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Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino To Be Sold

Potential buyer would be first-time investor in the hotel industry


December 9, 2004
Copyright © 2004 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Six months after announcing a $13 million, three-year renovation project, the Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino is up for sale again.

CARIBBEAN BUSINESS sources said the potential buyer is in the business of shopping malls and warehouses, so the company’s purchase of the Ritz-Carlton San Juan would represent its first foray into the hotel business. Although both parties declined to comment on the sale, CB sources said a deal is in the making and the official announcement, with details of the transaction, will be made soon.

This isn’t the first time the Ritz-Carlton San Juan has had financial trouble. After its previous owner declared bankruptcy, the 416-room hotel was purchased by Credit Suisse First Boston in 2003 through a public spot sale. In June, nearly one year after the sale, the hotel’s new owner and Ritz’s parent company, Marriott International, announced plans to renovate the property.

The renovation plan was a response to management’s interest in upgrading the beachfront property after seven years in operation and exposure to the elements and sea spray. Renovations were to have been completed in three years.

The development and construction of the Ritz-Carlton San Juan was partly financed with the proceeds from the issue of $85 million in Tourism Revenue Bonds through the Puerto Rico Industrial, Tourist, Educational, Medical & Environmental Control Facilities Financing Authority (Afica), a subsidiary of the Government Development Bank (GDB). As of July, the Tourism Development Fund, another GDB subsidiary, was still waiting for the local government to cover a $16.7 million loss on the hotel's sale.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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