Jan. 12, 2005 After months of inactivity, The Grand Beach Palace Resort is now abuzz, although not with tourists.
The recent signs of activity at the hotel, which closed its doors in August, are due largely to cleaning crews, which have been called to work once more to scour the property.
"The property is in the process of being sold," Joyce Smith, property manager, said Wednesday.
In November 2003, Mexican-based Palace Resorts purchased the 290-room hotel, formerly Renaissance Grand Beach Resort, from CTF St. Thomas Corp. for $9.75 million.
After less than a year of operation, Palace Resorts closed the property putting the nearly 300 employees who worked at the hotel out of work with nothing more than a week of severance pay for most.
The hotel's closure came amidst controversy surrounding several employees who had sought to form a union when the hotel's owner reneged on promises to transfer pay and benefit packages under the Renaissance management.
However, the property owners claimed high cost of doing business as an all-inclusive resort in the territory as the reason for its closure.
Smith, on Wednesday, would not comment further about the sale of the hotel, except to say nothing was yet finalized.
Knowledgeable sources have said that a multi-media enterntainment company, The Future Limited Inc., has shown interest in purchasing the property. The primary purpose of the company, according to its Web site, is developing entertainment properties throughout the World.
The Future Limited Inc. is also the main organizer of Caribbean Shining Star, a talent scouting promotion that seeks to produce artists from all over the Caribbean. The televised event will culminate in St. Thomas Jan. 28 – 30 and will feature a concert headlining singer/songwriter Alicia Keys.
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