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Aspotogan Sea Spa deal abandoned

by Adam Jacobs


The Aspotogan Sea Spa is in limbo once again.
 ASPOTOGAN - The Aspotogan Sea Spa has been mothballed - again.

 A deal by hotel giant Marriott to purchase the dormant, unfinished spa has fallen through.

 An agreement of sale was met between Marriott and the spa owners in late 2007.

 However, that deal was based on conditions.

 Michael Beckley, Marriott's senior vice-president of development, confirmed the deal fell through.

 "Unfortunately, we could not make the numbers work given the extraordinary capital cost to bring the hotel back to life," he said.

 Marriott had partnered with Westerkirk Capital to purchase the 131-room spa.

 The spa was subject to a full investigation by the potential buyers prior to sale.

 It was estimated the cost of bringing the building up to standards was in the $10 to $20 million range.

 Local councillor Marshal Hector said he was surprised to hear the news.

 "It's unfortunate," he said. "We were hoping that would happen. It certainly would have helped the economy here by bringing jobs and people."

 Although he said he doesn't know why the deal fell apart, he has his suspicions.

 "I'm sure the Canadian dollar is a strong issue," Mr. Hector said, "when you're talking 65 cents on the dollar compared to basically on par."

 The half-built spa was abandoned in 1994 when Bavarian owners and developers Wolfgang Spiegelhauer and Brigitta Hennig ran out of money, owing contractors $4 million.

 Jim Spatz and George Armoyan bought it a few years later at a sheriff's sale for $500,000. The 175,000-square-foot spa sits on 24.57 acres of land. Neither could be reached for comment prior to deadline.



posted on 07/15/08
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