Photo: Artist’s rendition of the Royal Plaza currently being constructed in front the Royal St. Kitts Hotel
PM Harris expresses condolences to family after passing of Archie Zuliani
By Valencia Grant and Kilony Johnson, Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The prime minister, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, extends his heartfelt condolences, and those of the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, to the Zuliani family, who has lost a dynamic and loving patriarch in the person of Alceo “Archie” Zuliani.
Zuliani died Saturday, July 8, in Toronto, Canada, at the age of 77. A Canadian of Italian descent, Zuliani established Trans-Americainvest (St. Kitts) Limited, which developed the iconic 18-acre Royal St. Kitts Hotel and Casino property in Frigate Bay. He was also instrumental in introducing the investor behind the Royal St. Kitts Beach Resort, which is now known as the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, to the federation.
He is survived by his son, John, who is the president of Trans-Americainvest (St. Kitts) Limited/Royal St. Kitts Hotel.
Zuliani is highly regarded as a trailblazer who helped to dramatically expand St. Kitts and Nevis’ tourism industry, starting in the early 1980s. He became a fixture in the local community through his employment of hundreds of Kittitians and Nevisians, as well as through his longstanding charitable contributions to organizations such as the St. Christopher Children’s Home, to which he provided Christmas lunch and gifts and monetary donations on an annual basis. During the 1990s, Zuliani also impacted scores upon scores of students throughout St. Kitts as the beneficiaries of a scholarship fund that covered their uniforms and textbooks from first form all the way through fifth form.
Zuliani will be best remembered for his passion for hotel development, which he married with his love for the country of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Royal St. Kitts Hotel, which initially opened in May 1976 as the first hotel in Frigate Bay, reopened Sept. 10, 1983, as Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino, under the ownership of Trans-Americainvest (St. Kitts) Limited, which gave St. Kitts its very first major hotel by adding nearly 200 rooms to the original 100 rooms.
In 1985, Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino was leased to Jack Tar Village, a major hotel chain based in Dallas, Texas. For the next 17 years, the hotel was the predominant tourist resort in St. Kitts and Nevis, bringing in successful charters from Boston, Dallas and Toronto on a weekly basis. The hotel closed December 8, 2002, and officially reopened on December 1t, 2007, as the Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino, formerly known as Jack Tar Village.
Less than one year after reopening, the Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino won the Most Creative Business Award at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s 2008-2009 Tourism Awards. It was around that time that Zuliani conceptualized a cutting-edge ownership program called Vacation for Life, which falls under Citizenship-by-Investment.
The Royal St. Kitts Hotel currently employs more than 100 people and in November will see the opening of the Royal Plaza, which further demonstrates the Zulianis’ commitment to the federation’s tourism industry.
Upon learning of Zuliani’s death, Harris reflected on the significant contributions that he made toward the socio-economic development of St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly in the area of tourism.
“We have lost an investor who had a huge heart of love for our people and for our country,” Harris said. “In good times and in bad times, Archie Zuliani remained committed to St. Kitts and Nevis.
The prime minister noted that his heart and prayers are with the Zuliani family during this difficult time as they mourn this profound loss.