Family sells Sun Viking Lodge in Daytona after 50 years in business
This earlier week marked the conclude of an period for both equally Gary and Barbara Brown as effectively as the Daytona Seashore spot hospitality industry. Last Wednesday, the couple sold the Sun Viking Lodge, the oceanfront hotel they have owned since 1971.
The new house owners of the 94-place resort at 2411 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Seashore Shores are Ty and Tovah Lohman of Ormond Seashore.
The June 30 sale came just three months after the Brown family members celebrated the 50th anniversary of the hotel’s opening.
“We’re honored that Gary and Barbara selected us to offer to,” reported Ty Lohman in a cell phone job interview. “There were at minimum two other bidders.”
Sunlight Viking Lodge’s staff surprised Gary and Barbara Brown with a pair of rocking chairs, each and every adorned with a bow, on the couple’s previous working day at get the job done Wednesday, confirmed their son, Greg.
“My mother and father are remaining in the place,” claimed Greg Brown, 47, “They’re just retiring and taking it easy. They prepare on sneaking in and swimming in the (hotel’s) pools from time to time.”
Greg Brown will keep on as normal supervisor, a purpose he has held the earlier 12 decades. The Sun Viking Lodge employs 35 people. Ty Lohman said he and his wife strategy to keep the entire personnel.
“We’ve bought a housekeeper who’s been with us 32 yrs,” reported Greg Brown. He said getting a consumer who would keep the workers as effectively as the traditions and excellent of the lodge was important to his dad and mom. “I’d say about 30% of our workers have been with us around 10 decades.”
Greg Brown and his sister Karla Ryan were being students at Father Lopez Higher College in Daytona Beach front at the exact time as Ty Lohman. “Karla was a classmate of Ty’s,” Greg Brown stated.
Gary and Barbara Brown did not respond to requests for an job interview.
Ty and Tovah Lohman are local investors who personal various professional properties in the Daytona Seaside space including the 144-space Days Inn by Wyndham resort and the 63-place Extended Continue to be of Ormond Seashore resorts throughout from Desired destination Daytona in Ormond Seashore.
The few also own two hotels in Seminole County: the former Remington Inn & Suites which they have renamed the Altamonte Springs Hotel & Suites and the newly renamed Opal Hotel & Suites of Altamonte Springs. The previous is at 450 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs. The latter is at 230 W. Point out Street 236.
The two motels in Altamonte Springs are managed by Ty Lohman’s cousin Chris Lohman who is also a part-operator in people qualities.
Ty and Tovah Lohman also recently teamed up with Ty’s mothers and fathers, Lowell and Nancy, to begin enhancement of a 12-unit luxurious townhouse elaborate named The Cupola at Oceanside. The enhancement throughout the avenue from Oceanside State Club will be Ormond Beach’s first beachside multifamily household improvement in far more than a quarter-century.
Brown built large influence on spot
Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Lodging & Hospitality Affiliation of Volusia County, mentioned the Browns have had a major effects on the area tourism sector over the earlier 50 percent-century.
Gary Brown is a longtime board member for the association as perfectly as a past board member of the Halifax Spot Marketing Authority.
The latter oversees and money the Daytona Seashore Place Convention & Website visitors Bureau and is a person of 3 tourism ad authorities that current market their respective places inside Volusia County as vacationer and exclusive party destinations. The other two are the Southeast Volusia Promotion Authority and the West Volusia Tourism Promotion Authority.
Gary Brown now serves as treasurer for the lodge association, a role that will be handed along to his son, Greg, at the association’s August board meeting, mentioned Davis.
“Gary and his spouse (Barbara) are a single of the cornerstones of the hospitality industry in our area,” mentioned John Betros. place normal manager of the 132-space Daytona Seashore Regency and 116-space The Cove On Ormond Seaside, in an job interview in January.
Davis mentioned Brown “has been a godsend for the marketplace. He presents good views as to in which we are, what Daytona Beach front is, what our custom is, and what a tiny (lodge) operator has to go by way of to survive. He’s always supplied me distinct direction, both as a buddy and as a hotelier.”
Gary Brown’s depth of understanding about the Daytona Seashore sector will be tough to exchange, claimed Evelyn Great, president of Mid-Florida Marketing & Exploration. In that part, Good has documented Volusia County tourism facts since 1976.
She recollects the precious enter that Brown made available throughout his time on the HAAA board and its numerous committees all through the 1980s and 1990s, a time marked by the growing effects of special gatherings this kind of as university spring split.
“He was a stalwart, that is for confident,” Wonderful reported. “He usually had some thing critical to say about what it was like to be an independent hotelier and, at that time, they were being mostly independent hoteliers.”
Gary Brown also was exceedingly experienced about the travel behaviors and anticipations of the friends that stayed at his family-oriented hotel, High-quality claimed.
“He was thoughtful about what he did to preserve his company coming back again over and about yet again,” Fine mentioned. “He comprehended who they were and what was essential to them. They favored a family members ambiance, an owner who was there so they could speak to him.”
Greg Brown claimed he grew up “in and about the resort business” and appears to be like forward to starting to be additional actively included in the Lodging & Hospitality Association.
Lodge sale is 2nd on Daytona’s beachside this calendar year
The sale of the Sunlight Viking Lodge will come on the heels of the modifying hands of the Nautilus Inn down the street in January. The 99-area resort at 1515 S. Atlantic Ave. was offered for $8 million to the builders of the Daytona Seashore Hard Rock Hotel, Asante Asset Administration Inc., led by Abbas Abdulhussein.
Tim Davis, a business Real estate agent with SVN Alliance Commercial Actual Estate Advisors in Ormond Beach, assisted broker the sale of the Nautilus Inn. He also approached Gary Brown earlier this calendar year on behalf of a client that was fascinated in perhaps getting the Sunshine Viking Lodge.
“It was not stated for sale, but Gary Brown make it obvious that if another person were being to make a good supply, he’d be ready to take into consideration promoting,” Davis claimed.
“Inns have been distressed throughout COVID, so it is really likely a very good time (for traders) to appear at resorts,” said Davis who added that it is probably that extra accommodations locally could improve arms in the near upcoming.
“With Gary, there was certainly no distress,” Davis stated of the Sun Viking Lodge. “He was only heading to be interested if he could get a high quality price tag.”
Greg Brown confirmed that the Sunshine Viking Lodge continues to be “a stable company.”
“For the pandemic, we did very properly. We assumed we ended up heading to get strike more durable than we did. We bought fortunate. And now our company is rebounding,” he mentioned.
“My mothers and fathers experienced gotten lots of gives (to provide) around the several years,” Greg Brown extra. He claimed his parents at last agreed to offer to the Lohmans since, “the timing was right and it was also the correct purchaser. They felt cozy that Ty and Tovah will keep the identical traditions, environment, top quality and benchmarks.”
Ty Lohman declined to say how considerably he and his wife compensated for the Solar Viking Lodge, but confirmed that “it was a premium price tag. (Gary and Barbara Brown) definitely received fair market for it.”
Lohman declined to say whether or not the sale quantity was additional or much less than the $8 million that the Nautilus Inn fetched, but acknowledged that the two hotels are identical in dimension.
“We are going to continue to keep the Solar Viking identify,” Ty Lohman reported. “It is a terrific relatives lodge. They have acquired routines for kids as effectively as a movie evening that we are also likely to hold. It truly is actually extra of a vacation resort.”
The Sunlight Viking Lodge’s features include a 60-foot water slide and indoor and out of doors pools.
Lohman received commence in funeral dwelling business
Ty Lohman and his dad and mom and uncle Victor ran the Ormond Seashore-primarily based Lohman Funeral Residences chain for quite a few years right until providing the enterprise to a countrywide corporation in 2012. At the time of its sale it experienced grown to turn out to be the most significant relatives-owned funeral property chain in the condition.
Ty and his moms and dads made use of some of the proceeds of that sale to spend in apartment properties equally in the Daytona Beach space as properly as Orlando and Jacksonville.
They commenced marketing off their condominium properties as the worth for them rose. In the previous couple of years, Ty has reinvested his earnings from all those transactions into industrial qualities. They include the 7-story Cobb Cole Center business office tower in downtown Daytona Beach front, the Aliki Plaza and Renaissance Center retail facilities in Ormond Beach, and the Speedway Village retail middle on West International Speedway Boulevard, throughout the avenue from Daytona Worldwide Speedway.
Ty’s spouse Tovah is a genuine estate broker who owns Starr Realty. Their holding organization for the Days Inn and Extended Keep motels upcoming to the Interstate 95/U.S. 1 interchange across from Spot Daytona is termed Starr Hospitality. The minimal liability firm they created when they bought the Sunshine Viking Lodge is known as TL3 Solar Viking LLC.
Ty Lohman reported he and his wife intend to retain their Volusia County resorts as extended-expression investments.
“We hope to have our son Tristen work with us someday,” additional Tovah Lohman. The couple’s son is 12.
Ty and Tovah Lohman also not too long ago bought two condominium complexes in Daytona Seashore: the Whispering Oaks Townhomes and Southern Villas Flats upcoming doorway. Both are alongside South Nova Highway, among Bellevue Avenue and Beville Highway.
Bob Davis, who is not relevant to Tim, stated he a short while ago spoke with Ty Lohman about his purchase of the Sun Viking Lodge and came away impressed.
“He is a younger, vivacious guy who’s now receiving concerned in hospitality. I welcome new folks to the hospitality field,” Bob Davis stated. “I also know the Lohman spouse and children well. They appear with a status for being neighborhood minded.”
Bob Davis explained he would expect Ty and Tovah Lohman to make some enhancements to the Sunlight Viking Lodge, but additional, “it would not get substantially. The Brown relatives has stored their residence in idea-best form.”
Ty Lohman verified strategies to commit somewhere around a half-million bucks on improvements to the Sunshine Viking Lodge. “We’re likely to renovate the pool location. Greg also has a wish list of other things for us to improve,” he mentioned.
‘Families are connecting’
When the Browns initially opened their resort in 1971, there was a large amount of regional communicate about the likely effects of a new tourist attraction that would open up afterwards that yr in Orlando.
“There was a great deal of speculation about irrespective of whether Disney World would assistance Daytona or hurt Daytona,” Gary Brown mentioned earlier this year as the Sunshine Viking Lodge marked its 50th anniversary in April. “If you seem at heritage, I imagine it did both of those.”
As Disney’s mammoth empire loomed at any time-much larger, the Sun Viking Lodge endured.
It weathered gasoline shortages, wars, wildfires, economic downturns, the effects of the Sept. 11th attacks and, most not too long ago, the coronavirus pandemic.
The hotel’s unique title, Brown spelled out, was not christened until finally just about a decade after the hotel had opened as the Oceanfront Villas.
Brown and his spouse, Barbara, ended up embarking on a 1970s getaway cruise in Miami when he appeared throughout the harbor and observed a further ship, the Sunlight Viking.
“There ended up 20 motels with ‘Ocean’ in their title,” Brown said. “We were constantly getting baffled with a person else. I claimed, ‘Why really do not we set a Viking ship out there?’”
An additional of the hotel’s signature attributes, its child-helpful 60-foot waterslide, was an notion encouraged by a pay a visit to to River State, a freshly opened h2o park at Disney World in the 1970s, Brown stated.
In April, the Browns claimed that the magic formula of the hotel’s longevity was constructed on relationships and reminiscences that have kept longtime visitors returning.
“To me, the households are connecting,” Barbara claimed at the time. “The young ones are not utilizing their phones when they’re likely down the waterslide or participating in video games or swimming or surfing. It may well not be the newest hotel on the seashore, but several years afterwards, they are going to don’t forget connecting as a family members.”