Sunset Beach Motel was purchased by Paul and Sara Heckman on August 26, 1968. It consisted of an office and 16 units in the old fashion triangular style.
Fourteen units had decent inside lake views, front and back, but the two end units had a full inside view of Big Lake Jackson.
The incredible sunsets were what inspired the purchase.
This is being transcribed in 2011 by their children: Steve Heckman, age 71 and sister, Kay, 61. Our Dad (Paul) and Mom (Sara) later added 8 more units, then another 18 efficiency units with full kitchens.
Dad and Mom lived in Northern Indiana where Dad owned and operated a large bookbinding company. They hired managers to operate the motel. Dad died 5 years later in 1973 as a result of an auto accident.
In 1977 Mom moved to Sebring and into a two story apartment she designed on the motel’s lakefront. She managed the motel until 2008, when at age 93 she retired and moved to Indianapolis.
Nancy Taylor, an experienced resort manager then took over management. She now keeps all guests happy and makes long term stay guests feel as if it were their home. This web site is her primary means of marketing.
Two adjacent lake front properties have been purchased since Dad’s passing. Hurricane Wilma ruined the two buildings on those properties, so now the motel controls 960’ of beautiful white sandy beach on Big Lake Jackson with plenty of land for major expansion.
There was a great deal of chain motel expansion in Sebring just before the recent economic recession, mostly along on HW 27. Thus, it is a buyer’s market for motel stays in Sebring.
However, Sunset Beach Motel has something none of the chains have: a huge beautiful white sandy beach on one of Florida’s most beautiful, best fishing/swimming/boating, clearest freshwater white sand bottom lakes.
Steve, a motorcycle enthusiast, calls this place the perfect stop after a day of riding. Unload, have a drink outside and walk to a restaurant or grill for yourself in our common area. A Publix supermarket is located just across the street. Don’t forget the sunset and maybe a swim.
The motel provides easy access/walking distance to a nice mall with shopping stores, a Publix, a large CVS, a bank and a filling station. There are several restaurants within walking distance; the most popular being the Sunset Grille next door on the lake front. Sunset Grille provides a large array food and beverage selections (3 way alcohol license) and a 10% discount for Sunset Beach Motel guests. It also offers a large seating capacity inside and out. Outside seating lakeside provides awesome dining views.
The famous Sebring 12 hour endurance race is the city’s prime event. But other big events take place at the track, plus it is home to permanent professional race driving schools. There are also many non-racing events that bring visitors to Sebring and there are golf courses galore. Check our attractions page for links.
Sunset Beach Motel caters to long term stays of 1 to 3 or 4 months during the winter months when it is cold up North. Experience a fun filled, relaxing, exhilarating, and economical winter with us. You will love it! Please give us a chance to prove it!
A few Sunset Beach Motel postcards from the years past