The Origins of The Conch House
The Conch House Marina Resort is owned and operated by the Ponce Family. With a history as rich and intriguing as the Oldest City itself, the Ponces have lived here over 400 years making the family a landmark in the St. Augustine area. Jimmy Sr. and Jackie Ponce first opened the resort, back in 1946 as a 4-unit motel.
Through hard work, determination and insight, the resort evolved to become what it is today. David and James Ponce Jr. joined together in 1976 to combine their skills and built the Conch House Lounge and the By the Sea Marina. The lounge, fashioned after the Capo Bath House was built 300 feet out over the water with fine crafted woods and nautical antiques. The Conch House quickly became a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike serving a multitude of tropical drinks.
The family's venture proved to be such a success that in 1980 they opened a small restaurant specializing in fresh steamed seafood. So, once again the brothers were designing and building. The restaurant roof was built from palmfrans and cypress logs by Seminole Indians from the Everglades. The Family kept improving the resort during the 80's, they enlarged the restaurant to multilevel indoor and outdoor full service dining, enlarged the marina into a Star Port, full service 96 slip facility, and added the Chandlery gift shop which features fine nautical and unique gifts.
Word about the resort began to spread like wildfire and the Ponce’s saw that it was time to grow with the reputation. In October 2001, the Ponce’s began construction on the entire property. Thousands of cubic yards of the marina were dredged in order to make room for additional new slips, a 750 foot bulkhead and walkway were added, old piers were replaced with new ones, decks were added and stages for entertainment were put into place. As you enter the new parking lot, you’ll notice custom light poles designed and built by the Ponce brothers themselves. It’s like entering a harbor of old sailing ships. They also added air-conditioned restrooms on the dock and the restaurant built more skypods that loom above the water and the newly renovated motel rooms.
Now backing up what his father created, David Ponce Jr., General Manager, has stepped up to continue this world famous, successful and iconic family business.
Recently, a unique artist named Buzz Saw Bob carved creatures and other interesting objects into the wooden posts that are exclusive to the Conch House Marina Resort. Each year thousands of people step through the uniquely designed entrance that transports them to “Conchland”.
We’re proud and excited about all the changes we’ve made and we want you to come out and see. So come out for the first time, or visit us again for the first time!