Ryan signs deal in Vietnam

| 28/05/2012

imgres_0.jpg(CNS): Speculation that the developer of the Ritz Carlton – Cayman may have turned his attention from the Cayman Islands since losing control of the hotel and a number of related companies was fuelled after Michael Ryan signed an MOU with the Vietnamese government. According to media reports in that country, Ryan, who denies now having responsibility for $6.5 million owed to the Cayman government regarding duty waivers, has signed a deal to develop a hotel similar to the Ritz Carlton in Ninh Thuan in the country’s south-central coast. Describing the developer as "a billionaire", the local press reported that the agreement would lead to the development of tourism in the area.

Ryan was cited as still being the owner of the five star Ritz hotel in Cayman, although legal action by Ryan’s creditors earlier this year saw the developer lose control of the hotel and several companies that were formed in order to develop it.

Ryan received a duty waiver for the five star hotel in excess of $10 million until the hotel opened. In 2006 Ryan began paying back the debt to the public purse but following the election of the current government the quarterly payments stopped, with over $6.5 million still owing.

Recently, in the face of the mounting legal action against him, Ryan denied having responsibility for that debt.

The owner of land behind the Ritz Carlton at Safe Haven, Ryan had plans for a mixed-used tourism development called Dragon Bay but had indicated that, given the legal difficulties he now faced, that development was in jeopardy. However, Ryan recently met with local boat operators and asked them to move their boats from the marina on the property, indicating that the developer had plans to begin dredging there, though it isnot clear whether this was to gain access to fill, to sell or for use on the planned Dragon Bay development.

CNS contacted Ryan earlier this month to find out what plans he had for the replenishment of the mangroves on the planned Dragon Bay site, since the developer had removed some 378,000sq ft of protective buffer to prepare for the proposed resort, however , the developer has not returned calls or answered emails.

According to the Vietnamese press, the government there is depending on Ryan and other foreign investors to kick-start tourism there, officials said.

“This is the first time such big American investors have come to Ninh Thuan to sound out tourism potentials and sign MOUs with the local government,” Ho Si Son, vice director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said.

“Given the small number of tourism investors and the inactiveness of a number of registered schemes, we are trying to appeal to large investors who are strong enough to realize the projects,” Son added.

See related stories

Ryan loses control of Ritz

Ryan accused of funds misuse

Ryan silent over mangroves

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Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In related but not yet reported news, a senior politician has quietly acquired a fantastic option on a couple of luxury condos and some options on future "winnings" at one or more casinos as well ……………

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent, kudos to you, sounds like you are a professional at starting rumors and speculation…You get an A on this one, who ever you are..

  2. noname says:

    So lets hear the report on how some benefited.Sound bites not good enough i'm afraid!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Everything that was done by Mike Ryan and companies was accomplished with the sanction of the Caymanian Government, the Planning Department and other involved Caymanian businesses and agencies. Lots of Caymanians were employed during the construction phase and lots of money was made by everyone. While the current high unemployment rate is mainly a result of the worldwide economic downturn everyone looks for a scapegoat to vent their frustratoin at the current situation and Ryan is a convenient target. Unethical (not illegal) dealingsmay have occurred on all sides of the Ritz development, but if any major development in Cayman were examined in detail by an impartial body (which of course doesn't exist in Cayman) they would find similar results. But to those who feel compelled to rant away about Mike Ryan until the next convenient scapegoat comes along… have fun. It's far easier to express your anger this way than to take a hard look at how business has been conducted in Cayman for decades and actually show the political will to make changes to the system.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Apparently this American Billionaire Mike Ryan also built and owns the Four Seasons Cayman!  Great due diligence guys!  http://talkvietnam.com/2012/05/business-in-brief-175/

  5. Anonymous says:

    Because of Michael Ryan, Cayman has a leading hotel that continues to bring revenue to the Island that it would likely not otherwise have had (room tax,work permit fees, airport duty etc etc).  

    It seems to me that people driven by envy are deliberately failing to see the benefits he brought to the Island – regardless of what you give, people in Cayman always seem to expect even more, and while giving little on their own part.  I bet that none of the people criticising him have themselves personally made anywhere near the contribution to the Cayman Islands economy and international profile that Michael Ryan has.

    • Anon says:

      That is kind of like arguing that building on quicksand makes sense. In order to fully reap all the benefits you list above the company involved must be both solvent and have a viable future.

      Whatever good R-C may (or may not) have done it hasn't been paying the bills and that's not healthy for anyone involved.

      And I'm not sure the Vietnamese are the sort of people he wants to try playing similar games with. XXXX

  6. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Poor Vietnam. Haven't they had enough suffering?

    • Anonymous says:

      what I am surprised of is that he is not being held accountable for the mess here. Instead he is being allowed to have another project. Gee have we not thrown away enough of our money.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hahahahahahha suckers…..

  8. Anonymous says:

    DART better check and see if Ryan has taken his passport.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If mac don't care about $350,000.00 stan thomas owes him personally, no way does he care about 6.5 million of your money.

  10. Anonymous says:

    keke shoulkd be paying back that $ since he allowed M.Rayan to rack up 6.7 million. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Someone didn't do their homework. 

    Guess we won't be seeing much of him anymore..

    Vietnam sounds like a good place for him though.  Good Riddance!

     

    • Anonymous 2 says:

      We knew all about him before he came here and that didnt stop us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, "Billionaire" with Cayman money.

      Plenty become "Billionaire" off a we people!

    • BORN FREE says:

      Yes, I agree, Good riddance & I hope & pray he takes his close friend with him (that would be McChavez)

  12. Anonymous says:

    REALLY, no internet there I guess (or sense).

  13. Anonymous says:

    "Billionaire Mike Ryan from the Cayman Islands, who is the owner of the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel, clinched the agreement with Ninh Thuan to develop tourism service facilities there, including a hotel similar to the Ritz Carlton Hotel, said Ho Si Son, vice director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism." – from the Vietnamese Dong article (http://dongtalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23346)

     

    …and the skunk-trail takes another turn. Ryan, under your directorship, the Ritz racked up lots of debts. When are we the creditors going to get our amounts paid?

     

    Will he correct the Vietnamese newspaper which labeled him as a billionaire? If not, he should be able to pay my bill ASAP!

    • Anonymous says:

      haven't checked the exchange rate but maybe he's a billionaire by vietnamese standards… who knows, maybe we all are!

      • Anonymous says:

        1 USD = 20,635.1 VND 

        so that 1 billon Vietnamese Dong is only US$48,461.10

        You really think Michael Ryan has US$48K left?

  14. Sam Putt Putt says:

    "There's a sucker born every minute." Commonly attributed to P.T. Barnum.

  15. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    Will someone sue this guy to get our money back please?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you people try to get at least some of your facts right on this story, or is bashing Michael Ryan that important that you feel you can report anything that sounds sensational?
    How did it ever get to be a situation where you are now reporting that he personally owed the CIGov’t import tax arrears? Everything he has done in Cayman, including building and “owning” the Ritz Hotel, has been done through companies (partly) owned and controlled by him. This is the way it is done the world over. When did you ever see a developer do anything in their own personal capacity? Those companies are now the subject of receivership and that’s simply where the Govt should look to recover any duties that are owed. So to report that he personally owes those duties is simply preposterous. As far as the mangrove clearing is concerned, if you ever deigned to contact the Planning Department, you could easily ascertain that in fact the Ritz’s development company obtained planning permission to clear the destroyed “mangrove buffer” on the eastern end of the Ritz parcel. That permission too, is and always was “owned” by the companies in receivership, so you’ll have to take up your gripe in that regard with them, or whoever is controlling them now. Fact is, he doesn’t any longer have the ability to do anything on the Ritz site (not to be confused with the old Safehaven site), so how can he be expected to remediate anything over there? In fact, the only thing that is supposed to be remediated was the small island offshore from that site.
    As far as the marina is concerned, Dragon Bay Limited, which is not the subject of any of the legal action, has an agreement signed by the last Government under which it is required to build a public marina and whilst that marina is being built, to provide interim berthing for the existing users of the government owned parcel (who have in fact been berthing without any rent payment or express permission from the Govt or Port Authority on that parcel for years) at a nearby location. Full planning permission has been granted for everything that is being proposed and it has the full consent of both government and Port Authority. However, there are a few of those commercial boat operators who simply don’t want to move, probably out of fear that they will have to actually pay for their berthing, and are now trying to make much controversy out of an agreed and approved course of action. The excavation complained of is in accordance with the plans agreed between the previous administration and the Port Authority, and approved by the CPA, in order to create the new facility.
    Besides, where does this idea of excavating fill for sale come from? There is no way that could be done, without planning permission, which is highly unlikely.
    So please, try to get the facts straight. In this day and age of FOI, there is simply no excuse any longer for speculative reporting. In the final analysis, careful reporting might make the difference between a defence and aggravated damages in a libel suit.
    I don’t know what his intentions are, but I think if any of us were to get the treatment he has gotten in this country, we would move to Vietnam too.

    • The Magic Dragon says:

      Seems this "poor innocent man" is always winding up in fine-print drama. I will swallow your excuses;however propose the following. If none of this is his personal fault, and we agree its the second time a project he spear -headed failed(Costa Rica); dosnt it leave the posiblility that his skills as a developer are massively overrated?

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Firstly i dont think CNS was reporting that he owned the Ritz, that was what was reported overseas, and i am sure that they got that from him. We all know that is incorrect, however while the company does owe the debts including the duty, you have to wonder what 'Dividends' he has taken out of those companies over the years, he does not live on a little wage with trips around the world and buying big houses….

    • Anonymous says:

      actually, developers have to give personal guarantees all the time. depends on their financial strength whether they can get no recourse loans. cayman has shown itself too weak to demand guarantees from developers. looks like you're not the only ones however.

    • Anonymous says:

      Said like an unethical real estate attorney.

    • Anon says:

      He has no responsibility?? So reports of his personal guarantee are in error?? Yes a corporation provides a shield against personal assets, but if one ‘personally’ guarantees a payment is not that shield removed? I am not a lawyer so, I would really like to know.

      Would also love to know just who benefited from this and to what extent. Just too fishy for my tastes.

      • Anonymous says:

        There was no personal guarantee and no security given for the corporate debt even after he ceased paying in June, 2009 yet the Premier has the nerve to make speeches about "fiscal responsibility". He likes to "help" people alright.  

  17. noname says:

    So any day now Ryan is going to skip out from the Cayman Islands in the wee hours of the morning leaving 6.5 million dollars in debt that we the unemployed people will have to pay back. He has ridden the backs of our Cayman donkeys in government, now he’s kicking the donkey to the side to ride the Vietnamese. At least the foreign company repossessing his hotel had more sense than our local government in handling Ryan. Caymanians have to put up security for everything how come Ryan did not put up any money as security, is this another can of worms that is being supprssed?
    What is the UDP going to do about that? Caymanians are hurled into court over a little measly bill and Caymanians are prosecuted every day for not paying bills BECAUSE THEY ARE JOBLESS AND UNEMPLOYED, WITH NO INCOME ” $0″ INCOME!.

    We can not allow this to happen. This is not to be tolerated. Ryans documents should be confiscated until he pays that $6.5 million dollars to the public coffers. Let us see if they have the guts to do so.

    • Danonymouse Man says:

      Mike Ryan did not ride the backs of our donkeys in Government as much as you think. Some of those donkeys made millions out of the Ritz Carlton XXXX. If any riding has been done, the donkeys in government have rode the the people of Cayman. Michael Ryan was given a lot of incentives to do the deal he did, but other people profited handsomely from these business deals. After all one hand washes the other. Why did the Government ever do business with him after knowing what occurred in Costa Rica and Florida….

      • anonymous says:

        "After all one hand washes the other."  Ahhh Ha. So that is how you get "clean hands"!!!!  Now please explain the "pure heart" thing!

        • D nonymouse man says:

          Well to get a pure heart, you need to attend church regularly and…. make a budget to give the pastors plenty of money…… the churches always know when a persons heart is pure…. 

    • noname says:

      Your own Government takes you all for a lot more than 6.5 million every year.  Your tolerance for these things is legendary.  They(meaning you) do not have the guts to do anything meaningful.