Details are sketchy, but the land where Maho Bay Camps sits was sold last week for $13.95 million to an unnamed buyer.
“The only clue we’ve had is it’s a wealthy conservationist who wants a one-family house. It’s a wild rumor and not substantiated,” Maho owner Stanley Selengut said Wednesday.
Realtor Karye Carney at Islandia Real Estate on St. John was the listing agent, but she said she was not the agent that sold the property and didn’t know who bought the 13.8-acre parcel of prime waterfront land.
The property has been on the market for several years at various asking prices that dropped over time. Just recently it was listed for $19.5 million.
The new owner is now Selengut’s landlord until his lease runs out at the end of June.
Selengut said that Maho will accept guests until May 15 although the lease doesn’t run out for another month and a half after that. He said Maho needs that time to dismantle the campground.
However, he said, the 114 tents and other structures like staff housing will remain because that was part of his lease agreement. He said this means the new owner will have to hire security in case there are liability issues.
The campground’s other goods will likely go to nonprofit organizations or charities, and Selengut is currently soliciting ideas.
Selengut said he is, in one way, relieved to have the sale completed. While he said he always hoped it would fall through and he could get another long-term lease for Maho Bay Camps, he’ll now shift his efforts to his other St. John property, Concordia Eco-Resort.
Selengut said he needs an investor, however, because he doesn’t have enough funds to make the necessary expansion.
Maho is closing May 15 because Selengut was unable to get a new long-term lease from the land owners, the Giri-Giri Corp. The resort has been open for 37 years. The adjacent 12-unit Harmony Studios, which is on land owned by Selengut, will also close because it uses the Maho restaurant, beach and other infrastructure.
Selengut said last week the closure will put about 60 people out of work. He said the impact will also be felt at companies like car rentals, restaurants, the ferries and airlines that deal with Maho guests.