March 21, 2023

175 – Bank Loan to Caribbean Resort Owner with J. Kelly Sullivan

How he started out in real estate –  Kelly is a developer and owner of Alive and Well Resorts, which includes Kokomo Botanical Resort. Kelly grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and for decades now lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He learned from his real estate father and traveled in Asia. After seeking the best location for his resort, He created his own vertical in Southern Ontario from the supply side to install. With the help of efficient Canadian building technology, he ventured into building material distribution and construction. He had a dream and vision, and he started making it happen. 

Challenges while building the resort – He dealt with the inefficiencies of the Island lifestyle by seeking a consistent supply of construction materials, employing his staff, and aligning himself with the right legal personnel. He did it harmoniously with the island’s environment, culture, and people.

His role in the Canadian Turks and Caicos Islands project – The Canadian government has occasionally toyed with the idea of leveraging its economic and social connection with the British Turks and Caicos. With the help of his close friends in Canada, Kelly managed to arrange for the Canadian Premier Harper to meet with the Turks & Caicos Islands Bilateral Working Group. The purpose was to advance the economic and trade agenda between the two.

How does Kokomo Private Island stand out from the competition – It has continuously ranked as one of the world’s best sand, sun, and sea beaches. It has one of the best sun, sand, and sea destinations worldwide, enjoying high-ranking years. There is an incredible beach club on the best part of the beach, and you can visit a different beach every day. The beach also enjoys all-year-round sunshine, unlike most places in the world.

Kokomo is not for everybody – Once you enter the gates of Kokomo, you transition into another oasis. Kokomo private resort offers serenity from indigenous trees that are hundreds of years old. You can enjoy fish and meat from the international market and great vegetarian offerings. (Without you, there is no we, it is about who we are coming together -people come here as strangers and leave as friends).

What do you give the most credit for your success story in the hospitality industry? Kelly most greatly admires the hoteliers in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He emphasizes self-belief, and the never quit spirit. (Successful people never quit).

Key Time Stamps

  • (0:38) Kelly’s journey to the hospitality industry
  • (04:49) How he started out in real estate
  • (08:20) Challenges while building the resort
  • (10:07) His role in the Canadian Turks and Caicos Islands project
  • (12:12) How does Kokomo private island stand out from the competition
  • (16:35) Kokomo is not for everybody
  • (20:35) What do you give the most credit for the success story you have become in the hospitality industry
  • (21:38) Kelly’s contact information

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