In 1988 Canadian entrepreneur Paul Doyle sold his home to raise the deposit to purchase the historic, but somewhat rundown, 18-room Crane Hotel. Some 30 years later, Paul Doyle has transformed the old property into the new, world-class, 265-room, four-diamond Crane Residential Resort, where he has just completed construction of the first block of The Crane Private Residences.
One of the advantages of being located in Barbados is that this island attracts a strong customer base from several diverse major markets, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA, as well as regional neighbours, Trinidad in particular. Those separate, independent sources of income have given our business a solid foundation to help weather the various economic storms that have affected the world in recent years.
As The Crane evolved and entered the shared ownership business, we offered a wealth of amenities and services not normally associated with the time share model, kept all our costs down to aminimum, set a fair price, promoted the property on the basis of its natural beauty and tranquility, and waited for the clients to come to us. That soft-sell approach appealed to intelligent, clear thinking people who didn’t need to be offered a special deal to be convinced to buy. Our owners invested because they already knew what they wanted in a vacation experience and they recognized it in our product. It meant that we attracted a compatible group of like-minded buyers, people who value a sense of community, which is why we developed the resort around a central village theme. Over the years, a lot of our clients have become good friends, so when they reached retirement age they naturally started to consider spending longer periods at The Crane, or living here full-time. And when that growing demand for long-term residence reached critical mass, we were already well-positioned to give our clients what they wanted.
Most people in our business tend to sell and leave, but our intention was always to stay and take responsibility for the long-term management and upkeep of the property. To facilitate that approach, we made ourselves vertically integrated from early on. Today, some 20 years later, we now have an incredibly strong team ofexperts and craftsmen who have enabled us to design, build and service everything we need in-house. Apart from the obvious benefit of considerably reducing our overheads, thereby allowing us to offer unprecedented pricing, this has also given us the added confidence to continue investing and developing whenever we see a good opportunity.
And that is precisely why we went ahead with our new residential project, the Crane Private Residences, and why we are currently in the process of developing two new large, luxury resorts, also on the St. Philip coastline, Beach Houses at Skeetes Bay and Harrismith.
It seems to me that the most powerful way an investor can demonstrate confidence in any country is by investing more, and that is certainly my philosophy here at The Crane. I can’t think of anywhere that I’d rather invest than right here inBarbados.