Wyndham to Develop Hotel-Casino in St. Croix, Part of $250M Complex

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is expanding its brand in the Caribbean with its first project to be built in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The luxury 400-room Wyndham St. Croix Golf Resort and Casino will be part of a $250 million conference center complex.Construction is expected to begin this spring on the 294-acre property on the island’s south shore and be completed in 2010. It is being developed by Golden Resorts L.L.L.P. of New Jersey in joint ownership with Jericho All-Weather Opportunity Fund of Boca Raton, Fla. The resort will be managed by Wyndham Hotel Management Co.Located near downtown Christiansted and 15 minutes from the Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport, the resort will have a 25,000-square-foot casino; 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. It will be the 25th resort in Wynhdam’s Caribbean and Mexican portfolio, according to Peter Strebel, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts president.Paul Golden, Golden Resorts CEO, noted in a release that the development and operation of the resort will be “creating more than 1,000 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs.”The U.S.Virgin Island Public Finance Authority recently awarded Golden Resorts $32.5 million for the construction, operation and management of the St. Croix Conference Center, a 43,000-square-foot center that will be part of the resort.In late January, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a sister company, said it had acquired the Grand Beach Palace resort in nearby St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., for an undisclosed amount. The beachfront property is expected to receive $40 million in renovations to convert it to 143 timeshare units.Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corp. based in Parsippany, N.J., offers upscale hotels and resorts in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean. Late last year, Wyndham announced it was expanding into Panama with the conversion of the five-star Veneto Hotel & Casino in Panama City into The Veneto, a Wyndham Grand Hotel. Strebel told CPN in a Dec. 7, 2007, report that the move into Panama was part of the brand’s strategy to expand outside its North American base into key international and gateway cities. The Wyndham Hotel Group has more than 6,500 franchised hotels and about 550,000 hotel rooms around the world.