Mega Millions Winner from Sussex County Buys Closed Florida Beach Resort

A former Sussex County resident who won the Mega-Millions has purchased a closed Florida beach hotel with plans to convert it into a timeshare resort. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Richard Wahl won $533 million in April 2018 but opted to take the cash prize of $175 million after taxes.

After winning the lottery, the 49-year-old former production manager at AAK Foodservice moved from Vernon, NJ to Sarasota, FL. He purchased La Playa Resort & Suites for $13.6 million in April of this year.

The 239-room hotel first opened in 1975 and previously sold for $9 million in 2016 but was closed after being severely damaged in Hurricane Matthew.

Tim Davis, a realtor with SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors, said the resort was "extremely outdated" and estimated it would cost "at least $100,000 per unit (or a total of $23.9 million) to renovate."

“It still would be cheaper than building new, which would most likely cost at least $200,000 per room," Davis said. 

Read the Daytona Beach News-Journal story here.

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