Safety First

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Another Platinum Coast Hotel For Sale

Fairmont sale to raise part of $5b
Published on: 7/3/06.

"THE SALE of the Fairmont Royal Pavilion in St James is part of a bid by its international owners to raise $5 billion through a major sale of assets.

According to The Times, Fairmont Raffles Holdings, the company created by the recent $11 billion merger of Canada's Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Raffles Hotels of Singapore, has drawn up a list of about 15 properties it wants to dispose of.

A Fairmont spokeswoman confirmed the sale of six properties, but declined to comment on the other nine although, according to The Times, property industry sources confirmed the company had approached agents about selling its entire remaining asset base in order to focus on managing, rather than owning, hotels.

Along with the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, which is being handled by Colliers International, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has been retained to market the two Fairmonts in Bermuda and two in Acapulco while the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston is being handled by Easdil Secured."

I have mixed feelings about this kind of hotel sale; on the one hand it does broaden the hotel ownership base thus sometimes bringing in much needed funds for infrastructure improvements, but on the other hand, in my humble opinion, it destroys guests loyalty when, as has happened all too often lately, a hotel moves from loyalty program to loyalty program. There is still great disappointment among many people who had religiously saved Hilton HHonors points for years for a vacation at the famous Jalousie property next door on St. Lucia only to find out that Hilton no longer "manages" the property. Much has been made of the coming of a few new luxury brands to Barbados like Four Seasons, Le Méridien, Banyan Tree and Rosewood but with none of these brands having an ownership stake on the island it gives new meaning to their ability to fly-by-night dragging their frustrated guests along with them kicking and screaming.

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