Treasure Island to become Margaritaville Resort


Treasure Island to become Margaritaville Resort

Treasure Island – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT

From Treasure Island to Margaritaville Resort

The run-down Treasure Island hotel will be transformed into a Margaritaville resort following the purchase of the property by Miami-based Howard Hospitality Group.

The sale went through on Friday after months of negotiations, real estate agent Kim Lund confirmed.

Re/Max will start selling 110 condominium suites at the new hotel later this month.

The renovation of the hotel, expected to involve a multimillion-dollar investment, will take place in phases, starting early next year.

The resort, which will feature 280 rooms, multiple bars and restaurants and designated kids zones with a two-story pool slide, is slated to open in December 2016, according to a joint statement from Margaritaville Holdings and the Howard Hotel Group.

“We’re excited to bring the Margaritaville resort experience to Grand Cayman,” said John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville Holdings.

He said Margaritaville-branded resorts are a growth area for the business, which operates several hotels in Florida and just opened a new resort in Hollywood Beach. The company’s website describes its resorts as entertainment complexes inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author Jimmy Buffett.

Howard Sitzer, chairman and CEO of Howard, said, “The Margaritaville Beach Resort on Seven Mile Beach will provide a new and exciting hotel experience for Grand Cayman.”;

He said it would embrace local tastes and provide “quality and vibrant” entertainment.

Treasure Island will remain open and operating under the management of the Howard group while renovations take place throughout 2016. Once the rebranding is complete in late 2016, operational management will be led by Trust Hospitality of Miami.

Treasure Island was listed for sale at US$15.45 million in February, three months after the owners of the property, Restoration Cayman, were put under receivership.

The Howard Hotel Group revealed in May that it was in advanced negotiations to buy a controlling stake in the hotel, with Restoration Cayman remaining as a minority shareholder.

Mr. Lund said the sale went through Friday with the Howard group ultimately buying the hotel outright.

He said the first phase of improvements would involve the renovation of 110 condo suites. Those will go on sale, starting at US$195,000, next week.

Mr. Lund said it would be full ownership with freehold title to any purchaser who buys one or more of the condo suites. However, use will be restricted to six weeks per year. The rest of the time the suites would be in the rental inventory pool.

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