Hospitality Development on Eleuthera
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 17, 2006 -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (AMEX: MHG), one of the nation's premier franchise operators, today announced plans to engage in the development and sale of a condominium hotel on waterfront property on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Meritage has tentatively agreed to acquire several acres of waterfront property on the island of Eleuthera, and has entered into a letter of intent with Tecton Hospitality, a hotel management company based in Miami, Florida, to operate a planned 78-unit national brand extended stay condominium hotel. Meritage anticipates that it will pre-sell condominium hotel investment units through Marcus & Millichap, a real estate investment brokerage company headquartered in New York City.
Robert E. Schermer, Jr., Meritage's Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are excited about our development opportunities on Eleuthera -- one of the most pristine and unique islands in the Bahamas. I see this as a natural extension of our previous hotel and marina dockominium development experience, combined with our real estate development and sales experience in our current business.” Meritage expects to utilize its existing relationships with its contractors and development teams which have assisted the Company build over thirty-five retail properties during the past seven years and which have experience in similar developments. Condominium and investment real estate would be pre-sold through Marcus & Millichap in the United States and through local Bahamian brokers. The Company is also evaluating development, sales and marketing participation in a large upscale leisure and lifestyle-oriented planned residential resort opportunity on Eleuthera, which plans include two ultra-luxury condominium Eleuthera hotels, a marina, golf course and oceanfront estate lots. Mr. Schermer added, “From my perspective, the 'rational rich' baby boomers are looking for upscale, unique experiences two flights from home. Eleuthera today is like Hawaii was 35 years ago -- with world class scuba diving, sport fishing, and beaches all in a pristine ecological environment which is vigorously protected.”
Meritage is one of the nation's premier franchise operators, currently operating 53 restaurants in two brands; Wendy's in the QSR Segment and O'Charley's in the Casual Dining Segment. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Meritage has approximately 2,000 employees.
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