"The BSR Back Story, Part Two"
Last updated 8/21/2020 at 11:29am
Many of you know Cameron Brothers owned the Borrego Springs Resort since the early 1990s, and built the hotel in 1997. At the death of the Cameron Brothers founders, the company decided it made sense to sell the Resort.
Per the Borrego Sun in June 2016, “BSR Borrego Springs Resort was acquired by S&A Industries Inc., a ‘Hotel & Resort Renovation Specialists’ company whose headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and CEO is Maiser Aboneaaj. The new owners took over the property June 1 and hired HVMG (Hospitality Ventures Management Group) to manage the resort.
HVMG also runs the Hyatt Hotel in Palm Springs. S&A Industries. Inc describe themselves as “a leading renovator of premier timeshare resorts and of four- and five-star hotels, S&A is one of the largest firms in the U.S. and the Caribbean with this specialty.”
Also per the Sun, right after S&A’s purchase, “Aboneaaj, CEO of S&A Industries Inc., was quoted as being excited to be in Borrego, and involved with the community. “Borrego is a unique place, we want to get people here because once they come, they will come back,” he said.
At the same time, Linda Haddock, then Executive Director of the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau said, “The Borrego Springs Resort is very important to our local economy because it is a full-service resort and our largest.”
After S&A’s purchase in 2016, the Resort and course were upgraded in beautiful, noteworthy, condition earning them five-star ratings.
Where is this spirit now? In April 2019, BSR was back on the market with an auction scheduled in May. The Ten-X Commercial real estate firm handled that auction. The auction again failed to produce a buyer that satisfied S&A. They decided to stop maintaining a large part of their property instead.
In April of this year, the Borrego Sun had planned to write an article on the situation and contacted the BSR management for their input. In July, the Sun told me BSR’s response was they were “not selling or doing anything with the course” and so the article has been tabled “until something further happens.” This “something further” is precisely what we hope to influence in a positive way.
So my question remains, is there anything that can be done? About the long-term effects of closing the courses without an adequate plan on how to alleviate the very real negative impacts. How about community efforts on the keyboards, the phones, the mail, in the media? Is there anyone in town with the wits and pull to plead our case to the BSR powers to be?
Borrowing a phrase from our new virus-crisis times, “we’re in this together.” Can the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, Anza-Borrego Foundation, The State Park, the Chamber, County and state agencies, and other citizen boards and groups, or simply concerned Borregans, work together to somehow impact BSR’s actions, helping them make choices that are good for both their company and our community?
Please BSR, don’t neglect the wildlife, the trees, the wildflowers, and your neighbors. We want you here, we want you successful. And we want you to be good neighbors.
– Borrego Springs, California