Galveston Island is set to welcome a new $250 million Margaritaville resort on its far eastern end, as announced in a deal between Dallas-based RREAF Holdings and Innisfree Hotels on Wednesday. The collaboration marks a significant development for the island’s thriving tourism industry, which is on track to match or surpass last year’s record of 8 million visitors, signifying a 25 percent increase from 2021.
RREAF CEO Kip Sowden expressed enthusiasm about the growth opportunities on the island, stating, “With best-in-class management and highly amenitized options for our customers, we are offering a premier experience in a well-positioned hospitality asset for a fruitful future.”
The new Margaritaville, occupying approximately 300,000 square feet, will operate independently from its Crystal Beach counterpart in the Bolivar Peninsula. The 334-room resort boasts four on-site restaurants, a ballroom, direct beach access, and a 2.5-acre water park overlooking the beach. Scheduled to break ground in May or June, all necessary permits for the project have been secured.
Ted Ent, president and CEO of Innisfree, highlighted the collaboration as the fifth joint venture and ninth beachfront hotel with RREAF. He emphasized the success of adding premier developments to growing local hospitality markets like Galveston.
Situated at 317 E. Beach Dr., the new resort will neighbor the Islander East Resort and Palisade Palms condominium complexes in a relatively undeveloped part of the island. Conservationists have shown interest in the area due to its concentration of “ghost wolves,” canines with genetic mutations resembling the nearly extinct red wolf. A town-hall meeting addressed concerns about wildlife conservation, featuring organizations like Artist Boat and the Gulf Coast Canine Project.
RREAF’s previous housing project proposal for the new resort faced opposition in October, leading to its withdrawal after residents protested the development. The Galveston County Daily News reported on the community’s efforts to preserve the area’s unique features amid the island’s tourism expansion.