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A Vancouver-based resort company which took over the management of the Ginn Sur Mer property in Grand Bahama is looking into the possible purchase of 550 acres of property in Treasure Cay, Abaco, with a view to a possible further development of the area, Guardian Business has learned.
Replay Resorts is looking at the land, currently owned by the Meister family, owner/operators of Treasure Cay Ltd. and Dolphin Encounters on Salt Cay, which includes the Treasure Cay resort and Marina and some additional vacant property.
German-born Ludwig Meister bought 1,500 acres of Treasure Cay in 1981. Today the area includes an array of rental properties, privately owned homes, a 150-slip marina, restaurant and golf course. The development is situated on what is considered one of the world's top beaches, Treasure Cay beach.
A source with knowledge of the matter said: "(Representatives of Replay Resorts) are in Treasure Cay all the time these days. They are looking at the Meister property, but it's very, very secretive."
The Meister property had been close to a sale around three years ago, but the deal was dropped after the government reportedly placed conditions on any future development of the site that the buyer considered too prohibitive.
"The developer walked away," said the source of that deal.
Replay Resorts describes itself as "in the business of planning, designing, building and orchestrating experience-driven destinations".
"To do so, we reassess, restructure and re-energize great places and, once we have, we then re-engage the marketplace," it states on its website.
In relation to Grand Bahama, Replay Resorts was brought into the picture in 2012 by a Credit Suisse-led syndicate after a loan default by developers Bobby Ginn and Lubert Adler saw the $4.9 billion West Grand Bahama Ginn Sur Mer project placed into foreclosure in 2010.
Under a settlement, Credit Suisse controlled approximately 1,600 acres of the West End, Grand Bahama site.
According to its website, Replay Resorts manages a "master planned destination resort... for a consortium of financial partners (in Grand Bahama) and is proceeding with the first stages of planning for the development of this magnificent property".
"The site was originally intended to be an Atlantis-size resort and casino known as Ginn Sur Mer. Our plan calls for a style of resort development more in scale with tropical settings and with the
plantation-era, colonial period of The Bahamas," it adds.
On its website, Replay Resorts states that it "inherited" around $200 million-worth of infrastructural development when it took over the Ginn project. It is not clear what the status of that development is today. In 2012, Replay Resorts' Chief Executive Officer Bill Green had highlighted challenges in identifying development partners.
The company also has management control of the Turtle Bay Resort, the only destination resort located on Oahu, Hawaii's North Shore, on behalf of a consortium of owner-investors. Its responsibilities there include repositioning and rebranding the resort, reinventing the hotel, including its food-and-beverage operations, and improving its financial outlook.
In Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico, Replay has partnered with the master developer of a resort, Mexico-based Grupo Questro, to lead the design and development of a mixed-use marina village. Other projects are underway in California and the Dominican Republic.
Messages left for Ludwig Meister's son Robert, and Replay Resorts, seeking comment were not returned up to press time.
Grand Isle Resort & Spa this week announced the appointment of Bahamian Shervin Penn as Resort Manager of its $100 million, luxurious 78 condo villa resort at the peak of Emerald Bay on Great Exuma.
“We are pleased to announce the promotion of Assistant Manager Shervin Penn to the post of Resort Manager,” said James Clabaugh, President of EGI Ltd., developers of the luxury property that has consistently ranked #1 of 11 hotels in Exuma on TripAdvisor.com, even during the heyday of the famed Four Seasons which closed earlier this year to clear the way for the sale of land on which it was situated as part of a larger transaction. “We know that a new era is dawning for Exuma and we believe that Shervin’s appreciation of how important a superior visitor experience is will help Grand Isle retain its standing among repeat discerning guests and the many new visitors that Sandals will be bringing to Exuma.”
Old Bahama Bay Resort (OBB) will not renew its rental management agreement with 73 condominium owners and plans to focus all attention on future development. The move by OBB Resort, owner of 225 acres of resort and commercial property in Grand Bahama, is consistent with the developer's long-term plan.es to this end."
NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2012) – Sandals Resorts kicked off wedding season with a star-studded, interactive bridal experience at Grand Central Terminal on June 14, 2012. With TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress star Randy Fenoli, Sandals Resorts transformed Vanderbilt Hall into a tropical paradise to celebrate the launch of Your Wedding. Your Style., Sandals’ all-new destination wedding concept that allows couples to personally style and execute their dream wedding at Sandals Royal Bahamian and any one of Sandals’ other luxurious resorts dotted across the Caribbean.
Gordon “Butch” Stewart Receives the 2014 Invest Caribbean Now Leadership Award...
Millions of dollars are being spent to upgrade the bathroom tiles at Atlantis on Paradise Island, with remodelling starting on the already luxurious Cove.
Senior VP of Public Affairs, Ed Fields, confirmed that work is already underway, and approximately $5 million is being spent to refurbish the showers in the tower.
"We are changing glass tiles in showers to marble," he told Guardian Business.
"While an upgrade, it is a change from one type of tile to another. Nothing else in [the] room is being changed.
"[There will be] no impact on 'star level' changing tiles from glass to marble in showers."
Meanwhile, Kerzner International's executives are working hard to refinance $2.6 billion in mortgage debt that matures tomorrow.
Last month, Guardian Business reported that the company was exploring the possibility of selling its 50 percent stake in the Atlantis resort in Dubai to raise money and pay down the debt on the Bahamian property.
The current $5 million upgrade follows Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's earlier announcement that many new projects would start at the property, giving a temporary employment boost to the construction industry.
"The important ongoing $100 million renovation and upgrade project at Kerzner International properties on Paradise Island continues with a completion date slated for December of this year," Ingraham said in his speech on the budget debate 2011/2012.
"Further, Kerzner International expects to commence the development of its new timeshare resort and expansion of the Hurricane Hole marina this year."
Analysts suspect the move by Atlantis to commence the upgrades was strategic, giving the project first grab at available skilled labor in the country before the Baha Mar project takes off.
Local contractors are expected to oversee some 95 percent of the Paradise Island project, a stark contrast to the minority share they are likely to enjoy at Baha Mar.
Last week, Baha Mar revealed to Guardian Business the plans behind 313 luxurious apartments and villas that will be offered to international investors in January.
The properties will be located in the five-star Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, Mondrian and Casino Hotels and will include everything from a $1.2 million one-bedroom apartment to a $6 million, four-bedroom villa on the beach.
Executives are targeting "an extremely up-scale" residential experience for investors who won't necessarily be residing in The Bahamas all the time.
The new place will likely go head-to-head in competition with Atlantis' most luxurious residences in the Cove and the Reef.