Ocean City Today
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Blue Water adds New Jersey shore motel to portfolio

By Kara Hallissey | Sep 28, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Blue Water Development owners Todd Burbage, left, and Jack Burbage pose for a picture at their offices in West Ocean City last week. The real estate development company recently acquired the Drifting Sands Motel in Ship Bottom, New Jersey.

(Sept. 29, 2017) An oceanfront property with 100 rooms in a residential area attracted Blue Water Development to the Drifting Sands Motel in Ship Bottom, New Jersey, on Long Beach Island.

“It was a great opportunity and we are excited about it,” said Todd Burbage, owner of Blue Water Development along with his father, Jack. “It’s fairly new and its latest renovations were in 2006. It’s a great property and an entire city block directly oceanfront.”

Although the corporation has businesses and developments in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and North Carolina, this is the first in New Jersey. Owners look for locations in the mid-Atlantic region with a waterfront view, he said.

“We found out about it on a Friday afternoon in April, flew up there the next day and signed the contract on Sunday,” Burbage said. “Forty-five days after I saw it, we settled. It was just after Memorial Day. Ship Bottom is a great family destination with people from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania going there [on vacation] for years.”

Blue Water Development plans on beginning major renovations in phases during the offseason. An architect is developing plans with an interior designer for a number of exterior and interior improvements, which will take a few years to complete.

A lobby and an above ground pool will be built on the property and all rooms will undergo a complete renovation including new bedding and furniture. In addition, there are plans to add a tiki bar and an event venue on the roof.

“It is a major wedding destination and there are many venues in the area,” Jack Burbage said. “It draws a lot of people from the Cherry Hill area in New Jersey and New York.”

Amenities include free Wi-Fi, complimentary bicycles to ride around town and concierge services to help set up umbrellas and beach chairs on the beach.

“We are big on guest experiences and have a whole host of choices,” Todd Burbage said. “We want to be the best of the best and go out of our way to offer amenities our guests need like shuttle services and a concierge. The guest experience makes the difference.”

Real Hospitality Group takes care of hotel management for the Drifting Sands Motel.

“We are really excited to get our hands on the property,” Deserie Lawrence, chief marketing officer of Blue Water Development said. “It is attractive and there are a lot of possibilities. We have done a lot of extensive digital marketing including social media. There are now new eyes looking [at the motel who are from] New York and Philly. We can get them excited and wanting to book for next summer.”

The real estate development company has been in operation since 2002 and specializes in commercial and hospitality properties.

In addition to the Drifting Sands Motel, Blue Water Development owns and operates the Resort at Massey’s Landing in Millsboro, Delaware, the Commander Hotel in Ocean City, the Fairfield Inn on Chincoteague Island, Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, Chincoteague Island KOA resort, the Sunset Beach Resort in Cape Charles, Virginia, the Sea Rocket in Ocean City and Blue Water Golf.

Currently, the local company is working on two campground opportunities in North Carolina, developing the Aloft Hotel in Ocean City and making sure Maui Jacks Waterpark, an outdoor waterpark adjacent to the Chincoteague Island KOA resort, is ready for operation in the 2018 season.

For more information, check out www.bluewaterdevelopmentcorp.com.

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