Marcella Scarlett, Business Reporter
The hotel property most recently acquired by the Sagicor Jamaica Group is expected to open for business in about three weeks, ahead of the winter tourist season.
Hotel manager Barbara Burton said at the weekend that the refurbishing of the Jewel Paradise Cove Resort at Runaway Bay is 80 per cent complete and should be finished in time for the October 14 opening.
The winter season kicks off annually on December 15.
Burton said while the opening date may seem farfetched, "come what may" the hotel will begin operations, saying that "at least all the general areas and most of the rooms will be finished by then".
"We work 24/7 shifts around here because we want to get the work done in time. Even if everything is not finished, we will have all the general areas completed. We are going to get a lot out of these remaining three weeks," she said on Saturday, during a tour of the complex.
The hotel has 225 rooms, four restaurants, several bars, a club, two spas - one of which is newly constructed - and a gym.
Jewel Paradise is one of three hotel properties in the Sigma Real Estate Portfolio. Sagicor acquired the property on May 1, 2013 from the Development Bank of Jamaica, and is spending US$5 million on the refurbishing.
Capital expenditure in ensuing years is projected at three per cent of annual room revenue.
The property was acquired for US$12.45 million, according to disclosures by Sagicor Group, which also says the hotel is worth US$17 million-US$19 million (J$1.68 billion to J$1.88 billion) at market value.
The hotel initially operated as Hedonism III but, over time, has gone through renamings and change of management before its sale.
Sagicor projects that the hotel will make a loss over the near three months of expected operation in 2013, but expects that it will make a profit in 2014.
For 2013, Jewel Paradise Cove is projected to earn US$3.160 million. This compares to total expenses of US$3.185 million. However, in 2014 revenue is projected to be US$13.686 million, compared to expenses of US$11.977 million.
The property will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality LP, a hotel management firm based in Dallas, Texas, which manages the other two Jewel Resorts.
Jewel Paradise Cove will debut with an average daily room rate of US$200.