Sports Illustrated has teamed with Travel + Leisure Co. to develop a deep roster of resorts. The Sports Illustrated Resorts campuses will star full-service hotels, residential condos, and vacation ownership clubs—with sports experiences getting lots of play.
College towns, in particular, are one of the markets being heavily scouted. But the SI resorts brand isn’t a one-tool player—beach resorts will also be in the lineup.
“Sports Illustrated is the most celebrated name in sports for the last 70 years and we have created an active lifestyle hotel and resort that will provide an array of great food, entertainment, and wellness/fitness offerings,” says Chris Schroeder, CEO, Sports Illustrated Resorts.
“We are currently working on a number of projects primarily in high-profile tourist destinations and college towns, including Tuscaloosa and Orlando,” says Schroeder. “We are creating different verticals, from our chic, boutique Beach Clubs to our larger resorts with experiential parks.”
Sports Illustrated isn’t a resort rookie; they already have a property in the Dominican Republic. “We didn’t create a second brand, we are Sports Illustrated Resorts, we just created a partnership with T+L to be our Vacation Ownership company,” says Schroeder. “They are the biggest and best in the industry and they have been doing this for a long time with a history of great resorts and happy owners.”
Sports Illustrated Resorts and Vacation Clubs will range from 100-room properties to 400-plus, depending on the market and type of product, says Schroeder.
“We are currently working on a number of projects primarily in high-profile tourist destinations and college towns, including Tuscaloosa and Orlando,” says Schroeder.
“Many more locations will be announced soon, but we can’t share them as of now. We are planning to announce at least three more projects soon which are development projects, but we are starting to actively look at the right existing hotels to rebrand.”
The playing field is big. “We are starting off with many brand segments including SI Lodges, which are eco/adventure lodges, as well as other lifestyle avenues centering even more on fitness and health and wellness,” says Schroeder.
Occupancies are scoring well at the brand’s existing Caribbean property, he says. “We really just officially opened over the last eight months and have seen a significant increase,” says Schroeder. “The property in the Dominican Republic is a rebrand and really designed to offer our guests a unique place to stay in Cap Cana, which is really one of the most active lifestyle areas in the Caribbean with world-class rated golf courses, fishing, boating, beaches, mountain biking, and equestrian sports, plus an eco-park with zip lines, a new racquet center and more.”
At the end of the day, people want good health and fitness offerings, says Schroeder. “We opened our new SI FIT center at our resort in Cap Cana and it has been a huge draw for our guests.” The property had a typical hotel fitness center before, in fact, almost the same size, says Schroeder, but it wasn’t frequented. “Once we activated it with our SI FIT brand, there have always been people there, in fact, six people were lined up the other morning waiting for it to open,” he says.
The SI Resorts targeted demographic group is no shocker. “Our guests are people who enjoy an active lifestyle, good food, adventure, and, of course, sports,” says Schroeder. Some of the properties will also feature significant conference and event space for larger groups, he says.