The Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island has been “on the market” for several months, since HVS Capital Corp. announced in March this year that the property would be sold in whole or in part, in a sealed bid auction. HVS director, Mike Sullivan, reportedly told the local Tribune Business media outlet that they are now clarifying and finalizing the details of each of the bids. The outlet says that the fate of the resort should soon be announced.
Bids had to be submitted by June 10, but non-disclosure and confidentiality rules prohibit the sales managers from releasing details such as how many bids were received or who tendered them. Some reports indicate the range of bids may be anywhere from $80 million to over $220 million. After reviewing the offers, HVS will make a recommendation and present at least one offer to Cheung Kong Property Holdings.
According to the report, Mr. Sullivan told the outlet that, “We’re evaluating the bids we have in hand, and making some final clarifications,” he continued, “The bidding process went very well, and the seller should be in a position to make some sort of announcement soon. They’re being briefed about what’s happening, but we’re driving the ship in terms of finalizing the details of the various bids.”
In May it was reported that the still-operating property was undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation to make it more attractive to potential buyers, but there was also a warning that if a buyer wasn’t found in a “reasonable amount of time” the resort would close, dealing a blow to the already stressed economy on the island.
The process at this point seems to echo the sale of Baha Mar, where bids have reportedly been made, but are under assessment, vetting, and due diligence before being presented to the party with power to finalize and execute the offer or offers. Although the 400+ acre Grand Lucayan and Treasure Island Casino are nowhere near as big as Baha Mar, the importance of maintaining employment and keeping a favorite resort open for travelers cannot be underestimated.
Many are hoping the entire resort will be purchased by a single bidder, rather than having to sell off the Cheung Kong assets piecemeal. But after nearly a decade and a half of yearly losses in excess of $10 million each year the company apparently doesn’t expect its fortunes to turn around at Our Lucaya and would accept spinning off parts if need be.
The company was seeking world class operators for all parts of the resort, and like many casinos for sale, the sellers were offering to provide financing to appropriate bidders.
The resort complex is located just 55 miles from Florida and offers four separate price points and accommodation experiences totaling 1,271 guestrooms including 198 all-inclusive rooms at Lighthouse Pointe, and 23 Lanai Suites. The hotel is serviced by three swimming pools, 12 food and beverage outlets, a 23,375 square foot casino in a free-standing building with 25 gaming tables and 195 slot machines, as well as the 522-room Memories Beach Resort which is currently leased to a third-party. Further amenities include a 15,000 sq ft ballroom as part of 40,000 sq ft of potential conference space, a 25,000 sq ft fitness center and destination spa, four tennis courts, two golf courses, and 15,000 sq ft of retail space.
We’ll announce the winning bid here when the information is released to the public. Qualified readers interested in other potential casino investments in the region and elsewhere can view casino and hotel properties on the World Casino Directory casino cut sheet.