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Hyatt Upgrading And Modernizing Former Cerromar
Timesharing At Hacienda Del Mar Bodes Well For Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
By JACQUES-CHRISTIAN WADESTRANDT
January 8, 2004
It is no secret in the hotel industry that Hyatt is trying to obtain approximately $100 million in financing, public or private, for its ambitious project to convert the former Cerromar resort into a 190 room timesharing complex. There are currently 83 rooms open at the new facilities now called Hacienda del Mar.
The timing couldnt be better as tourism is expected to rise in the coming months. "The hotel industry worldwide is coming out of two or three of its toughest years in modern industry history," according to Victor Lopez, divisional vice president of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts since 1993.
Lopez argued that this was a result primarily of the war in Iraq, the rise in terrorism and the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) scare. "But the worst is behind us and the phones are ringing. The last quarter has been a pleasant surprise even though we are getting shorter-term bookings. But we are expecting a real good winter season," he said. Lopez supervises Hyatt operations in 28 properties in Florida, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Washington D.C.
Though in its heyday it enjoyed tremendous success, Cerromar closed last July, according to Lopez, because it was built 40 years ago and its life cycle as a hotel had run its course. This is why Hyatt is now interested in upgrading and modernizing its facilities. This involves, among other things, the opening of a $4.5 million new golf clubhouse, which will include a golf pro-shop complete with a members lounge and a new restaurant. In addition, Hyatt is undertaking a $2 million renovation effort in two 18- hole golf courses.
Another feature is the Hyatt website, which allows customers to review international room availability and make reservations at the cheapest rates.
The timeshare process
Timesharing is shared ownership in a project where each person has a right to occupy time. Thats how John Burlingame, Hyatt Executive Vice President Development Timeshare, explains the concept. In addition to owning the unit, timesharers have the considerable advantage of being able to "trade time" with timesharers at other Hyatt facilities around the world. There can be a maximum of 51 owners for a unit.
With only two or three hotel companies offering the service on the island the timesharing market is still taking off in Puerto Rico. That and its proximity to the U.S. mainland are two reasons why timesharing has such great potential here Mr. Burlingame explained.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.