So, You’re Thinking About Buying a Resort: Here’s Your Step-by-Step Guide
6 minute read
February 29, 2024


The allure of owning a resort property has captivated many investors—this unique blend of lifestyle and investment benefits spurs many of our clients toward buying a resort.

Beyond the picturesque landscapes and luxurious amenities, resorts represent a lucrative opportunity for generating significant revenue and capital appreciation.

As the resort market grows, driven by increasing demand for travel and leisure experiences, the prospect of owning a resort becomes ever more enticing.

The path to acquiring such properties has been made more accessible through financing options like hard money loans. What are the steps to buying a resort? And what is the role of hard money loans in facilitating these investments?

Let’s break down what’s involved in buying a resort today.

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Step 1: Market research and planning

Buying a resort begins with comprehensive market research and careful planning.

There are a lot of nuances to the successful running and purchase of a resort property—understanding as much as you can before you make your move is crucial.

This research includes:

Furthermore, identifying the right target market is equally critical, whether it’s catering to luxury seekers, families, or adventure enthusiasts.

Competition analysis will also offer insights into what others are doing successfully and areas where your potential resort can carve out its niche.

What are your ultimate goals?

Establishing clear investment goals is fundamental. As an investor, what are you seeking to achieve?

  • Long-term capital growth?
  • Immediate revenue generation?
  • A combination of both?

Setting realistic expectations based on market dynamics and personal investment criteria will guide the decision-making process and investment strategy moving forward.

Step 2: Financial considerations

Financial analysis lies at the heart of any successful resort purchase.

This step involves creating a detailed budget that accounts for:

  • The acquisition cost
  • Operational expenses
  • Potential renovation needs

Projecting expected returns and understanding the resort’s profitability prospects are crucial for evaluating the investment’s feasibility.

The lending gap

A solid financial plan eventually leads to identifying potential funding sources.

Traditional financing options are common, but hard money loans present an alternative for investors needing more flexibility or facing hurdles with conventional lenders.

These loans are particularly beneficial for deals requiring quick closure or properties that do not qualify for traditional financing.

Step 3: Finding the right resort property

The quest for the perfect resort property requires a keen eye for potential.

Tips for spotting promising opportunities include:

  • Monitoring real estate listings
  • Attending industry events
  • Networking with professionals in the hospitality sector

When assessing a resort’s value and potential, consider factors such as:

  • Location
  • Amenities that might appeal to at least one viable source of guests
  • The property’s operational history

Professional advisors can play a vital role in the selection process. Real estate agents, financial analysts, and legal experts can provide valuable insights, ensuring that investors make informed decisions.

Expertise such as this is indispensable for navigating the complexities of resort acquisitions, from evaluating properties to finalizing the purchase.

Step 4: Due diligence and evaluation

Conducting due diligence before finalizing a resort purchase is paramount—a comprehensive process that involves:

  • Scrutinizing legal compliance
  • Inspecting the property’s condition
  • Evaluating its financial health

Always ensure the resort meets all regulatory requirements and has no legal encumbrances. This is crucial for avoiding future liabilities and understanding what you’re getting into when doing a project like this.

A physical assessment should cover the following:

  • The aesthetics
  • The structural integrity of buildings
  • The state of facilities

Financial due diligence—the other half of the equation—necessitates a deep dive into the resort’s revenue streams, expenses, and profit margins, providing insight into its operational viability.

Additionally, assessing the potential for improvements or expansions can reveal opportunities to enhance the property’s value and increase profitability.

Step 5: Negotiating the purchase

Effective negotiation is an art that’s worth learning since it can significantly impact the final purchase terms.

Negotiation strategies include:

  1. Leveraging the due diligence findings to negotiate a better price or more favorable terms to ensure you purchase the property for what it’s truly worth.
  2. Engaging legal counsel early in the process to ensure your purchase agreement accurately reflects the negotiated terms and protects your interests

This professional support is invaluable in navigating the closing process—helping to anticipate and address potential hurdles and ensuring a smooth transition to new ownership.

Step 6: Financing the purchase with hard money

Hard money loans offer a compelling financing option for buying a resort, especially when traditional funding sources fall short.

These loans, characterized by their speed of approval and flexibility in terms, cater to investors looking to close deals quickly.

Unlike traditional financing, hard money loans are primarily secured against the property itself rather than the borrower’s creditworthiness.

A dedicated focus on asset value like this allows for more innovative financing solutions, bridging gaps in traditional financing or even acting as the primary funding source for time-sensitive acquisitions.

The ability to rapidly access funds means investors can seize opportunities without the delays often associated with bank loans.

Step 7: Post-purchase strategy

After the acquisition is complete, immediate steps should be taken to assume operational control.

Transition periods are typically the best time for implementing:

  • Planned renovations
  • Adjusting marketing strategies
  • Making operational adjustments aimed at enhancing the guest experience and boosting profitability

A successful post-purchase strategy involves not just initial improvements but ongoing management and investment.

This sustained effort ensures the resort continues to meet market demands, adapts to resort and hotel industry trends, and generates long-term success.

Get started on your resort plans with Marquee Funding Group

Buying a resort is a multifaceted process, from initial market research and financial planning to due diligence, negotiation, and beyond.

Each step involves strategic considerations that can significantly influence the investment’s outcome.

Hard money loans can be a pivotal tool for your journey, offering the speed, flexibility, and focused financing needed to make timely and effective acquisitions.

Their role in enabling quick starts to resort operations cannot be overstated, making them a valuable option for investors in the competitive real estate market.

Marquee Funding Group could be your solution

Contemplating the exciting prospect of resort ownership? Hard money loans can be an invaluable support to your acquisition and operational strategies.

Get started by submitting your loan scenario right away.

Explore how this investment opportunity can align with your broader financial goals, paving the way for a successful venture in the lucrative world of resort real estate.

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