Damon Becnel is an established real estate developer, resort operations director, and construction project manager in Destin, Florida. His projects have helped to modernize the accommodations, businesses, and residential homes in the local area.
Damon Becnel got his start in the industry as a construction worker, working on projects as a summer job in high school and college. This experience gave him a unique perspective on how construction projects work and how to optimize the building process.
Becnel’s past projects include The Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center, a $188 million building completed in March 2007, the Saddleback Equestrian Development, a 24-lot luxury community with a 20-acre horse farm, and the Osprey Pointe Condominium at Sandestin Resort, a $47 million project.
Presently, he is working on plans for a 92-acre, 240-unit eco-resort in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Expanding beyond the Destin region has been his ambition, and it will come to fruition in a beautiful resort in the future.
Damon Becnel has also worked with managing several prominent companies in the Destin area, both in the construction industry and outside it. These companies include Visionary Vacations, Inc., Sandestin Urgent Care, LLC, Visionary Destin, Inc., and Sandestin Investments, LLC.
Becnel has been a key figure in the development of beachfront and commercial properties in Destin, Florida, and beyond. His efforts will continue to transform the city he lives and works in as well as reaching a broader scope. His expertise in both residential and commercial construction gives him the ability to plan successful projects.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
My best subject in school was English. I have always been interested in reading, and I enjoyed exploring a variety of literature from all time periods. I also did well in math and art, both of which have come in handy in my job as a real estate developer.
I always encourage my employees to receive an education, whether it is a high school diploma, a college degree, or a trade school certificate. Becoming educated is the first step toward a successful career.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a drywall laborer and finisher. I worked construction for a few summers in high school and college. It was a demanding job, but it paid better than the retail and food service jobs my friends had, and I found it to be much more enjoyable.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
I started my professional career as a financial and construction consultant at Tara Investments/Tara Homes in 1993. The company is a residential homebuilder, and I found it fascinating to see all of the work that goes into planning a residential community that its occupants will love.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
I have an appreciation of how hard my construction crews work, and I believe I treat them well. I understand that the days are long and that the job is hard on the body.
My consultant job enabled me to learn about putting a construction project together. It is a huge undertaking with many moving parts. As my career progressed, I was able to take on more and more complex projects.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
Groundbreaking on new projects is always exciting. I believe my best day of work so far was groundbreaking on the Palms of Destin Resort. It was my first multi-use development and it brought a lot of jobs to the area. I’m proud of that.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I am always motivated by what is coming next. I am so happy to be working on my project in Puerto Rico. It will be great to see how the eco-resort comes together. I am also motivated to make a better life for my family, but that concern takes a back seat to the desire to create new things.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Currently, I am very interested in blockchain technologies. I think that they have the potential to disrupt the financial industry as well as computer security. I haven’t invested in any cryptocurrencies; I am more interested in other applications of this emerging technology.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
No, I haven’t really needed to do so. My properties are easy to market because they are outstanding compared to the competition. I would be worried if I had to use unorthodox techniques to market one of my properties. That would be a bad sign that it wasn’t attracting the attention it deserved.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I am proud of becoming one of the Destin area’s top developers. I have helped to transform the Destin beach areas and I am proud of what my work has done to bring more accommodations and more jobs to the area.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Don’t forget to be kind and grateful to your employees. When I started out, I didn’t always appreciate the challenges that my employees faced every day. I have become a better boss as time has passed, and I think that I have a good idea of what it takes to become successful through treating my employees well.