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Bass Hotels & Resorts Performs Due Diligence Of San Juan Grand
Company may be the possible buyer of the Isla Verde property; would put Inter-Continental flag on it
by EVELYN GUADALUPE-FAJARDO
June 22, 2000
When the former Sands Hotel & Casino in Isla Verde became the San Juan Grand Beach Resort & Casino, the hotels new ownersPuerto Rico Hotel OPCO LTdecided that the reservation system marketing services provided by its partner Inter-Continental Hotels had become too expensive.
After being purchased by Bass Hotels & Resorts, Inter-Continental decided to evaluate its Global Partner marketing program. As part of that evaluation, Inter-Continental decided to drop independent properties such as the San Juan Grand and have those owners pay a substantial amount in fees if they still wanted their services based on total revenues.
The owners of the Isla Verdes San Juan Grand refused to go along and chose Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Group to conduct its reservations instead.
And now it appears Bass may reappear on the scene, but this time as the new owners of the San Juan Grand.
Several weeks ago, the San Juan Grand confirmed its owners had put it on the block (CB May 25).
"Bass Hotels & Resorts is performing due-diligence on the San Juan Grand and they appear to be serious about buying the property," said Rick Newman, vice president of operations at the San Juan Grand.
As part of the due-diligence process, Bass is performing a land survey, looking at the propertys financial books and doing a market analysis. They are expected to complete this process within the next eight weeks.
Dan Carlo, a real estate broker at Sonnenblick Goldman, is in charge of the marketing process for the sale of the San Juan Grand. He said Bass must also deal with the regulatory processing that includes licenses and permits.
"Bass Hotels is working closely with the local government to get those licenses and permits expedited," Carlo said.
The price tag of the San Juan Grand was not disclosed. However, when its current owners purchased the former Sands Hotel in 1997, they paid $30 million for the property.
Bass is no stranger to Puerto Rico. They had the Crowne Plaza flag on an Isla Verde property, which Bass was negotiating to buy. However, after 1998s Hurricane Georges extensively damaged the former Crowne Plaza, Bass decided to terminate negotiations.
In the meantime, Bass has not hidden its aggressive search for properties in Puerto Rico.
Last year, Bass announced its newest venture the Cayo Largo Inter-Continental Resort at Puerto del Rey Marina in Fajardo. As reported in CARIBBEAN BUSINESS, Bass Hotels & Resorts is interested in building a Crowne Plaza at the same Coco Beach property in Rio Grande where the Paradisus Coco Beach Resortalso known as Sol Meliais being constructed (CB June 9).
"This union with Inter-Continental is another positive step for the San Juan Grand," Newman said. "It is a good match. We [Flagship Services] have taken the hotel to where our owners have maximized their return on investment. Now, its time to take the property to the next plateau."
Flagship Services, which is run by Newman and Richard Abati, currently manages the San Juan Grand. But when the hotel is sold, Flagship Services will have terminated its contract.
"We [Flagship] plan to pursue other opportunities," said Newman referring to the companys involvement with Playa Almirante in Añasco and Costa Bonita in Culebra. "We are also putting together a massive project outside of Puerto Rico."
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.