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Verdanza Hotel sold to joint venture by owners of Vivo Beach Club, Interlink

The Verdanza Hotel, which was independently owned by Flagship Resort Properties for two decades in the heart of the Isla Verde tourism district, has been sold to a joint venture between the owners of the Vivo Beach Club and Interlink Group, for an undisclosed amount, News is my Business learned.

The transaction had been in the works since last year and closed Thursday. FirstBank provided the financing for the sale, said Flagship Resort Properties CEO Rick Newman.

The property will be run by Highgate, a real estate investment and hospitality company that oversees the Residence Inn by Marriott San Juan Isla Verde, a few miles down from the Verdanza, as well as the AC Marriott and the Embassy Suites. In turn, Highgate executive Reynaldo Rey manager will manage the property.

This change in ownership is the first since Flagship picked up the property in 2003, for $26 million for the acquisition and renovation at the time. It opened in 2004 and operated as a Holiday Inn for five years, until Flagship broke with the brand and opened the 222-room Verdanza Hotel in 2009.

“We went fully independent, competing with the major brands, day in and day out. We held on after the Wall Street meltdown, Hurricane María, Zika, the earthquakes and COVID-19. But we were able to establish our place, with support from the market,” he said.

The Verdanza Hotel has undergone several renovations in the past six years, including one immediately after Hurricane María in 2017 and then another $4 million revamp in 2019, as News is my Business reported.

Newman, a Puerto Rico tourism industry veteran, said he will now enter “semi-retirement,” providing consulting services on industry projects and helping his son, Ricky Newman, in the development of the multi-sport complex with lodging located at the former facilities of the Nuestra Señora de la Merced school in Hato Rey, spearheaded by former NBA star José Juan Barea.

As for Verdanza Hotel employees, he said it was a condition of the sale that the new owners retain the 140 employees, and another group of part-timers.

“All of them, except for Ricky, will stay on with the new management,” said Newman. “We believe that the Verdanza’s success has been greatly due to the employees. They helped us compete with all the brands as an independent hotel, because of the quality of service and the delivery of the product.”

“Keeping them on will help them succeed, which is what I hope because we took the hotel to this level and we want to see them take it to the next,” Newman said, noting that Verdanza has also been working together with Highgate over the past few weeks to make the transition also seamless for guests.

As for the future of the property, Newman said the new owners plan to invest to turn the Verdanza into a lifestyle-oriented hotel that is more in line with the Vivo Beach Club concept, “with many amenities.”

News is my Business attempted to reach Vivo Beach Club President Matías Fernández for further details but was unable to reach him.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

1 Comment

  1. Angel Santos January 22, 2024

    i stayed at the verdanza hotel in isla verde from dec17 to dec 30 2023 when i checked out on dec 30 the returned a partial deposit at which time i was told by a mgr that they would send me a check for 135.84 for the balance of my money today is january 22 2023 and after many calls and conversations with over 10 different people i am still awaiting my monies but have been givend many garantees of returning my refund the last one was 9 days ago, today again i was told that resrvations person will call me to resolve this issue i am wondering what other excuse will i get or if they will indeed call me back just like the supervisor or mgr like pablo sierra who never called os s alonso or eddie from administration help me retrieve my monies before i have to take legal action against the hotel to retreive my money. sincerly angel w santos my phone is 732-991-2056 or my email [email protected]


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