Recent picture of Westin Aruba
Westin is making news, not good news. During past weekend my mail box was filled with messages of news about Westin (owned by Starwood Resorts) troubles on some of its loans. A corporate ratings-company has downgraded loans given to Westin. The loans are “distressed”. Apparently the operators of Aruba’s most iconic hospitality structure is under pressure.
I haven’t read anything locally about issues regarding Westin’s $230 million loan which is facing maturity (maturity: loan must be paid in full) in April of this year. The rating downgrade doesn’t have to mean much, yet. Most of the time companies try to restructure and refinance the loan. However, with the current economy that’s going to be a huge undertaking. Nobody is borrowing. To be continued.
Starwood acquired the property about two years ago, and had several plans with project. South of current building a high profile luxury timeshare was in the pipeline, but plans were quickly thrown away. The multimillion renovations did take place.
The Westin building is one of the oldest on the Palm Beach strip. For sure, it is the highest building in Aruba. The building has gone through several renovation rounds, and also through several operators, such as Aruba Resort – not to be confused with Eagle Beach time share resort The Aruban Resort -, Wyndham, Hilton and Concorde.