The Jay Odom Group brings its reputation and experience in developing first-class projects to the hospitality industry with creativity, market savvy, and our proven principled discipline. As a leader in innovative properties, we pursue the highest quality in all aspects of our hospitality projects, including hotels, short-term rental properties, RV resorts, aviation, and restaurant developments.
The Island Hotel & Resort
In 2017, The Jay Odom Group partnered in this iconic 330+ room Gulf-front resort. Built in 1966, and branded as a Ramada until the time of Odom’s entrance into ownership of the hotel, the hotel was in substantial disrepair and in need of management services in order for this property to reach its potential.
Set on a lushly landscaped 11+ acres of gorgeous Gulf-front property, boasting over 600’ of frontage along the Emerald Coast’s beautiful white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Odom and his team set out to bring this property back to its former glory. They exceeded expectations in this endeavor with the tenacity, vision, and modern flair that Odom brings to all his projects.
Odom and his team directed and performed a major $20MM renovation while remaining open for business, to include a complete overhaul of every aspect of the hotel, from obtaining the financing to design, construction, procurement, new equipment and systems purchasing and installation, rebranding, and hiring and supplementation of professional management. Odom also renamed the resort to The Island Hotel & Resort.
After the renovations were completed, reservations and revenue were at an all-time high, and the hotel was sold in 2021 to a national reputable hospitality industry leader.
Home2 Suites at Freedom Tech Center
As part of The Jay Odom Group’s mixed-use Freedom Beacon development, we have secured a franchise agreement with Hilton to build a Home2 Suites. This will be a one-of-a-kind 126-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel and conference center, to break ground in 2022. Uniquely located between 2 local military installations, just 5 miles from both Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, our sales team has already garnered strong interest for conference space and rooms from the local military community and military contractors. The mixed-use nature of our Freedom Beacon project will bring abundant business to the hotel. This site is located 6 miles west of Destin-FWB (VPS) Airport and is directly adjacent to the Okaloosa County Courthouse and the County’s FEMA disaster response center, making it the go-to hotel site for business travelers. This distinctive Home2 Suites by Hilton features:
- Over 4,000 Square Feet of Conference Space (Flex Meeting Space which can be made available to small or large groups as required)
- Fitness Center
- Exceptionally Large Expanded Bar
- Complimentary Breakfast Selections
- Signature Home 2 Market
- Lush Outdoor Spaces with Multiple Fireplaces
- 24-Hour Business Center
Freedom Tech Center
Freedom Tech Center is a 50-acre mixed-use development, master-planned by The Jay Odom Group under a long-term land lease with the US Air Force. The Jay Odom Group broke ground, beginning the installation of the infrastructure for Freedom Tech Center in 2021. This project boasts 1,500± linear feet of frontage along Lewis Turner Blvd, one of the City of Fort Walton Beach’s major arteries, and will transform the north side of Fort Walton Beach into a bustling commerce center, bringing jobs, housing, hotels, and meeting space, accommodations, restaurants, Class A office space and a 4-acre recreational park to the local community.
The Jay Odom Group annexed this property into the City of Fort Walton Beach, securing City services for this development and generating tax revenue for the City. The City is excited to help bring this project to the community, and we are currently working with the City to secure all the entitlements for this development to include 312 luxury apartment homes, a 126-room Home2 Suites, and a 115-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites for which The Jay Odom Group has already secured the franchise agreement with Hilton and IHG.
The Jay Odom Group is proud to bring this project to the community while working under the Enhanced Use Lease with the US Government to provide additional income to the Air Force to fund local AFB infrastructure. This project is in close proximity to our local military bases (5 miles from both Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field) and is highly anticipated by the community and these local bases and their defense contractors. The Jay Odom Group intends to install one of the State of Florida’s tallest flagpoles in the 4-acre park at Freedom Tech Center as a beacon for our military, civilian base employees, and the local community and to inspire patriotism and pride while serving our community’s needs.
Pigeon Forge RV Resort
The Jay Odom Group partnered in the purchase of an old RV park in the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 2019. This park is located on beautiful creek-front property in Pigeon Forge with a stunning Smoky Mountain backdrop. This park was extremely run-down with very low rental revenue from mainly a few long-term renters. With our recent very successful experience upgrading and marketing the Destin West RV Park, The Jay Odom Group was excited for the challenge to transform this TN park into a sought-after, thriving RV Resort. We did exactly that; we developed relationships with Pigeon Forge City officials and local contractors, and we performed a complete rebuild of this property to include the addition of more RV sites (including coveted creek-front sites), paving of all gravel roads, concrete pads at all sites, new underground power to every site, all new water and sewer, upgrade of all wiring and systems, an incredible Welcome building with the widely stocked camp store and Hunt Brothers Pizza with many other ‘on the go’ food and beverage options, multiple inviting areas for gathering including a community lodge with gas fire pit, game room, multiple covered porches, covered pavilion, and a kids playground. We also put in a brand-new bathhouse with private bathroom suites, new laundry facilities, all-new signage, and abundant landscaping throughout the park. We offer golf carts for daily rental which the guests love and provides additional revenue for the resort.
The crown jewel of our resort is our roadside zero-entry, heated, saltwater resort pool with a massive pool deck, a mushroom fountain, and an amazing triple twisting slide that really brings WOW-factor to our park for all guests and passers-by.
The Jay Odom Group developed the website for this resort (www.pigeonforgerv.com) as well as a phenomenal cross-channel marketing program. The upgrades were completed in 2021, and we have already exceeded expectations with bookings and revenue.
The Jay Odom Group team has just completed refurbishing and decking out 4 vintage campers that will be moved to the RV resort and available for reservations beginning in the Spring of 2022. These vintage campers have been hugely anticipated, and we expect high occupancy for these (no RV needed to stay at our fabulous resort!), bringing great additional revenue to the resort.
The Jay Odom Group built Destin Jet and operated its 5,500 square-foot facility, which also included 10 hangars totaling 40,000 square feet, from 2009 until 2016. Destin Jet was ranked among the world’s top 10 FBOs within 3 years of its opening in 2009. Six years later, it ranked #3 FBO in the Americas, and #1 FBO in small markets. By purchasing its competition in 2014, The Jay Odom Group added another 5,500 square-foot FBO and a 12,000 square-foot maintenance hangar to Destin Jet. The Jay Odom Group’s success in the Aviation Industry was achieved because the Destin Jet business model was based on operating as a hospitality business, rather than an aircraft business.
Destin West RV Resort
The Jay Odom Group purchased, in 2017, this 54-site RV park property located on Okaloosa Island with 400’ of highway frontage and 400’ of waterfront in the rear of the property with a dock for RV guests’ use on beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay. In typical Jay Odom Group-style, the park was refurbished to provide maximum aesthetic and operational appeal for its RV guests. Prior to our purchase of this property, the reservation system was by phone call only. We completely rebuilt the park’s website to allow reservations via the website, and we significantly boosted the multi-media marketing of this property, substantially increasing its online presence with cross-channel marketing. This, along with the property upgrades, which included extending the dock, adding a fire pit, all new outdoor furniture and umbrellas, revamping the check-in facilities and guest store, replacement of the aging laundry facilities, upgrading of all systems and lushly landscaping the entire park, allowed this RV Resort to operate at its maximum potential. The Jay Odom Group sold this RV Resort in 2020.
Grayton Grand Hotel & Resort
The Jay Odom Group purchased this 7.35-acre site along the 30A corridor of the Beaches of South Walton County in popular Grayton Beach and worked extensively with Walton County and the local community to secure all the required entitlements to develop a 153-unit hotel on the property. The Jay Odom Group developed full architectural and construction plans for The Grayton Grand Hotel and Resort for maximum use of this site as a second-to-none luxury resort. The plans were developed for 75 hotel units and 78 condominiums with world-class amenities. This property was to be built and operated as a hotel resort with the option of condominium sales in this exclusive, high-demand community. As The Jay Odom Group was moving to secure financing (with high interest from several national hotel brands), Walton County approached The Jay Odom Group and made an offer to purchase this site at market rate (based on the existing entitlements and plans developed) so they could secure land in this increasingly populated area of the County. The Jay Odom Group accepted the County’s offer and sold the property to Walton County in September of 2016.
The Wharf 850 Restaurant & Marina
A local favorite under multiple past ownerships, this bayfront property in Niceville, Florida was purchased by The Jay Odom Group in 2015. The restaurant and marina located on Niceville’s famous Boggy Bayou were in need of visionary renovation and business savvy – needs tailored to Odom’s abilities.
Odom and his team transformed this property into a beautiful, inviting eatery with a successful dock slip rental business, regaining the title as a local favorite. With The Jay Odom Group’s determination, experience, and good old-fashioned elbow grease, this restaurant and dock were raised to Odom’s standards for first-class development, and in 2021, the property was a very attractive acquisition and sold to a restaurant investor.
Island Time – Rick’s on the Island Restaurant, Family Fun Center, Marina & Watersports
The Jay Odom Group secured its interest in this great local hot spot with a long-term lease of the property from long-time local restauranteurs and remodeled the space for maximum use within the constraints of the lease. The Jay Odom Group leases out this restaurant and marina on Okaloosa Island’s beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay.
We are happy to welcome our newest tenant, Rick’s on the Island. Expanding their established local seafood restaurant success from a single location inland in Fort Walton Beach, Rick’s saw the potential of this property and Odom’s interest in the property as the perfect formula for success with a second location.
The Jay Odom Group expanded the existing marina on this site by permitting and constructing a 500’ long, 50-slip dock extension. This is a hugely popular location for watersports rentals to our tourists and locals alike. Our watersports tenants have enjoyed great success in this location, and we love to see their happy customers enjoying this area’s gorgeous natural resources.
The Jay Odom Group partnered with this authentic Italian cuisine restaurant to lease and construct in the Uptown Station Retail Center. Clemenza’s initial 2,415 square foot space was provided by The Jay Odom Group, and within a few months, the success of the restaurant illustrated a need to provide a meeting space combined with a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen. The Jay Odom Group provided an additional 1,200 square feet to meet this need. Clemenza’s remains a successful partnership of The Jay Odom Group and is a locally renowned restaurant favorite in Fort Walton Beach’s Uptown District.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Touted as having one of the best burgers in the United States, The Jay Odom Group was proud to procure a long-term lease with this well-known, national franchise. Five Guys’ long-term lease provided for The Jay Odom Group to build-to-suit Five Guys’ 2,715 square foot space in the in-line retail center in the Uptown District of Fort Walton Beach, Florida developed by The Jay Odom Group. This popular restaurant remains successful in this location today.
One of Odom’s first hospitality-geared projects, he embarked on this project early on in his development career in the 1990’s while enjoying much success bringing single-family developments to the coastal resort Crystal Beach Gulf side area of Destin, FL. Partnering with his close friends and long-time associates at Abbott Realty, the Destin-area’s pioneering short-term rental management company, Odom acquired the site, financed, designed, planned, and constructed these 20 charming Nantucket Cottages (2 rental units per cottage), and worked closely with Abbott Realty on his first endeavor to market and manage a successful resort rental property. This was, indeed, a great success for Odom, and this project heightened his desire to continue in hospitality developments.
This well-known national chain was sought out by The Jay Odom Group for a standalone outparcel of its Uptown Station Shopping Center in the Uptown District of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. A lease was procured and The Jay Odom Group constructed the building from the ground up. Starbucks added mass appeal and synergy to the Uptown District and is well received by the community.
Buffalo Wild Wings
The Jay Odom Group procured Buffalo Wild Wings as one of its first new tenants for the revitalized Uptown Station shopping center and provided a vanilla box finish as part of a long-term lease deal with BWW. The self-proclaimed “wing capital of the world” provides a sports bar atmosphere and remains as a strong anchor tenant of the Uptown Station shopping center.
Juno’s Sushi-Steak and Seafood
A casual Japanese restaurant serving sushi, teriyaki and hibachi, Juno’s was purchased and leased by The Jay Odom Group in the Uptown District of Fort Walton Beach. A local’s favorite, open for lunch and dinner, Juno’s is perfect for group functions, catering events, take-out or casual dining.
This favorite ice cream store was leased as an outparcel at Uptown Station by The Jay Odom Group and provides a perfect compliment of sweet treats for the patrons of Uptown Station and its Central Park feature, a children’s playground and splash pad, developed at Uptown Station by The Jay Odom Group.
With more than 900 locations across the country, Firehouse Subs selects their new locations very carefully. The newly constructed 18,000 square-foot retail center in Uptown Station was a perfect fit. The Jay Odom Group secured a lease deal with Firehouse Subs and built out and delivered an 1,800 square-foot space turnkey ready for their needs.
In conjunction with its redevelopment of the White Sands Shopping Center (aka Longhorn Plaza) in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, The Jay Odom Group procured a long-term ground lease with national chain, LongHorn’s Steakhouse. This was the catalyst for the rebranding of the center, which was renamed LongHorn Plaza. LongHorns secured this lease with The Jay Odom Group and built their 5,761 square-foot Fort Walton Beach location in this plaza. LongHorn Plaza is also home to a 134,177 square-foot mixed use office building (converted from an old Wal Mart) as well as a 21,900 square foot retail center.
The Jay Odom Group offered a premier team of general contractors and business managers to acquire a long-term, build-to-suit lease for national tenant, Zaxby’s. The 2,664 square-foot Zaxby’s building was built-to-suit by The Jay Odom Group in the popular Uptown District of Fort Walton Beach. Zaxby’s continues to enjoy success in this location providing terrific chicken with a fun, upbeat, relaxing atmosphere.
This popular stand-alone Mexican restaurant, a favorite with tourists and locals alike, sits at just over 8,000 square feet in the Uptown District of Fort Walton Beach. This property was purchased by and is currently leased through The Jay Odom Group.
Fat Daddy’s Arcade and Game Day Pizza
The Jay Odom Group purchased this mixed-use property for future development potential as a major redevelopment site. Located in the heart of Destin overlooking Henderson Beach, the 7,000 square-foot existing facility is currently leased to Fat Daddy’s Arcade and Game Day Pizza, a popular local and tourist destination.
The Jay Odom Group purchased, remodeled and expanded this 4,150 square foot iconic restaurant/retail building in the historic Grayton Beach community along 30A and the Beaches of South Walton County.