Published On: Wed, Nov 26th, 2014

Plaza Hotel owner receives preliminary sales contract

Plaza HotelWILLEMSTAD – The owner of the Plaza Hotel, Layne Rachowicz, has received in recent days, several interested buyers to discuss a possible sale of the hotel in downtown Punda. This is according to the financial controller of the hotel, Eric Ogenia. “We’ve already received a preliminary sales contract of a group of American investors. So we are hopeful,” Ogenia said. The owner is considering this contract at this moment.

As was reported before, the hotel has debts at the Social Insurance Bank (SVB), the utility company Aqualectra and the Tax Services. The SVB and the Tax Collector had scheduled an auction on December 8. “The seizure is maintained, but we have come to an agreement with the Tax Collector, Aqualectra and the SVB to keep the hotel operational. There is an agreement with the utility company to pay 10.000 guilders per day. The hotel has the space till February of next year to see what will happen,” Ogenia said.

According to the financial controller, the salaries for November and December for approximately 100 employees are safeguarded.

He continues by stating that two American groups have already shown interest, including the aforementioned group which has clearly put their intentions in writing. “Obviously the preliminary contract provides little security. There is no clarity, yet on the other interested groups.”

He says that the second group of American investors are those who operate the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Fort Lauderdale. "Furthermore, the owner had a visit last week of a group from St. Maarten and a group from Spain. The Spanish group has already indicated to have talks with the Ministers of Traffic, Transport and Regional Planning (VVRP), Earl Balborda, and Economic Development, Stanley Palm. This group has aircrafts and has been engaged in this sector for a long time now. “I understand there is already a private jet booked again to visit Curacao Plaza this week,” Ogenia said.

Ogenia explained that the ultimate goal of the owners, regarding the negotiations with the interested parties, is to sell the hotel and that the formation of a joint venture will not be pursued. As is already known the hotel is in a difficult financial situation that many believe was caused due to the mismanagement of the owners.

Ogenia emphasized that management is now doing everything in their power in marketing activities to promote the hotel. “The media coverage has had a very negative impact of course. Our bookings have dropped. Boosting occupancy now is one of our priorities,” said the financial controller.

 

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