By Luke Phillips
A team of developers that has been in negotiations to buy the Barbara Worth Resort for the past year announced this week that the deal has been finalized.
Imperial Palms, Inc., a company run by developers Daryl Readshaw and Kevin Smith, had filed a lawsuit against the owner of the property in July, but have apparently dropped the suit. The resort was owned by NWK2 Inc., a subsidiary of Rabobank.
Details of the purchase are being kept secret as part of the deal.
Now that the purchase of the resort is a done deal, Readshaw and Smith will be able to move forward with their plans for the property which include extensive renovations and many possible upgrades.
The partners are set to begin remodeling rooms at the resorts hotel immediately and are hoping to re-open the hotel by the end of the year.
The property’s golf course, which has been in operation since the 1930s, will be getting a new fleet of golf carts by the end of next month and will be open to tournaments as well as regular golfers. The course has remained open through the reost’s difficulties and sale.
In an interview earlier this year Smith told the Holtville Tribune that plans for the resort include full renovations of the hotel, bar, restaurant and lobby over the course of two to three years.
Other possibilities mentioned for the property include a spa, a water park and an RV park.
According to Smith, after the first wave of renovations are complete, a second, more-extensive renovation will begin.
A third developer, Atul Kumar, had also been attached to the project, but dropped out after the company experienced difficulties with the escrow agreement and expressed doubt that Imperial Palms had the capitol to successfully complete the project.
Readshaw and Smith introduced themselves to the Holtville city council late last year to fill them in on the specifics of the project and ask about the possibility of the city annexing the resort.
“Hopefully it will increase your tax base and make lots of new, fun things here in the city,” Smith told the council. “We’re really looking forward to it.”
By Luke Phillips