10. From Gold to Sold: Three Major Caribbean Resorts to Change Hands

atlantisCaribbean resorts continue to bounce back from 2009 with 2012 and beyond looking brighter for the region. But the light at the end of the tunnel will not come without three casualties: Atlantis, Cap Juluca and The Palmyra.

The latest resort to be sold is The Palmyra in Jamaica. This week, resort representatives announced that the a luxury condominium and hotel resort in Montego Bay is heading to the auction block.

The high-end development, which includes three towers, a 30,000 square foot spa complex and 11 villas, may also be eligible for a gaming permit, conditional upon local legislation, that could potentially lead to the construction of Jamaica's first casino.

In December, Kerzner International Holdings Limited got the selling trend off and running when it announced that it has shifted its forward business strategy from that of owner / operator to that of a management company under which it will continue to grow the Atlantis and One&Only brands world-wide.

Consistent with this strategy, Kerzner has entered into an agreement in principle with its corporate lenders to amend its operating company debt and has also entered into an agreement in principle with the lenders to its Bahamian and Mexican assets, including a fund owned by Brookfield Asset Management, which will see Brookfield assume ownership of these assets subject to management contracts with the company. Brookfield has agreed to exchange roughly $175 million of debt for the equity of the Bahamian and Mexican companies.

A spokesperson for Kerzner International told Travel Agent recently that “this transaction should be seamless to the guests, as Kerzner and its staff will remain as manager of the properties. Operations will not be affected.”

Finally, in late February, Anguilla's, if not one of the world's, most luxurious hotel announced it was up for sale. The greater part of the real estate comprising the Cap Juluca resort will be sold at a public auction May 2.

The auction will take place as part of a restructuring process toward debt obligations owed to the original developer. "The opportunity to buy a world-renowned property of this quality and distinction is very rare," said David Kaufman, principal of real-estate auctioneer DK Realty Partners. "I fully expect Cap Juluca to draw strong interest from qualified investors around the world."

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates in this developing Caribbean trend.

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