Hotel family to take over Gloucestershire

CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator thamec@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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THE owners of the Altamont hotels in Kingston and Montego Bay have inked a deal to manage The Gloucestershire hotel located in the second city, which doubles the number of rooms they have under management.


After more than 25 years as an owner-operator of rental property and boutique hotels, the Jarrett family is taking its first step towards branching out into managing non-owned properties, according to the family patriarch, CEO Terence Jarrett.


"We have developed expertise having had 90 rooms under management," he told the Jamaica Business Observer. "We are ready to go off into something bigger... with capital being the limiting factor."


The Jarretts have for decades operated a 58-room hotel in Kingston — Altamont Court — and, for the last five years, a 31- room hotel in Montego Bay — Altamont West.


Donahue Jarrett, who headed operations at Altamont West and who now acts as general manager of The Gloucestershire — a 93-room property on the same street — said that the family had been approached by more than one persons to manage hotels over the last two years.


"This one came along and we found it to be a good fit," he said, adding that they will be able to benefit from combined marketing for the two MoBay hotels and possible spillovers from one property to the next.


Donahue said that they have received attention because of their approach to maintaining their facilities at a high standard, and especially what they did to turn around the Belvedere (now Altamont West), which they bought in 2005.


"We got recognition for seeing the potential of the Belvedere, which was sitting on the market for some time," he said.


Terence said that "renewing the product is a constant" in order to maintain higher levels of occupancy in a tough business environment.


The Gloucestershire is coming towards the end of complete refurbishment, and will soon have full capacity available, said Donahue, up from the 75 rooms now in operation.


This is not the first diversification for the Jarretts, who were a 2008 Observer Business Leader nominee for their achievements as a family business.


They first branched out a few years ago when they began leasing out office space.


They acquired an office complex close to Altamont Court in Kingston, and then purchased 40 per cent of the office space on the Billy Craig Building, also near their hotel.


Terence said they currently have eight tenants leasing their commercial space.

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