Potential Investor For Exuma's Grand Isle

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The revitalization of the luxury Grand Isle Resort in Exuma may be at hand – one of the receivers of the $100 million property confirming the buzz on that island that a new ownership deal is close to being inked.

“We have received quite a bit of interest,” the receiver, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Guardian Business yesterday. “We hope to be able to finalize something within a few weeks.”

According to the receiver, discussions had progressed to the point where there was a preferred party for the negotiations. He did not confirm any details about who the new investors may be, except to say that it is not a Bahamian group.

Judy Hurlock, an Exuma-based real estate agent with Coldwell Banker/Lightbourn Realty, said if the deal goes through, it would bode well for Exuma.

“I think it is very important to our economy,” Hurlock said of the property.

According to the real estate professional, the development is “high class”, with beautiful construction and many of its current owners flying into Exuma on their private jets. It is that sort of clientele which Hurlock hopes will be able to start investing in the island once more if a buyer is found for the properties in receivership.

“It brings in a good quality of person who will get out and about and spend money in the community,” the Exuma resident said.

“It operates as a hotel, so those owners that want to put [their units] into the hotel program do.”

The property has a restaurant that adds to its employment impact in Great Exuma, but Hurlock described the current atmosphere at the restaurant and resort as “quiet”.

The property operates like a hotel – owners who wish to put their units into the hotel program do and can get some income as a result.

Hurlock recalled the period when both the Four Seasons and the Grand Isle Resort were operating in Exuma. When the Four Seasons had an overflow, they walked guests to the Grand Isle, with rooms sometimes going for $900 a night, she explained. Hurlock is hoping a new set of buyers could return that sometimes going for $900 a night, she explained. Hurlock is hoping a new set of buyers could return that level of panache to the resort.

“It needs more life injected into it,” Hurlock said. “If it is thriving again it will bring more life to the island.”

Just over half the units in the property are already in private hands, Hurlock said, with a few sales since the original units were sold, and 31 of the 78 units now in receivership.

The rumors in Exuma are that a Canadian group is coming in to take over the properties now in receivership. But Hurlock said the one thing that was certain, was that until the deal is signed, there is no deal.

The receiver offered the same caveat saying: “Nothing is ever signed until it’s signed.”

The Nassau Guardian