Two of the more exciting changes, Dehner noted, is that the Blackbear Restaurant will become JB's Boathouse and a new Landshark Bar and Grill will be built lakeside.
The transition to Tan-Tar-A Margaritaville has begun, and work on Osage Beach Commons is expected to begin this fall.
That was the word shared during the 10th annual Real Estate Symposium held last week at Osage National as Tan-Tar-A General Manager Fred Dehner and The Staenberg Group's director of development Sam Adler provided updates on their respective lake development projects. Both projects have attracted considerable attention in recent months as examples of how the Lake of the Ozarks continues to recover from the Great Recession.
Dehner said painting of Tan-Tar-A in more upbeat, Caribbean colors is underway and is especially visible from the lake side. Now in the off-season, more changes should become apparent as guest rooms and meeting space is upgraded.
Two of the more exciting changes, Dehner noted, is that the Blackbear Restaurant will become JB's Boathouse and a new Landshark Bar and Grill will be built lakeside. A tiki hut will also be built near the pool.
The Landshark Bar and Grill will feature a 300-seat property open to the public. Four cabins, an aging auditorium and other buildings will be torn down to make way for the new waterfront facility.
The overall renovation will take a break next summer during the tourist season, with the remainder of the transition and upgrades completed by the spring of 2019.
While Margaritaville's Jimmy Buffet hasn't made the trip to the lake yet, a business partner and Buffet's personal assistant were here recently.
"They called Jimmy from the pool deck looking over the Lake of the Ozarks and said, 'you're going to love this place,'" Dehner recalled.
Tan-Tar-A is currently owned by Driftwood Acquisitions & Development, which has a relationship with Margaritaville hotels. Dehner said Driftwood bought Tan-Tar-A from CW Capitol with the intent of maintaining the status quo of the popular family resort.
Driftwood officials bragged about Tan-Tar-A and the Lake of the Ozarks to their Margaritaville friends and invited them to visit.
"So, from that trip we're going to make it Margaritaville," Dehner said. "We're very excited at Tan-Tar-A and the changes ahead as we rebrand the resort."
Since the announcement, Dehner says his "phone has rung off the wall" with people interested in buying homes and estates at Tan-Tar-A.
Buffett owns 50 percent of the Margaritaville name and other aspects associated with Margaritaville so in the agreement he will get part of the fees and revenues, Dehner explained.
"The owner of Driftwood really fell in love with Tan-Tar-A," Dehner said. "He saw the potential, and he was aware of the potential. Everyone who comes to the lake for the first time is in awe and how beautiful it is here and what it has to offer."
Adler said demolition of the iconic Golden Door Motel and adjacent Jake's Steak & Fish should get underway in November to make way for the 100,000-square-foot, $30.4 million retail development that will be called Osage Beach Commons. The Staenberg Group (TSG) of St. Louis is the developer.
Adler said about 130,000 cubic yards of fill will be brought in later next year to level the property with plans to "go vertical" soon after with opening in 2019.
While Adler declined to name specific tenants, he said TSG has identified 70-80 tenants in other Missouri communities that are not currently at the Lake of the Ozarks. His only hint was to suggest that residents look at newer developments in Jeff City, Columbia and Rolla for possible new tenants here.
"There is definite opportunity for more retail here," he said. "There is so much exciting stuff going on here and the demographics are improving. It's just not a tourist destination now; it's a full-time powerhouse of marketing."
Osage Beach Commons will front Osage Beach Parkway from near the Osage Beach Outlets to near Casey's General Store.