By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Opposition to suitor for the Treasure Cay resort mounts as more residents strike out in opposition to Dr Mirko Kovats, with one being a backup bidder for the resort.
Craig Roberts, a hotelier, hopes to buy the Treasure Cay resort. He has lived in Abaco for more than 31 years and developed the successful Banyan Beach Club and Bahama Beach Club Resorts.
Mr Roberts told Tribune Business he fears Dr Kovats, who is an Austrian-born billionaire with a home in Lyford Cay, will “land bank” the property and not redevelop Treasure Cay.
“That seems to be Mr Kovat’s trend,” said Mr Roberts. “Our tiny community is really hurting following Hurricane Dorian in 2019. We truly need the hundreds of new Bahamian jobs and millions of Ddollars in new spending an experienced developer would bring to this amazingly beautiful place.”
Francine Ojalvo Delarosa a member of the Treasure Cay Property Owners Association (TCPOA), is now saying that her earlier Facebook post directed at Dr Kovats and reported by this newspaper was “taken out of context” and that she in “no way supports” Dr Kovats buying the Treasure Cay Resort.
Ms Delarosa said: “I’m going to be careful with my words, Treasure Cay is at a critical point in its future. Actually, my family owns a second home there and we’re actually finished with our plans and ready to rebuild. But there is so much uncertainty with what’s going on at that resort that I am not entirely certain I want to commit to rebuilding and investing in a resort with an uncertain future.”
It’s nothing personal towards Dr Kovats, Ms Delarosa said, but it’s on the issue of all of the past controversies swirling around him that has her second-guessing his fit for Treasure Cay.
As the Tribune has reported Dr Kovats has been involved in controversial property deals at the old South Ocean property and the Love Beach area and this is just in The Bahamas.
He also has developed a reputation for piling up lawsuits from bankrupting businesses to accusations of damaging the reputation of company and harming its stock price by his business practices.
Ms Delarosa said: “Actually there is a lot of controversy with him and his potential purchase of the Treasure Cay resort. Basically what was misinterpreted from my quote, and this is the takeaway: what I wrote on Facebook was completely taken out of context. I didn’t say that I supported Dr Kovats purchasing Treasure Cay resort. I said that I was asking people, before saying that they are in favour or against his purchase, to do their due diligence and understand who he is and where he comes from and what his intentions are. I would have said that about him or about anybody else, but specially about him.”
Treasure Cay holds a “very special place” for Ms Delarosa and her family and she does not want it destroyed by someone who doesn’t appear to have a complete vision for the island. “I want nothing more than to see this community bounce back to what it was before or even better, I think this is an opportunity to improve, but I’m not sure if such a controversial individual is the right person to help us improve.”