Hotel Construction in Bevard County

Here Are Details on 21 New Hotels Scheduled to Open on Space Coast During the Next Three Years

Posted on: June 18, 2024

As Seen in Florida Today

Brevard County is experiencing a hotel building boom in what many see as a sign of strength in the local tourism market.

Multiple categories of tourists are boosting the demand for hotel rooms ― as well as for vacation rentals. That includes Port Canaveral cruise passengers, people coming to the area to watch a rocket launch, and families here for youth baseball and softball tournaments at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera. Plus fans of the beaches and ecotourism experiences.

Employees of space and high-tech companies visiting the area on business also are contributing to increased demand for hotel rooms.

“Looks like we are in for a bit of a hotel building spree the next two years ― about 1,500 additional rooms, about a 14% increase, that will take us over 12,000 rooms,” said Peter Cranis, executive director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism. “Long term, it looks like the hotel industry is bullish on the Space Coast, with lots of projects being discussed for 2026 and 2027 as well.”

From now through the end of 2025, as many as 11 hotels could open in Brevard County, adding 1,369 rooms to the county’s array of hotel options. Additionally, a new 122-room Woodspring Suites hotel opened earlier this year in Rockledge.

According to data compiled by the hotel industry tracking firm STR, 10 more hotels with a total of more than 1,100 rooms could open during 2026.

Cape Canaveral has been a hotbed of activity for hotel construction in recent years, due in large part to the record-setting passenger counts at Port Canaveral, the world’s second-busiest cruise port.

Corey Runte, a vice president at Melbourne-based Certified General Contractors, which is a major builder of hotels locally, said Cape Canaveral’s proximity to the port, plus the more restrictive building height restrictions in nearby Cocoa Beach, are helping to trigger the hotel surge in Cape Canaveral. Five hotels have opened in Cape Canaveral in recent years, with two more scheduled to open in 2025.

Cranis said a recent survey, commissioned by the Space Coast Office of Tourism, found that 91% of the people who took cruises out of Port Canaveral stayed in the area, either before or after their cruise, for at least one night. That included 27% who said they stayed both before and after.

Port Canaveral CEO John Murray also mentioned the impact of the port on local tourism during a news conference last week at which he announced plans for a new cruise terminal.

“I’ve been at the port for eight years now. And, if my memory is correct, we had four hotels in the Cape Canaveral area” when he started, Murray said. “Right now, we’ve got two under construction,” and when they open, “that will total 11 — just in Cape Canaveral, right near the port.”

Bevard County Construction

Runte noted that construction cost increases are starting to level off, which is a positive for hotel companies seeking to start new projects.

Cranis said this year’s projected seven hotel openings with a total of 926 rooms will be the largest count in Brevard since 2020, when nine hotels with a total of 1,057 rooms opened. If all goes according to schedule, the numbers will be even bigger in 2026, when 10 hotels with 1,104 rooms are scheduled to open.

“As we have seen, not every hotel in the pipeline report actually opens, and, often, the opening dates slide to future months and years,” Cranis said. “But it is interesting to think that we will have gone from over 9,000 rooms to over 13,000 rooms in a seven-year period” from 2020 through 2026, “certainly the most growth the travel industry in our area has seen in some time.”

As early as 2027, the 502-room Westin Cocoa Beach Resort & Spa is scheduled to open off State Road A1A. When it opens, the Westin will be Brevard County’s largest hotel, based on room count.

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