An Atlanta company is in a $145 million legal dispute with Ritz-Carlton Hotels over the operation of a resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Rose Hall Resort L.P., which owns the Jamaican hotel and pays Ritz-Carlton to operate it, filed a lawsuit Sept. 3 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, accusing Ritz-Carlton of mismanagement.
“Instead of a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship, Ritz-Carlton has put Rose Hall through a nightmare of theft, broken promises, gross negligence and outright fraud,” the suit alleges. Ritz-Carlton refuses to keep the beach clean, did not adequately maintain a sewage treatment plant and had sloppy accounting controls that led to embezzlement of funds, the suit charges.
GlobalAtlanta contacted Ritz-Carlton several times over the last five days but the company did not issue a statement on the lawsuit. Ritz-Carlton, formerly headquartered in Atlanta, is now owned by Maryland-based Marriott International Inc.
Rose Hall, which has offices on Buford Highway, has terminated the operating agreement with Ritz-Carlton effective Oct. 1 and is in the process of hiring another operator, according to the lawsuit.
In the meantime, Rose Hall obtained a temporary restraining against Ritz-Carlton, barring it from removing any property or records from the hotel.
In a separate arbitration proceeding, Rose Hall is seeking $145 million in damages from Ritz-Carlton because of the alleged mismanagement.
The resort opened on Aug. 1, 2000, with Ritz-Carlton predicting profits of $20 million per year by 2003, exceeding $27 million annually by 2008, the lawsuit contends. But so far, “Rose Hall has received no financial return in any year and now is funding shortfalls,” according to the suit.
John Rollins, a wealthy Delaware businessman and Georgia native, launched the Ritz project, but died a few months before the hotel opened. The resort is still owned by members of the Rollins family. R. Randall Rollins, nephew of John Rollins, is listed with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office as chief executive officer of LOR Inc. identified in the lawsuit as a limited partner in the hotel.
R. Randall Rollins is chairman of the board of Atlanta-based Rollins Inc., which owns pest-control company, Orkin Inc.