Saturday, July 26, 2008

NOT FOR SALE - Strawberry Hill Resort

More changes to the plan ... Newfound NV put Strawberry Hill up for sale in March 2008. But linked to the new CEO Jane McGiven and the re-focused strategy, it appears that Strawberry Hill is now part of the future and not for sale!

This is well placed verbal rumour, supported by the removal of the long term web ad on Country Life.

Lets hope they're investing in to Strawberry Hill ... it's an asset!

We're ... Are you?

Friday, July 25, 2008

HVR News - But is it good or bad news?

Newfound's new CEO Jane McGiven has visited Humber Valley Resort, and announced the company's re-focused direction and mission statement. An email to owners gave an outline of what's to come - and those wanting change - have got it!

The first question is, is it good or bad news?

Key initial points
* Newfound wants to retain the operation of the resort within the company
* The primary focus will be to build high-end chalets
* Tennis courts are among the new services to be added
* Focus on completion of the road system, cycle paths and verge landscaping
* Reduce the property sales activity - to create a more controlled build plan

All of which seems good news. But the email went on ... to announce, with effect at the end of the next winter season, the closure of the resorts rental pool and vacation business. Not in the email, but clearly by inference, this also means the UK to Deer Lake charter flights also stop at Easter 2009.

The email then invites owners to make their own arrangements for renting their chalets, and re-states that Newfound's core business should be the development of great chalets in a well run and attractive wilderness resort.

"A well run resort" ... with no holiday makers? and no way to get there?

The announced changes leave a lot of questions, and will effect a lot of people including resort staff. Is it good news or bad? It certainly seems bad news (at this time) for most owners and many of the staff. However so would have been "no change" ... and time will tell, as the story will continue to unfold.

As a postscript - Jayne McGiven also met Tom Marshall the provisional finance minister and local MHA representative, and apparently made it clear that the company would not continue to fund the only tourism flights from Europe, and reinforced that if tourism is to succeed the provisional government needs to take a much more active role. I also hear that her suggested solution is the resumption of the London to St Johns route. (Not that great for Western Newfoundland in my opinion).

There will no doubt be more news (good & bad) and thoughts in the near future!

We're (still) ... Are you?