Noting that the now-defunct Prospect Reef Hotel and Resort is still being seen as one that can potentially cater to the business community, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) says moves are being made for its development.
The Premier was at the time answering questions posed by the media during a May 2, 2023, press conference.
“Very soon, I'll be engaging the Prospect Reef Board on issuing a Request for Proposal for development at Prospect Reef. We see Prospect Reef as a hotel that can offer convention center services to our business community and assist our business community in being able to host meetings, conferences et cetera.”
Added to that, he said the facility is being seen as one that can also offer meetings and conferences that can cater to the needs of businesses.
“So Prospect Reef is a big part of what it is we are attempting to do and the public will see a Request for Proposal very soon and thereafter, once we receive proposals, the board will deliberate and obviously will choose who they believe is the best tender,” he added.
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) at a May 2, 2023, press conference.
The Premier noted; however, that there's nothing on the table, rather the process will begin with fresh negotiations.
“When the Request for Proposal goes up, anyone who is interested will be able to put forward a proposal and they'll have a fair and transparent process to select a proposal,” he said.
The Prospect Reef Hotel and Resort was purchased by the VI government for $6 million in 2005.
A $100M deal for its development was announced in 2013 with the United Kingdom-based developer Sir Robert McAlpine Group; however, negotiations fell through.
A $90M deal was then signed in July 2017 with US-based firm The ICA Group to develop the project; however, that deal also fell through.
Along came hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 which destroyed the property and it has been left in ruins since then.
Dr Wheatley during his maiden Budget Address at the Ninth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom on November 29, 2022, had indicated that a Request for Proposal for the development of Prospect Reef Hotel could be expected in 2023.
The Prospect Reef Hotel and Resort was purchased by the Government of the Virgin Islands for $6 million in 2005.