Sentry Hospitality Corp. reached an agreement July 15 to purchase the New Century Hotel in Tamuning Guam from Pacific International Inc. Sentry will transform the hotel into another Days Inn.
Bruce McKenzie president of Sentry Hospitality said the deal should close early next week as it is a simple purchase arrangement between friends with no other parties involved. Joseph “Jerry” Kramer chief executive officer of Pacific International Inc. reached by phone at his office in Majuro Marshall Islands said “We haven’t signed anything but we’re both in agreement.” He said the deal will be signed any day.
McKenzie said the hotel will be operated as the Days Inn Tamuning.
“Our original Days Inn property in Barrigada/Maite will become known as the Days Inn Airport South. Since opening the Days Inn hotel brand here in Guam we have been very pleased with the support of the local community. The addition of the Days Inn Tamuning will open a new property which will meet our ever-growing demand. Its business mix will be the same as our Airport South property — specializing in local military and business clientele. Additionally this will give us the opportunity to open both properties to more group bookings.”
Sentry Hospitality opened its first Days Inn on Sept. 1 2004 in what was once the 66-room Hotel Palmridge which Sentry acquired from Jones and Guerrero Co. It was Guam’s first moderately priced hotel with international recognition. McKenzie who also is chairman of Venture Transportation Corp. dba Budget Car rental of Micronesia offers car-and-room packages.
Kramer said the New Century though nicely located on Ypao Road within a few minutes of the Guam International Airport was too small to be attractive to Pacific International as a stand-alone hotel property and Kramer had planned on changing the hotel which was built with connecting doors into apartments. However construction activity in Majuro afforded more pressing opportunities. “It suits Bruce because he can share executive and administrative staff with the two properties. We would have had to dedicate staff which would have made the business marginal.”
Though neither would disclose the amount of the sale Kramer who acquired the note from a Lehman Bros. subsidiary in March 2004 for $500 000 said “It was in bankruptcy and foreclosure. We expected a high reward for taking on the risk and I think we’re getting it. It was one of those properties that Lehman Bros. acquired and it was a messy deal.”
Kramer said the hotel is in good condition and was well-built using good materials — marble ceramic tile and stainless steel. McKenzie said the Days Inn Tamuning will be completely renovated including new carpets draperies soft goods and hard-case furnishings. The building will be repainted and standardized in the Days Inn image. All amenities presently in place at the Days Inn Airport South will also be available at the new Tamuning hotel. These include free in-room high-speed Internet wireless Internet access hotspots refrigerators and microwaves in all rooms free local telephone calls and in-room TV/DVD/MP3 players with free access to a DVD library.
“While Sentry Hospitality Group may be a new player in the Guam hotel industry we hope to continue to grow and provide a superior product at an affordable cost ” McKenzie said. “In fact we are presently looking toward a third property that would be franchised at a higher level than Days Inn.” Sentry holds the development rights to a number of upscale brands that could eventually come to Guam.
The New Century has changed hands three times since it opened on Feb. 12 2000. Developed by Acer Construction Co. the hotel took three years and $3 million to build. It has 48 rooms on three floors. Each room has 333 square feet. There are 140 parking spaces and a 1 500-square-foot conference room. The site area is 2 027 square meters. It was in receivership and under foreclosure when in March 2004 Pacific International bought it from GL Commercial Real Estate 1 LLC a division of Lehman Bros. which had acquired several beleaguered properties on Guam.
Kramer who acquired and renovated Nimitz Towers in 2003 said Pacific International will be investing in other Guam properties in the future. “Guam is still exciting for us. We made a few offers that were rejected. We’re being very careful. We are considering tract development. My analysis says that there is room for upper-end housing. You’re getting executives moving back to Guam.”
Kramer relocated his son David Kramer who runs Pacific International’s construction arm from Guam to Majuro for capital improvement and infrastructure projects with new Compact of Free Association funding. Pacific International has $9 million in ongoing construction projects in the Marshalls that began in September 2004 including schools a dock and a community center. “This is our first home and we’ve won nine of 17 jobs that have come out of the compact funds. We’re very very busy.”MBJ