Priced to $1.2 million
A native of Kitchener, Ont., Ayer purchased a home of his own in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2002. After talking with people, he came to recognize a need — and demand — for more residential development.
Construction began in 2007 on the hotel, which is located about 400 feet off the trendy Grace Bay Beach.
As the development progressed, Ayer was shrewd enough to know that if he was going to chase the more affluent market, he would need a brand name.
Enter the Gansevoort Hotel Group of New York City, which has high-end hotels in the Big Apple, Miami and Toronto. In 2009, Gansevoort came on board to manage the hotel.
“We’re about 75-per-cent sold and 11 of those sales went to Canadians, mostly from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal,” says Ayer. “We’ve had visitors from Calgary and Vancouver, but no sales from out there, yet.
Visitors include former Calgary Flame Dion Phaneuf, who spent some vacation time there before he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, says Ayer — whose own Canadian roots tend to show themselves during the course of a winter.
“Every once in a while, when there is some special hockey game going on, we set up a big-screen TV on the beach, have a bonfire and some cold beer and watch it,” he says. “Oh, yeah, we have frites and poutine, too.”
But it was a winding road from Kitchener to the islands for Ayer and his family. In between, there were stops in Vancouver, Seattle and Nevis Island in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean.
Rob Ayer, president of Apollo Developments, at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos project.
The development is along this sparkling Caribbean beach.