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.