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Officials unveil plans for $133.6 million Margaritaville Hotel Resort development at Newport on the Levee

Staff Report

Newport Hotel Associates, a joint venture partnership between North American Properties (NAP), Stormont Hospitality Group and High Street Real Estate Partners, unveiled plans Wednesday for a new $133.6 million Margaritaville Hotel Resort at Newport on the Levee in Campbell County.

The project is expected to create 282 jobs, 187 full-time and 95 part-time, and provide an economic boost to the region.

“We are thrilled to welcome this latest addition to the Northern Kentucky tourism community,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of meetNKY. “Newport is an important part of the $1.95 billion industry in the region, and this hotel project will offer new visitors to the area an elevated experience on the Kentucky riverfront.”

The Margaritaville Hotel Resort, a family-friendly entertainment destination, will be fronting the Ohio River in Newport. The full-service, amenity-rich hotel will feature 264 rooms, a JWB Grill, License to Chill Bar, a 12th-floor pool with an adjacent Five O’Clock Somewhere Bar and Grill overlooking downtown Cincinnati, retail space and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 2,000-square-foot rooftop offering. Construction is estimated to be complete by fall of 2026.

(Photo from Newport on the Levee)

“Stormont Hospitality Group and North American Properties are thrilled to be working together again on this unique and transformative project,” said Jim Stormont, president of Stormont Hospitality Group. ”It will bring an unmatched resort-style experience to the area, making it a true game-changer for attracting new convention business and leisure travel to Northern Kentucky and the greater Commonwealth.”

Upon the recommendation of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Newport Hotel Associates received preliminary approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority (KTDFA) for incentives totaling nearly $33.4 million for the project. The project now moves to final approval by the KTDFA.

Through the Tourism Development Act, qualifying tourism development projects can recover up to 25% of approved development costs through the recovery of sales tax generated by the development.

“The arrival of the Margaritaville Hotel Resort marks the beginning of a transformative era for Campbell County, signifying a renaissance in opportunity, employment and lifestyle,” said Justin Otto, president of the Campbell County Economic Progress Authority. “This project is set to become the crown jewel of our riverfront, energizing our local economy while showcasing the promise and potential of our beautiful community.”

NAP acquired Newport on the Levee in December 2018 and completed a multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the 23-year-old mixed-use destination in May 2021, transforming the underutilized asset into a walkable, connected community. It is now home to an ever-growing collection of experiential offerings unique to Northern Kentucky and plays host to more than 100 annual community-driven events.

Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery called the collaborative effort to bring the Margaritaville project to fruition a momentous milestone for Campbell County and the region.

“This development is not just about generating jobs and boosting tourism,” Pendery said. “It’s a new chapter for Campbell County that elevates community spirit and opens the door to endless possibilities on our riverfront.”

Tourism is a $12.9 billion industry in Kentucky, generating 91,668 jobs across the commonwealth. In Campbell County, tourism supports 1,024 jobs and generated over $179 million in economic impact in 2022, a 9% increase from 2021. This year, the commonwealth has given final approval to eight tourism development projects for an estimated economic investment of $286 million.

For more information about Newport on the Levee, visit newportonthelevee.com. Information about Campbell County tourism is available at meetnky.com.

A detailed community profile for Campbell County is also available at online.

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