Avia Collinder, Business Writer
WIHCON Properties Limited, the company hired to sell the former Breezes hotel in Montego Bay, says it is willing to cut a deal on the price.
The hotel, which is co-owned by National Insurance Fund (NIF) and NCB Pension Fund, has been revalued at US$11.5 million (J$1.03 billion).
WIHCON says the owners and directors of the beachfront property will meet in the middle of September to review any offer received and is intent on putting the hotel back into operation.
The company reopened bids for the hotel in August with a new bid deadline of October 1, 2012, after negotiations with hotelier Christopher Issa faltered.
"Our duty is to present all offers to the board - reasonable and unreasonable," said a top manager at WIHCON, who spoke with Wednesday Business on condition of anonymity.
The property manager said interest so far has come from within the region and Canada.
WIHCON said it wants serious offers around the new valuation of US$11.5 million. The previous valuation was US$14 million in 2009.
Sitting on 1.85 acres, the property features 22 beachfront suites, 31 cabins and 71 other suites and rooms.
"We have advertised locally and in the Miami area. There is a board meeting shortly to discuss strategy and review any offers. We do not edit. We entertain all comers. We have had people from as far as British Columbia who have come to look," the property manager said.
WIHCON has been hired both to maintain the hotel "in mothball condition" as well as to seek offers for purchase and any other "options" considered acceptable by the board, he said.
He said the hotel requires repair work and refurbishing which will be factored into the price negotiated.
"The target is anyone who wants a relatively small hotel in an excellent location, but we are aware that whoever buys it will have some refurbishing to undertake and that will be taken into account when the price is being discussed. My obligation as a dealer is to present all offers reasonable and unreasonable," said the WIHCON rep.
The property has been unoccupied for almost three years since SuperClubs gave up the lease.
Both the Royal Decameron Group and Chris Issa, the current owner of Spanish Court Hotel, have placed offers on the table for the property but no deal has been struck.
The hotel sits adjacent the world-famous Doctors Cave beach, which WIHCON believes is a major selling point.
"While it does not have a beachfront, it is adjoining the Doctors Cave beach," said the WIHCON property manager. "The location is the best thing it has. There is an open licence to utilise the facilities at Doctors Cave, including water sports, some of which belongs to the hotel," he said.
The seaside property was built in 1995 by NCB Investments - then the investment arm of the banking group. NCB Pension Fund retained 51 per cent of the shareholding, with the remaining 49 per cent purchased by the NIF for J$271 million.