Airlift mars Tiara sale

Potential buyers of Divi Tiara Resort in Cayman Brac do not feel confident they could create a profitable business from it.

This, according to Vice President of Sales and Marketing Divi Resorts, Mark Steward, is because of airline service issues to the Brac.

But Mr. Steward also said he hopes the resort will sell as quickly as possible.

Divi Tiara resort closed in September with the loss of 37 jobs.

Mr. Steward has said that Cayman Airways would have to put on a direct service from Miami into Cayman Brac at least twice a week for a 50 to 60 room replacement hotel to be successful there.

Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford has defended airlift supply to the Brac, saying figures of travel seats have increased significantly over the past five years, with Cayman Express providing up to 4,850 roundtrip seats per month from Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands and that fares have dropped from US$156 in 2003 to the current average of US$119.

Mr. Clifford also said that Divi Resorts had not maintained the necessary standards for competitiveness at Divi Tiara.

The sale price of the resort is between US$9 and $11 million.

Although Mr. Steward declined to comment on the question of whether there are currently any offers on the table, he did say that the resort is still receiving offers and it will sell to the most appropriate.

Previous offers for the hotel, including one for US$11 million, have fallen through recently for various reasons.

When asked if Divi Resorts would consider lowering the price of the property, Mr. Steward simply said, ‘We will sell the hotel at the appropriate price’.

Mr. Steward has also said that US$5 million would need to be re-invested in the property by a buyer in order to create an exclusive boutique out of it. This type of hotel could work, he said, because the visitors to this type of resort would have their own jets that they could use to get to the island, thus getting around the airlift issue.

When asked if he believes the resort will sell in the next six months he said he hoped it would sell as quickly as possible.

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