Business

Hendrickson takes 60% of Kingston

Hotelier to control majority of hotel rooms in the city

Friday, August 15, 2014    

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KEVIN Hendrickson will soon control close to 60 per cent of the hotel rooms in Kingston.

His company will operate over 870 of the 1,480 rooms in the capital when the purchase of the former Wyndham Kingston Hotel is finalised.

He already owns The Jamaica Pegasus (Pegasus) and the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, which have 300 and 127 rooms respectively.

They sit right beside the latest acquisition.

Hendrickson also owns the 143-room Knutsford Court Hotel, which is located in New Kingston.

The hotelier told the Jamaica Observer that the purchase will "represent a strategic opportunity to transform the city landscape and present products and services through a full and comprehensive development strategy".

Indeed, Kingston tourism has been on the up and up.

Room occupancy levels have risen from just under 42 per cent of all rooms to almost 50 per cent. What's more, 48 per cent of all beds in Kingston were occupied in 2012, or the highest the city has seen in at least a decade.

Hendrickson's interest in Kingston tourism, which largely attracts business travellers, extends beyond hotel rooms.

His company also owns and operates The Courtleigh Corporate Centre in Kingston.

The hotel mogul's US$17.6 million ($2 billion) bid on the 303-room property that sits in the heart of New Kingston was accepted on Wednesday.

That follows the US$10 million spent on upgading Pegasus since it was acquired by his management company, Surrey Hotel Management Group, over three years ago.

In late 2010, he bought the controlling interest in Pegasus for $945 million. The remaining shares were purchased for $635 million the following year.

Around the time same time, the owners of the former Wyndham Kingston Hotel was placed into receivership by RBC Royal Bank.

The property then went on the market in 2012, and an auction was planned for April last year. The sale was postponed after fire damaged sections of the hotel. Last year July, the Wyndham Hotel Group, which managed the property, pulled its name from the hotel.

Hendrickson has other hotel interests; namely the 500-room Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay. He also owns the Yummy and Holsum bakeries.

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