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Exuma resort exec: Market ‘solidifying’

Grand Isle Resort and Spa sees sales ‘uptick’
Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Oct 16, 2013

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa, located on Exuma, is looking to have a strong season, having experienced an uptick in sales in recent months.

While it may seem like the market is solidifying, the resort’s executive director Grant Castle admitted to Guardian Business that overall sales at the high-end property have been slow.  But, he is hoping that things will turn around soon.

As a result, a decision was made to aggressively market the product by opening up a fully staffed sales and marketing office.  For that initiative, the resort has partnered with H.G. Christie.

“Sales have been slow, but I have noticed that within the last few months there has been an uptick in sales activity.  We feel it but we don’t know if it’s related to mortgage activity.  We feel that the market seems to be solidifying,” he said.

“We are just about to relaunch the onsite real estate sales operation.  We still have a fully staffed onsite marketing office and it’s in partnership with H.G. Christie which will be the listing agent.  It’s a good time to start re-marketing the sales side as well as the occupancy side.

“We’re looking forward to a strong season once we officially market both the villas and owner resales.”

Meantime, Castle maintains that the resort’s occupancy continues to improve.

“We’re closing the gap but we’re still struggling to get there.  Our bookings look good coming into the season, but it’s a tough business trying to run a hotel on Exuma because it’s very expensive.”

Currently, Grand Isle employs 80 people, making it one of the top employers on Exuma.  Castle said his team works daily to ensure that it maximizes the number of people who visit the island, while seeking to keep operational costs reasonable.

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