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Buyer lined up for Caribbean Cove hotel, water park

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The owner of the Caribbean Cove Hotel & Water Park on the northwest side of Indianapolis will close the property in October if a pending sale falls through.

Locally based General Hotels Corp. has notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, in a letter posted on the agency’s website Thursday afternoon, that the hotel could close on Oct. 9.

A closure would put 206 employees out of work, including 36 water park lifeguards, General Hotels said.

A sale, however, should be completed on Sept. 12, said Glenn Brooks, General Hotels’ vice president of sales and marketing.

“That’s what we’re hoping and expecting at this point,” he said.

Brooks declined to divulge the potential buyer but said the company is a veteran operator of water parks.

The announcement of a potential sale comes just a few months after General Hotels announced that it was dropping the popular Holiday Inn brand from the hotel in favor of flying solo.

The 344-room hotel on Michigan Road had been a Holiday Inn for more than 30 years.

Brooks said the hotel officially was for sale at the time of the name change. He attributed General Hotels’ decision to unload the hotel to a weak economy and increased competition.

General Hotels added the 50,000-square-foot water park to the property in 2004, boosting weekend hotel occupancy. But, in the seven years since, water parks have opened in French Lick and Shipshewana, as well as in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, and several in the Chicago area.

“We’ve been dealing with this economy for several years and, at the same time, water parks were growing,” he said.

The property was developed by Jim Dora Sr. and opened in 1979 as a Holiday Inn. It’s been managed by General Hotels since.

The hotel also features 16,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and an indoor recreation center.

General Hotels owns and operates 10 hotels in Indiana, including the following local properties: the downtown Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station and Holiday Inn Express on South East Street, as well as the Crowne Plaza near Indianapolis International Airport. Jim Dora Jr. operates three additional hotels under contract.


 

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