Nikki Beach Drops Hotel Project in Panama

Nikki Beach recently severed its ties with a condominium hotel project under development in Playa Blanca on Panama’s Pacific Coast, and has taken legal action against the local developer, Panama’s Casa de Campo Farallon, S.A., according to Peter Higney, director of operations, Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts, Miami Beach.

"As a global five-star brand, we set certain standards for the design, construction and operation of our properties," Higney said in a written release. "We have a responsibility to maintain our brand standards and under no circumstances would we allow the developer to use our brand and misrepresent us to our loyal Nikki Beach customers."

On Thursday Nikki Beach filed an injunction in U.S. District Court in Miami against the Panama developer to prevent the unauthorized use of its name, brand and any other intellectual property belonging to the company.

Referring to the situation in Panama, Higney said that as of August 2010, the local developer had breached an operating agreement by failing to conform to the brand’s standards, architectural guidelines and operating requirements, as well as by misrepresentation of the brand. Additionally, the developer missed the opening date in 2008.

Consequently, Nikki Beach declared the developer in default, but gave the developer another chance to correct the numerous problems found by an on-site inspection in September 2010. When the developer did not respond, Nikki Beach sent a notice of termination on November 22, 2010.

Without Nikki Beach serving as the “exclusive operator” of the resort as called for in the contract, the developer had no right to open the resort in December, 2010 using the Nikki Beach brands, added Higney in the release, since Nikki Beach had no way to insure quality control over such unauthorized use of its five-star brand.

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