A half-finished resort in Summerside is being redeveloped into multi-million dollar resort and conference centre set to open next June that caters to the Island's established Chinese tourist market.
The former Dynasty Spa on the city’s waterfront in undergoing major renovations, at a cost of about $7.5 million, and will open as the Prince Alex Resort and Conference Centre.
Built in the early 1990s, the dilapidated building sits on 50 acres of undeveloped land on MacKenzie Drive, in the the west end of the city.
It was supposed to be a luxury spa, but it was never completed.
Sean Liu, a Chinese businessman living in Toronto, purchased the property in 2005 for $2 million and said he wanted to finish the spa by the following year, but nothing happened with the building.
In November 2011, frustrated Summerside officials went to China, where Liu lived at the time, to convince him to do something with the property.
Liu’s Summerside realtor Nicolle Morrison said he has a five-year contract to bring 140 Chinese visitors to the resort every two weeks.
"There’s 71 rooms in the new building with a conference room and two restaurants," she said.
Summerside city council has also now approved phase one a 22-lot housing development near the resort, with two new roadways into it.
Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart said development of the property has been a long time coming and he's relieved to see it finally underway.
"Hopefully people move here from China to live [here], to work [here]," he said
When the resort and both phases of the new housing development are completed, the entire project will be valued at about $30 million.