The San Juan Daily Star
El Conquistador Resort granted $50 million recovery loan
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced on Tuesday along with island Housing Secretary William Rodríguez Rodríguez the granting of a loan of $50 million in recovery funds for El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, with the purpose of completing the reconstruction of the property and acquisition of furniture damaged as a result of the passage of Hurricane Maria.
“My administration views tourism and the visitor economy as a pillar of economic development,” the governor said in a written statement. “Despite historic challenges, Puerto Rico’s potential has been evident to the world. The island has become an example of resilience, recovery and growth in tourism. This program provides the opportunity to finance entities that with their large-scale projects promote the revitalization of Puerto Rico through commercial and industrial activity, job creation and economic growth. The investments we are making with these funds seek to foster sustainable economic development.”
Pierluisi said the loan, which is being granted under the Economic Development and Growth Investment Portfolio Program (IPG), leverages the total investment of $263 million in the renovation of this iconic property. The remaining $213 million needed to complete the reconstruction, which began in 2019, comes from private investment. including an investment from cooperatives previously reported by the STAR.
Once the renovation of the property is completed, it is expected that the income from stay tax (Room Tax) will exceed $2 million per year and that 558 jobs will be generated, with a payroll of $29 million per year, which makes the hotel one of the main employers in the eastern region of the island.
The Housing secretary noted that “economic development that includes the creation of jobs and investment spaces is an essential part of the island’s recovery.”
“Through this program, we aim to provide the help needed by large-scale, multi-industry projects that have the potential to provide the island with a diverse window of employment opportunities,” Rodríguez said. “This announcement is the first of many we will be making soon.”
The full opening of the hotel will substantially benefit Puerto Rico’s economy, the officials said, through purchases from local suppliers, sales and use tax revenues, and collateral activities in the region.
Likewise, Fajardo Mayor José Aníbal Meléndez said that “once again, our city of Fajardo marks the beginning of a cutting-edge initiative and what better than for El Conquistador, the IPG investment portfolio program.”
“The operation of the Hotel El Conquistador in Fajardo represents a pillar for the economic development of the city, since it is the main employer in terms of employability,” he added.