GROS ISLET, St. Lucia -- The 294-room Hyatt Regency St. Lucia, which opened on the island's northwest coast in April 2000, is in receivership and not accepting reservations beyond March 25.

Dale McDaniel, general manager, said the property faced "long-term financial problems brought about by the economy and the falloff in business after Sept. 11."

Ironically, Christmas and New Year's business at the Hyatt was "very strong, but the cumulative financial problems earlier this year prompted the move by the owner to sell the property," McDaniel added.

Hotel officials contacted agents whose clients held reservations after March 25 and offered them a refund or a replacement stay at another Hyatt property. Hyatt's Caribbean portfolio includes resorts in Aruba, the Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico.

PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed receiver by Pigeon Point Hotel Ltd., the resort's owner.

Hyatt said it will continue to manage the resort until March 25.

McDaniel said there are strong indications the property will be purchased by a "name-brand hotel firm which will continue to operate the resort."

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