In a deal worth around US $100 million, leisure sector entrepreneur, John Morphet, has bought the prestigious Royal Westmoreland Resort in Barbados, an exclusive 500 acre millionaires‘ playground with 18 hole championship golf course.
Mr Morphet is one of the leading players in the UK holiday park market. From owning one holiday park in 1988 he has built a £25 million turnover business, with 14 pine lodge and caravan parks in the Lake District, Morecambe Bay, North Wales and Spain. Earlier this year his core business, South Lakeland Caravans, which has its head office in Carnforth, was ranked 54th in the Sunday Times UK ‘Profit Track 100‘ listing, with profits for the company rising by 55 per cent a year from £1.1 million in 2000 to £4 million in 2003. Profits for the year ended 31st January 2004 have doubled to £8 million.
The acquisition of the Royal Westmoreland sees his focus in the leisure sector move firmly towards high quality developments.
“In the UK holiday park sector we have driven up the quality at all our sites,” said Mr Morphet. “Where appropriate we have introduced luxury pine lodges moving the leisure park to a new level. At the Royal Westmoreland we have plans to develop over 100 luxury homes while maintaining the exclusivity of this prestigious playground for the seriously wealthy.”
The Royal Westmoreland, which is located on the west coast of Barbados, is a gated community of 122 luxury homes set around a championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. Properties range in price from US$1million to US$10 million. Facilities on the estate include private pools, tennis courts, a gym and spa. Some of the world’s best golfers play the course on a regular basis and, for the last four years, it has hosted the Barbados European Seniors event.
The Royal Westmoreland has a hatful of awards and recommendations. ‘Golf Monthly‘ has rated it as one of the top six courses in the world; ‘The Golfer‘ has recommended it as one of the top ten residential resorts worldwide; ‘Caribbean World Magazine‘ voted it the best golf resort in the Caribbean; ‘Golf Digest‘ also recommends it as one of the leading courses in the Caribbean and the American magazine ‘Golf Odyssey‘ cites it as one of the top twenty golf courses in the world. Yorkshire man Bill Rooney developed the estate in 1994.
Mr Morphet added, “This is a very exciting development for our business. When we came across the Royal Westmoreland we recognised that it had tremendous potential at the prestigious end of the leisure market. We will undoubtedly be looking out for similar quality acquisitions in the future.”
Royal Westmoreland www.royal-westmoreland.com