KINGSTON, Jamaica -- SuperClubs announced at the Jamaica Product
Exchange here that it will sever its management contract for the
207-room Boscobel Beach resort near Ocho Rios effective July 4,
citing the financial collapse of Jamaica Mutual Life Insurance Co.,
the company that owned it.
John Issa, SuperClubs chairman, said Boscobel Beach has been
taken over by the bank that financed the hotel's construction,
Kingston-based National Commercial Bank.
Issa said the bank "wishes to sell the hotel but will continue
to operate it until [July 4] and has assured us that it will honor
all commitments and reservations made by us on its behalf."
"The insurance company that owned Boscobel has been in
difficulty for some years now. This prevented the much-needed
investment in necessary refurbishing, upkeep and facilities," said
Asked if SuperClubs was considering buying Boscobel Beach -- it
now owns 10% of the resort -- Issa responded, "Anything is
Issa did not say what he considers a fair price for the hotel,
although he admitted it would "carry a considerable financial
burden because it needs a lot of work."
Issa said he has encouraged the bank that controls the resort to
"announce its plans for Boscobel as soon as possible in order to
keep it in operation and put an end to its uncertainty among the
trade." Issa said he did not know what the bank had in store for
Boscobel beyond July 4.
Kingston-based Jamaica Mutual Life Insurance Co. is the same
company that owned a majority share of Hedonism II and Grand Lido
Negril, both in Negril, and the Trelawney Beach Resort in Trelawney
-- all three managed by SuperClubs.
SuperClubs recently paid $12.5 million for the remaining 50% of
Hedonism II and Trelawney Beach that it didn't already own, plus
another $4.5 million for an additional 16.5% stake in Grand Lido
Negril, bringing its ownership in the resort to 50%.
In other SuperClubs news, Issa said the company has taken over
its third golf course on Jamaica, the 18-hole Ironshore Golf Club
in Montego Bay, which will be called the SuperClubs Golf Club --
Montego Bay when it is refurbished and opens by year's end.
In the last year, SuperClubs purchased a 30-acre beachfront site
in St. Kitts, adjoining the golf course at Frigate Bay. The company
expects to break ground there within the next 12 months on the
225-suite Grand Lido St. Kitts-Nevis, the second Grand Lido brand