HomeTim Banks interested in buying Rodds

Tim Banks interested in buying Rodds

Dec 12 2007

Charlottetown developer Tim Banks is in talks with an operator to bid on the Rodd hotel chain and the provincial government golf courses. It’s already public knowledge that the APM Group is interested in the hotel chain, but Banks is now saying he is very serious about combining the two as a package deal.

Rodd Hotels and Resorts, the venerable Charlottetown-based chain, announced in late November it was putting up the ‘For Sale’ sign on its 10 hotels and resorts. And, the province is on record as saying it wants to sell off its golf courses — Crowbush, Brudenell, Dundarave and Mill River.

“We’ve been in very serious discussions with an operator who we would partner with in our proposal,’’ said Tim Banks.

“One of the things I think is a great opportunity, for the province, for Rodds, and for ourselves as possible buyers, is the chance of getting the golf courses as part of the package. I think that to do resort development on Prince Edward Island, they certainly have to be tied

Tim Banks wouldn’t say who the operator is that APM is in talks with, but did say it’s a group that operates hotels and resorts.

“They’ve got a long track record at doing that and they’ve got experience doing that in Atlantic Canada as well as the Eastern Seaboard and in Ontario. They have some scale to them and are aware of the properties and are quite interested in it.’’
Tim Banks said the operator wants to come in as an operator and invest its money to building some new tools around the business.

“From our perspective, we’re interested in being the landlord and then looking at what other upside there is to develop on the property.’’
Tim Banks wouldn’t comment on what kind of money it would take to purchase the hotels/resorts and golf courses.

The province has suggested it could cost as much as $6 to $10 million per golf course, meaning a buyer would need to write a cheque for $40 million for the courses alone.

It doesn’t hurt that both seem to be available almost simultaneously.

“The ball is in the court of the province and Rodd family. They’re (Rodd family) going to call an RFP (request for proposals).

“I’ve contacted the Rodd group . . . we’re expecting to get something back from their accounting group.

“We’ve only seen what the province has talked about, possibly an RFP in December.’’

Tim Banks sees packaging the two as a golden opportunity to bring new blood and investment to the industry, a sign to private operators that investing in P.E.I. is a wise move. The APM president also thinks it would boost the province’s golf industry.

“It would be an opportunity for the province, by going to a public RFP, to get the best value they could, and if they were just going it alone without the opportunity of somebody looking at the resorts themselves, they probably wouldn’t be able to get the price that they would be able to get if they were part of a package.’’

Tim Banks says the proposal, which should be formal by February or March, would have to include some level of control of the golf courses.
Government currently is interested in leasing or selling the courses but Tim Banks says, from a developer’s perspective, it’s always better to have title to the land.

Media Contact: MediaReleases@apm.ca