August 25th, 2019
For those who remember Tortola’s Prospect Reef Resort in its heyday, information about what is happening with the redevelopment of the resort has been extremely hard to come by. The property was already in disrepair when it was destroyed by hurricane Irma in 2017 and now, according to a July 3, 2019 article in the BVI Beacon, the latest deal to redevelop the property has once again fallen apart.
Here are four things we learned from the article:
1 – BVI Government Bought the Failing Resort in 2005: According to the article, “The government purchased the struggling Prospect Reef Hotel and Resort for $6 million in 2005 with plans to convert it into a government-owned hospitality-training centre. But instead it continued falling into disrepair, despite promises from successive governments to sell or develop it.”
2 – 100 Million Deal was Announced in 2013: The article went on to say, “In 2013, the BVI Government announced plans to build a “world-class hotel facility” in a $100 million deal with the United Kingdom-based developer Sir Robert McAlpine Group, but the deal was never finalized, and negotiations fell apart the following year.”
3 – 90 Million Deal was Signed in 2017: An agreement was signed in July 2017 for over $90 million with The ICA Group a U.S. based firm who was developing the project. ICA’s CEO, Ali Shaikh, “pledged that the project would include 190-200 rooms across two hotels, in addition to condos, town houses, a marina, a conference centre, parking lots, an infinity pool, a saltwater pool, villas and the Dolphin Discovery Centre, which was set to be the focus of one of the hotels,” the article stated.
4 – Latest Deal has Fallen Through: Finally the article reported that, “The Prospect Reef deal has fallen apart amidst unanswered questions and finger pointing between the BVI Government and Ali Shaikh, CEO of The ICA Group a U.S. based firm who was developing the project.”
BVI Traveller will continue to keep you updated as more news becomes available, but for now this is sad news for what was once a great BVI destination as evidenced by the photo of the resort in better times below.
Photo Top: Courtesy Freeman Rodgers, The BVI Beacon