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Lee-Chin partners with Geejam on Trident, Blue Lagoon management

Published:Wednesday | October 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Trident Castle, a Portland landmark now owned by billionaire investor Michael Lee-Chin. - File

Michael Lee-Chin's Portland Holdings has chosen Geejam Collections to manage its hospitality properties in Portland.
Geejam, which is headed by Jon Baker, is currently advertising for key managers for Trident Castle, Trident Hotel and Blue Lagoon as well as the Geejam hotel and Bushbar.

Mark McIntosh, a spokesman for Portland Holdings Inc to whom Wednesday Business was referred by Lee-Chin, said the partnership with Geejam involves four properties, but that only three, the Trident properties and Blue Lagoon, are owned by Portland Holdings.

The properties are all managed by Geejam, McIntosh said.

Baker said that under the arrangement with Portland Holdings, Geejam will complete the development of the Trident Hotel, The Trident Castle and the Blue Lagoon.

"On completion, The Geejam Collection will market, promote and operate the properties alongside its own portfolio which consists of Geejam Hotel, Geejam Studios and the Bushbar," he told Wednesday Business.

"The strategic focus of this partnership is to return Port Antonio to its former glory as an internationally renowned tourist destination with a vibrant and sustainable local economy."

On Sunday, Portland Holdings and Geejam Collection, through a full-page advertisement, began recruiting a chief accountant or financial controller, a chef de cuisine, and managers for food and beverage, housekeeping, spa and fitness as well as a group purchasing and procurement coordinator.

The ad pitched the pending launch of hospitality businesses as the 'renaissance' of Port Antonio.

"Over the next 12 months, a number of new businesses will be launched in the Port Antonio region as a result of development nearing completion by Portland Holdings Inc and the operators and management team at Geejam Collection," the partners said.
"The businesses are predominantly in hospitality, tourism and entertainment, with a number of supporting services to those businesses. As a result of the new business, there will be new job opportunities in a broad-reaching sector."

Trident Hotel and the accompanying Trident Castle were previously advertised on international travel sites as a luxury destination, one of which states that both were slated for opening in October 2012.

The property comprises 13 waterfront villas, as well as the castle, which is available for exclusive hire.

Celebrity appeal

Geejam, which operates its own hotel in Port Antonio, touts its celebrity appeal for clientele that has included film stars Sharon Stone and Tom Cruise; as well as Amy Winehouse, who reportedly used Geejam as her Caribbean recording home.

The Geejam property, located on six acres of the San San Estate, features seven double rooms, recording studio, spa, swimming pool, gym and bushbar.

Jamaican-Canadian investor Lee-Chin has made a multimillion-dollar bet on Portland capital Port Antonio as a resort destination.
However, the take-off of tourism in Portland has been affected by lack of infrastructure, including airport facilities.

Progress was reported when the Airports Authority of Jamaica completed the transformation of the Boscobel aerodrome next door in St Mary into an international airport and renamed it the Ian Fleming Airport.

The airport was commissioned officially in January 2011.

Head of the AAJ, Earl Richards, said the airport will be expanded another 500 feet to accommodate regular scheduled flights for aircraft with up to 70 passengers.

business@gleanerjm.com