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Province says sale not yet finalized as Digby Pines eyes May season opener


Develop Nova Scotia is currently in negotiations with its “preferred proponent” on the price and conditions of a sale of the Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa, but it won’t release any details until a deal has been reached. - Tina Comeau
The Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa - Tina Comeau photo
DIGBY, N.S. —

The Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa is getting ready to start another season.

Notices have been popping up on social media, such as Facebook, saying that the resort will be opening for the season on May 17.

The deal to sell the resort, meanwhile, is still being finalized.

“Nothing new to share at this time,” Deborah Page, the Director of Marketing & Communications for Develop Nova Scotia said in an email on March 18 when asked if the sale had been completed.

“We are actively negotiating with the buyer and hope to have more details to share soon,” said Page. “(The) resort will open for season as usual.”

After years of trying to sell the resort, the province of Nova Scotia has been in the process of finalizing a deal for the sale of the property to a potential buyer

Back in late January, Page had said the province hoped to be a position soon to finalize the deal, but also said it was difficult to anticipate when things would be final.

“We are currently negotiating the purchase and sale agreement, following which we will enter into the due diligence process with our preferred proponent,” she had said.

The province had received multiple proposals for the purchase of Digby Pines as a result of the most recent brokerage listing. Page said they had selected their “preferred proponent” and entered into negotiations in December.

Once the negotiations and “due diligence” process are complete, and the sale finalized, said she they will be able to “share details about the buyer, their plans and the purchase price.”

“We can share at this point that our preferred proponent does plan to continue to operate the Digby Pines as a resort and it will continue to be an important employer in the area,” she said at the time.

Many years ago the province opted to sell its two provincial government resorts – the Digby Pines and the Liscombe Lodge on the Eastern Shore.

Not successful in a first round of trying to sell the properties, they were put up for sale again in 2016.

The province then sought a buyer for the Digby Pines a third time in 2018. It was felt market conditions in the tourism sector had improved, which might make a sale more successful. A tender seeking requests for proposals (RFPs) was issued by Waterfront Development Corporation (now Develop Nova Scotia) in June 2018.

Contacted March 18 and asked about the sale of the Pines, Digby Mayor Ben Cleveland said, “We have not been advised if the sale is still on.”

During years that the resort has been owned by the province, the town has received a $250,000 grant in lieu of commercial property taxes. Asked about any such arrangements in the future, Mayor Cleveland said, “In regards to grants, if sold it would be a taxable property like any other enterprises.”

He said the town has been advised the hotel will operate as “normal” for the upcoming season.

Between 2003 and 2006, $7.7 million was invested by the province in golf course improvements, air conditioning and new spa and meeting facilities. In 2012 the province invested a further $1.3 million at Digby Pines for refurbishments and upgrades that included furniture, fixtures and equipment. The province has owned the Digby Pines since 1965.

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