(CNS Business): The price tag for Grand Caymanâ€™s Treasure Island Resort is US$15.475 million, but itâ€™s the alleged black mould problem that has previous tenants speaking out. However, Re/Max Cayman Islands owner Kim Lund said he is unaware of that issue and has only had the chance to view the part of the resort that is opened.
Lund explained that the third of the rooms that are currently out of commission could very well have some issues, and that is something that will need to be addressed.
CNS Business spoke with former residents of the 280-room resort, who said that when they lived at Treasure Island they had a terrible encounter with black mould. One former resident, who did not want to be identified, said she lived there off and on for two years starting in 2010. The former tenant said the living condition were horrible and believes the resort should have never re-opened after Ivan, a catastrophic hurricane that hit Grand Cayman in 2004.
â€œWe were getting sick. We noticed mould behind our headboards, so we called the AC Company to come in, and they opened up our air conditioner and found black mould,â€ the former resident stated.
The resort has been a part of the Seven Mile Beach corridor since 1986, and Lund stated the side of the resort that is open and operating is in fair shape. He said that like any older building, repairs and work would need to be done.
However, the former resident explained nothing major was done to help their situation, so they moved out and decided they could no longer live at the resort.
The sale of this long-standing resort comes after the company that owns the property, Restoration Cayman Ltd., was put under receivership in November in the face of serious financial problems. The asking price followed valuations from two independent quantity surveyors.
Last week, secured creditor Scotiabank decided to put the resort up for sale through real estate firm Re/Max Cayman Islands.
As for the asking price, Lund explained, â€œItâ€™s fair market value, and itâ€™s also a very good value for what youâ€™re getting for your money.â€ He added, â€œItâ€™s a well-built property, solid concrete and well put together. Obviously there is room for improvement and investment there.â€
Lund said the company wants it sold as soon as possible, and right now has multiple offers on the table.
â€œI think there is value in the building and the structure, and thereâ€™s lots of land where they could build even more. Now you can go to ten stories, so very likely, in fact what Iâ€™m seeing from the responses we are getting, is that people are willing to work with the structure there and will likely add on to it or improve on whatâ€™s already there in terms of height,â€ the agencyâ€™s owner stated.
However, the former resident of the resort told CNS Business it would take more than just a little work to restore Treasure Island back to its former glory.
â€œItâ€™s perfect and prime location. I believe, as someone who lived there, the new owners would pretty much need to start over from the foundation,â€ the former tenant explained.
â€œIt will probably be a very good tourist accommodation. There is demand now for more hotels, and I think the timing and where we are in the market right now probably makes the property more suitable to being a hotel than an extended stay for residents and workers,â€ Lund explained.
Another resort up for grabs is the Marriott Resort. Located less than a mile away on West Bay Road, this resort went up for sale in January, and is expected to sell for just over $100 million.
CNS Business reached out to Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell, who said, â€œThe sale of Treasure Island presents an interesting proposition for potential buyers and is occurring at a time when extensive development is taking place within the tourism sector. Existing properties in the area are being refurbished and several new properties are either under construction, or in the pipeline for development in the near future.â€
Minister Kirkconnell added, â€œIt would be wonderful if the new owners of Treasure Island embraced this as an opportunity to transform this property into something that will be both attractive to visitors and complementary to our existing tourism accommodations product.â€