South Seas was sold by the family of Wally Watts in 1972 when Mr. Watts became ill. A young, ambitious 28-year old called Bob Taylor was in the area on vacation and was so taken with Sanibel and Captiva that, on his way home, decided to leave his job and form a development company called Mariner Properties. Taylor found various investors including Ted Broek and together they established two developments on Sanibel, the Sanibel Moorings and Gulf Pines. Both were incredible successes and at the same time, South Seas was up for sale. Though both considered the acquisition risky, they decided to go for it and closed on the property at approximately 3.5 million in September 1972.
Both Taylor and Broek knew that they had no experience in the hotel business so hired a recent hotel management graduate Scott Siler and a recent mechanical engineer graduate Ray Pavelka to renovate and expand the resort and in a lightening 90 days, thirty new guests rooms had been created, a swimming pool added and the restaurant expanded. The resort was open by Christmas in 1972.
Mariner Development then went on to expand South Seas by creating the Beach Homes development which was a collection of single-family and duplex units. They went up for sale in 1974 just as the energy crisis happened. Though the units were not selling, the resort was doing well and, with the addition of a gas station on-site, and the lure of a free tank of gas for guests, they continued to thrive. They added Marina Villas in 1976 which were guarantee rental properties for owners investments and all 40 units sold within 3 months.
In 1977, Chadwicks Restuarant was added, tennis courts, employee housing and the marina was expanded and by the early 90’s South Seas had 884 units and Mariner Properties had created several other resorts including the Sundial, The Dunes Gold and Tennis Club and the Sanibel Inn.