25 December, 2009


The big question in the tourism industry of Anguilla today is how long can Cap Juluca afford to carry the golf course?  Even Adam Aron’s backers will run out of money and patience one day.  You work out the math.  The figures were widely circulated a year ago when Flag Luxury Resorts was threatening to shut down the course.  It was said to cost US$6,000 per day just to water the grass.  That is US$180,000 per month.  There are other costs besides the water.  Another figure widely circulated was that Flag lost US$3.9 million on the course in the last year of operations.  That is US$300,000 per month.  And the story in circulation is that Cap Juluca has promised to keep the course open for up to six months.  Keeping that promise would cost them between US$1 and US$2 million in operating costs.  At US$225 per round, between 44 and 88, say 66, golfers per day will have to be found just to break even.  Given the uncertainties, it is not likely that many golfers are going to visit Anguilla for the purpose of playing golf.  Certainly, few will bear the burden of bringing their clubs with them.  Business will have to depend on the occasional drop-in.  The course will be lucky to attract even 10% of the numbers required to break even. 
It will have become obvious to Cap Juluca before the end of January that good money is only being poured after bad.
I don’t think Cap Juluca is in the charity business.
The well is never bottomless. 
We are reminded that the lunch is never free. 
And, Santa Claus does not exist.
I would not be so pessimistic if I thought this was anything other than a very expensive campaign contribution.
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  1. Come on Don, show some optimism! I was looking forward to actually paying for a round next month. If not, I'll be jumpin' the "fence" again! ;)
    - Scotty

  2. Besides, isn't Cap Juluca pretty much expropriated and nationalized by now?

    Just take some spare dosh out of the gov.ai's "stash", as they say in the queue for "Obama Money" in Detroit.

    After all, there's an endless supply of taxpayers to fund *anything* (and their sister's cousin) on Anguilla, right? ;-)

    Prediction: The day after the election -- no matter who wins -- the water gets turned off.

  3. Government approved Adam Aron's purchase of Cap Juluca on condition that 10% of the shares would be sold to government. It is extremely irresponsible to characterize this as expropriation and nationalization.

  4. Irresponsible members of the opposition continue to circulate the lie that Bob Sillerman, who has chosen to limit his losses in two of his many projects, is "bankrupt." He is immensely wealthy. Some insight about his future plans are revealed in today's article about Elvis' Graceland in the Memphis Commercial Appeal: http://tinyurl.com/ydeepy6

  5. Who said Sillerman is bankrupt? The AUM has not and everyone knows Sillerman is a billionaire. Even flag properties here in Anguilla has not be declared bankrupt. Whoever said he was bankrupt is wrong

  6. I don't know who's spreading the rumour. I heard it from one of the APP campaign people. This false rumour was even mentioned by the Chief Minister in his press conference reported on 14 November 2008:

    "[The CM] stated that it was being rumoured that Flag had filed for bankruptcy in the United States. He spoke to the main proprietor of the project on Tuesday and was told that it was not the case."


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