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International Hospitality Expected To Win La Concha Hotel And Condado Beach Bid


December 20, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

International Hospitality Enterprises is expected to be the developer selected by the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. to lease the Condado Beach Hotel and La Concha Hotel, according to an inside source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Veteran hotelier Hugh Andrews, who heads International Hospitality, was running against Eduardo DeBeers, who represented Metacorp, and Juan Albors, head of Desarrollos Insulares and Albors group.

Two groups–Donaldson Lufkin & Jennette/Flagship Services and Tishman Realty Group–dropped out of the bidding process citing a decision to devote full attention and financial resources to their existing projects.

"La Concha hotel, in our opinion, was beyond repair to bring up to uniform building code and life safety requirements," said Rick Newman, president of Flagship Services. "The time it would have taken to complete this development and the risk involved, especially after Sept. 11, made it less attractive for the investor group not to withdraw their bid when they had other attractive investments in other places."

The source said that Andrews plans to refurbish the Condado Beach and La Concha hotels (a critical part of the government’s decision process) and add a condo-hotel component. Sheraton Hotels is said to be interested in managing La Concha Hotel and Raffles International is expected to manage the Condado Beach.

In August, Andrews resigned from his post on the Tourism Co.’s board of directors. In a letter to the governor dated Aug. 7, Andrews indicated it had come to his attention that his membership on the board could be perceived as a possible conflict of interest.

At press time Monday, Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director Milton Segarra did not confirm if Andrews had in fact been selected the winning bidder of the project. According to Segarra, the Tourism Co. was holding its final evaluation committee meeting for the project.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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