by Shawn Cumberbatch
One of Barbados’ leading hotel groups has placed two of its properties jointly on the market for $70 million, signalling its reduced interest in the island’s difficult tourism sector.
Smith Gore, a leading real estate firm based in the British Virgin Islands, has revealed in documents seen by Barbados TODAY that the Palm Beach Hotel Group has “instructed” it to find buyers for its Amaryllis Beach Resort and closed sister property Sandy Bay Beach Club.
And investigations have revealed that the duo, which together hold 280 of the island’s hotel rooms, are targeting existing and new investors in and out of Barbados in an effort Smith Gore is pursuing with American commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, and local counterpart Terra Caribbean.
Sources said, however, that while it was expected that Amaryllis would be sold as “a going concern” with staff being retained by the new owners, Sandy Bay, which ceased operations in April 2009, would be sold with the knowledge it could be redeveloped, possibly into condominiums.
“(The) hotels are well located established properties with excellent beach frontage. Interest is expected from a range of capital sources, including operators, developers and private investors,” information from Smith Gore stated, and it noted that the “quoting” price was US$35 million. Once Amaryllis and Sandy Bay are sold it would mean that the Palm Beach Hotel Group, led by Leif Brandel, would only have the 50-room Allamanda Beach Hotel.
All three hotels are in Christ Church, with Amaryllis, previously called Asta Beach Hotel, and Allamanda located at Hastings.
In the case of Amaryllis, the information its owners hope would entice buyers included that the property “has consistently generating significant annual gross revenue, averaging more than $10 million and positive cash over the last four years”.
Additionally, in a document circulated to investors, CBRE Inc’s Managing Director, Golf & Resort Properties, Jeff Woolson, sand the hotel was “well placed to benefit form the high growth potential in Barbados hotel, tourism and real estate sectors”.
“Amaryllis Beach Resort is being offered well below replacement cost,” he said. Sandy Bay on the other hand was being marketed as a chance to start anew.
“Sandy Bay represents an excellent redevelopment opportunity as a hotel, condominiums or mixed use property, as the site layout does not fully utilise the available acreage and the existing buildings have been shuttered for two and a half years,” the sale offer information stated.
Barbados TODAY was unable to reach Brandel for a comment on these developments, but sources said the Palm Beach Hotel Group, like most of its counterparts in the hotel business here, has been facing a difficult time over the past few years.
It was among the dozens of properties benefitting from the Tourism Industry Relief Fund provided by the current administration in 2009.
The group itself received $571,000 in late 2009, while Amaryllis received about $331,000 and Allamanda $27,119.
Amaryllis was renamed and rebranded in 2003, while Sandy Bay was purchased in 2005 and reopened after renovations that same year. firstname.lastname@example.org