NewsPolk County


First hotel coming to downtown Winter Haven following rapid growth

Posted at 5:39 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 17:39:35-04

Gourmet Goodies Bake Shop is approaching its six-year anniversary, since first opening in downtown Winter Haven.

“All of the businesses are locally owned and that’s what I love about Winter Haven. You have this small town and a small-town feel and it’s continuing to grow, continuing to thrive,” said Carissa Hughes, Gourmet Goodies Bake Shop Owner.

In fact, the Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area had the second-highest rate of population growth in the country, according to Census data. This is why developers are now looking to build the very first hotel in downtown Winter Haven.

The Staybridge Suites Hotel will be located on 5th Street next to Gram Parsons Derry Down and have six stories and 108 rooms. Six/Ten LLC, is an investor in the project and has been working to revitalize downtown.

“We like the idea of it being downtown because our project is to help, renovate and revive downtown Winter Haven. Make it a walkable place, make it an engaging place. Make it a place people love,” said Kerry Wilson, President of Six/Ten LLC.

Often times people who want to visit Winter Haven have to stay in other Polk County cities and patronize those businesses.

“Having more tourists in the area and having them actually stay in the downtown area and community. I definitely think we’ll see a significant impact for all our businesses here,” Hughes said.

Construction on the hotel is set to start by March 2022. The construction period will add 200 jobs to the area and once it opens, the hotel will create about 50 jobs.