Azura developer optimistic over future
Bermuda has all the ingredients for success, the developer of the Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences said yesterday.
“I am a huge believer in Bermuda as a product, both physically and the people,” John Bush said.
“I am a believer in it and our investment team are believers in it or we wouldn’t be doing it.”
Mr Bush added: “The project is challenging. The development and operating economics are challenging, which is why we have tried to create a structure that turns it a different way, something that is more easily sustainable.
“We have a firm belief in Bermuda and Bermuda tourism, with the knowledge that it’s difficult.”
Azura, on the site of the former Surf Side Beach Club in Warwick, is expected to be open to guests early next year.
Mr Bush said the present and previous governments supported the project.
He also praised the Bermuda Tourism Authority and said it needed to continue its good work.
Mr Bush said: “The most important thing is to effectively get the message out on the product we have, and I think the BTA has been doing an excellent job of that.
“They have been really focused, fishing where the fish are, and increasing awareness in those markets.
“I think they need to just keep hitting that drum, and be realistic about how many tourists we are going to get down here and what kind of products we can support so the properties here are successful.
“We also have very good airlift right now and I hope that continues.”
Mr Bush added Azura’s business plan — the sale of units which owners can put back into the hotel inventory — encouraged visitors to return to the island and to bring friends.
He said: “I love a product like this where people actually buy in because it ensures that they come back. Get to that base that likes it and get them to lock into Bermuda.”
Mr Bush added: “When they buy in, they not only come themselves repeatedly, but they bring their friends and they refer their friends to their property or other hotels.”
He said that some hotels had struggled with the weakened tourism industry, but insisted he was optimistic about the future of Azura.
Mr Bush added: “We believe absolutely that Azura is going to work and we chose a smaller property because you can move the dial with less capital on a smaller property.
“With a larger property, there is so much you have to put into it before you can see the thing coming together.”
He said: “People love the central location, that you can get in and out of town in ten minutes, but at the same time we’re next to a nature reserve.
“It feels like you’re in the Grenadines or somewhere else very isolated and natural.”
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