TPI Recapitalization Will Have No Impact on TPI-FMB

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With few exceptions, the main stream hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. TPI, the hotel company behind the TPI-FMB project on Fort Myers Beach, was not exempt from the impact of a near 100 percent economic shut down. As a result of the pandemic there has been a restructuring of TPI. Here are the details.

TPI was over four years into a very successful Employee Stock Ownership Plan whereby the Torgerson’s sold 100% of the company to the employees on January 1, 2015. An ESOP gives employees stock in the company in addition to their compensation. When the pandemic hit, revenues at TPI’s 36 hotels and 6 restaurants dropped to near nothing.  Still as of today, revenues have only clawed their way back to 60% of what they were pre-pandemic. However, bills still need to be paid and bankers still need to be paid back. Without the revenue normally generated, investor money, including money from the ESOP, was being used to pay the bills.

John Dammermann, CEO of Impact Innovations, a  Minnesota-based  global consumer products company, and 20-year friend of Tom Torgerson, stepped in and bought out the employees. Dammermann, who was already invested in 6 TPI Hotels and the Fort Myers Beach project, now owns 100 percent of the company.

      Listen to our interview with Tom and John on Episode #151 HERE

Torgerson, who’s been the face of the TPI-FMB project from the beginning, remains Chairman of the Board at TPI. Both men tell Beach Talk Radio News the changes will have no impact on the construction of the FMB resort which is expected to start hard construction this summer. Torgerson will continue to be as involved with TPI and the FMB resort project as he has in the past.  Dammermann says the FMB project is moving forward as planned, despite the fact that construction costs have gone up significantly, and the project was delayed for over two years by two lawsuits.

TPI did sell a piece of property off the island on San Carlos Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road that was originally planned for work force housing. Fort Myers Beach business owner Terry Presaud purchased the land from TPI for $4.1 million. TPI originally purchased it for $2.5 million. Torgerson says the 75 parking spots that were to be utilized for the resort employees will be moved to a much smaller, less costly site. The cash from the sale of the property will be used to help fund the resort project.  TPI may well liquidate another non-strategic asset in the near term and also use those proceeds to assist in funding TPI-FMB.

Once complete the main resort will feature 254 rooms, most with a view of the Gulf, a 5000sq ft ballroom, and a 43,000 sq ft elevated terrace to host special events. On the beach will be a beach club with a capacity for resort guests plus 325 public admissions daily, 30 guest suites and four restaurants.  When the construction begins the project is expected to take two years.