first open, so we wondered what the was going to look like," Upscale Brands at Choice Hotels senior vice-president Janice Cannon said.

So far, Cannon says business is doing better than expected. The 170,000-square-foot Cambria Hotel started taking in guests in June. Since then bookings have steadily increased with some weekends becoming fully-booked. 

"People are looking for sunshine. They're looking for warm weather and people are still willing to get in their cars and drive 300 miles is what all of our research is showing," Cannon said.

RELATED Visit Florida predicts tourism rebound after sharp decline during pandemic

Officials with the Tampa International Airport say right now business is still down about 60 percent. It's why the Cambria is especially focused on attracting staycationers. 

The 125-room hotel features a rooftop pool with a bar and restaurant complete with 360-degree views and private cabanas.

"It's going to bring people in to do a one-stop vacation. They're not going to be driving around. They're going to be parking in the hotel. They're going to be shopping at John's Pass Village going over to the beach," Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks said.


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