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Amelia Island Hotels Break Tourism Record

Lindsey Kilbride
A family checks into the Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort Thursday.

Amelia Island has broken another tourism record. According to its Tourist Development Council, more people than ever stayed in hotels there this June.

Ruben Nazario and his four kids were waiting out a Thursday afternoon storm by one of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort’s several pools. The family was down from northern Virginia, and it’s their second visit to the Omni. Nazario said his wife used to come as a kid.

“Pretty much (we’ve been) just hanging out at the beach, going to the ocean, hanging out by the pool, most of the time just sitting by the ocean,” Nazario said.

Omni front office supervisor Erik Kerzer said it’s been one of the busiest summers ever at the property, which offers 400 hotel rooms and 300 beachside villas. Some of the villas can fetch up to $600 a night this time of year, with hotel rooms ranging from $200 to $350.

“This summer it’s been selling out pretty much months in advance, sometimes two, three months out,” Kerzer said.

Horseback riding, golf and tennis are some of the draws, he said.

There’s not much we don’t offer here on the property,” Kerzer said.

June was the eighth consecutive month Amelia Island saw an increase in per-room revenue, with year-to-date occupancy up about 6 percent over 2016, according to the Smith Travel Accommodations Report used by the hotel industry.

“We significantly outperformed our competitive set in all key reporting metrics for the month,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau in a news release.

And tourism has been booming for a couple of years on the island.

Langley pointed out Amelia Island’s June revenue per available room was $45.86 higher than competitor Fort Walton Beach’s. And July numbers are expected to be high too.

August’s, though, are lagging. Langley said that’s because schools are starting earlier in many key markets and keeping families home.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.