The Watkins Family Makes an Announcement

The Watkins family announces a strategic relationship with The Athens Group
for the redevelopment of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club

NAPLES, Fla. (March 5, 2018) – Following more than a year of research and analysis, the Watkins
family – third-generation owners and operators of the storied 72-year-old Naples Beach Hotel & Golf
Club – has announced a strategic relationship with The Athens Group to redevelop the property to enhance its legacy and to continue the use and enjoyment of the property by the community and its guests as a hotel, beach bar and golf club.

The family will continue operating The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club through the 2020-21 season as it works with The Athens Group on the property’s redevelopment. “We have had the opportunity to meet with many of the top real estate developers in the country and to hear their varied visions for the future of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club,” said Michael Watkins, president of the 125-acre luxury resort. “We ultimately decided on The Athens Group based on their first-class hotel portfolio and their genuine commitment to continuing our family’s legacy at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. The future of the resort is very important to our family, as we intend to remain contributing members of the Naples community.”

The Athens Group is a full-service real estate development company specializing in the development of environmentally conscious, upscale resort communities, luxury resort and urban hotels, golf courses and related residential and recreational properties. The company, founded in 1988 by Kim A. Richards, is based in Phoenix.

“The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is a rare gem, and we are honored to have been chosen by the Watkins family to work with them on its redevelopment,” said Richards. “The family has played an incredibly important role in the rich history of Naples, and an opportunity to continue that kind of legacy is a privilege. We are excited to be working closely with the Watkins family to help ensure their time honored traditions, such as beach access, open space, civic engagement and community leadership, remain integral parts of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s future.”

“There were many great ideas presented during this process,” said Henry B. Watkins III. “We gained a level of comfort that The Athens Group’s vision closely aligns with our family’s vision to enhance the property – to make it more attractive, functional and beautiful – while retaining the cultural heritage that is so unique to Naples.

“They spent a great deal of time on property and came to appreciate many of the resort’s key attributes, including the beach bar, golf course and the conference center, which has become an important location for local organizations to hold events,” Watkins said. “I believe there will be a lot of excitement when the Athens’ concept for the property is presented.”

While The Athens Group’s proposed plan for The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is still being developed, Richards said the company’s objectives include preserving the hotel use and beach bar and introducing a residential component that will make it possible to preserve the resort’s golf course, which was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in collaboration with John Sanford in 2016 and provides important green space in the city of Naples.

“This project is a journey, steeped in the Watkins family legacy, and we look forward to sharing
our plan for the property with the community in the near future,” Richards said.

About The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
Rich in family hospitality and tradition, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club has resided on the Southwest coast in Naples since 1946. Owned and operated by the Watkins family for three generations, the 125-acre resort has completed more than $50 million in renovations and enhancements over the last few years, which included a redesign of its championship golf course by Jack Nicklaus in collaboration with John Sanford a year ago.

Offering an incredible beachfront setting, the resort features a world-class spa, an award-winning tennis center, a beautiful beachfront pool complex with two pools, multiple bars, an array of dining options, retail shops, 34,000 square feet of meeting space, and many beautiful outdoor venues for special events.

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is located at 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. North in Naples. For
additional information, call (800) 237-7600 or (239) 261-2222, and visit

About The Athens Group
For more than 30 years, The Athens Group has been widely regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent developers of luxury resort and urban mixed-use properties – including hotels, golf courses, planned communities and resort/hotel amenitized residences.

As an environmentally responsible development company, The Athens Group applies sustainable design and building practices to each of its projects, many of which are LEED certified. The company’s projects have won various awards over the years, including the Urban Land Institute’s Award for Excellence and the Environmental Protection Agency’s award for environmental responsibility.

The Athens Group’s portfolio includes several of the most renowned hotels and resorts in the country, including the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii; The Ritz-Carlton resorts in Bachelor Gulch/Vail Valley, Colorado, and Half Moon Bay in the San Francisco Bay area; and Montage resorts and hotels in Beverly Hills, California; Laguna Beach, California; Deer Valley, Utah; and Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina.

Athens is proud of its portfolio of authentic luxury hotels and resorts that are a reflection of each community and are enjoyed by residents and guests alike. For more information, please visit

Provided by:
Tina Matte, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and Public Relations, 239-275-5758,

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