Alegria attempts for second time to evict pool bar owner Dijkhuis

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Sint Maarten Courthouse

BY TODAY NEWSPAPER

GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance will rule on Friday October 2 on a second attempt by Alegria to evict Marty Dijkhuis from the pool bar at its resort in Beacon Hill. In June, Alegria lost a lawsuit against the resilient owner of Marty’s Dream Bar. Yesterday it made a second attempt.

Attorney Metin Unsal told the court that Dijkhuis had systematically violated the conditions set forth in the June ruling and that he had rent arrears of more than two months.

There is a dispute between Alegria and Dijkhuis about the way his monthly rent is calculated. According to the resort, the net profit is turnover minus purchased goods. Of the profit thus calculated, Alegria is entitled to 50 percent plus $150. Dijkhuis’ attorney Willem Nelissen contested the calculation-method.

“The rest of the costs Marry has to make are not taken into account according to Alegria. This is incorrect, Marty contests it, it is not in the lease agreement and it is also illogical.”

Unsal said that Dijkhuis currently has rent arrears amounting to $5,900 and that the bar owner had incorrectly attributed the $2,900 in court costs Alegria still has to pay him to the rent. This kind of settlement is incorrect, Unsal said. “The authority to settle this way is excluded in the lease agreement.”

Furthermore, Unsal noted that Dijkhuis does not have a permit to operate the pool bar. “That exposes Alegria to actions from the authorities,” he said,

Other grudges against Dijkhuis are that he has no insurance and that he is a nuisance to hotel guests.

“We are authorized to vacate the bar because the rent arrears are by now nine months,” Unsal said.

Alegria gave Dijkhuis notice that his lease is terminated per August 5.

Nelissen noted that the court rejected an earlier attempt by Alegria to vacate the pool bar. “Apparently this has upset Alegria so much that it submitted a new request to vacate, hardly two months later.”

Nelissen said that during the previous summary proceedings, Alegria argued that there was no lease agreement with his client. “Now Alegria says that my client does not abide by the agreement. Alegria is busy harassing my client so that he will leave. Alegria is very much aware that it has deeper pockets than my client. It attempts to exhaust him this way.”

Dijkhuis rents the pool bar since January 1, 2011 based on an agreement with the previous resort owner Kildare Properties. Until June, Alegria denied the existence of this agreement and it refused to accept rent payments. It also refused to do maintenance on the pool bar, Nelissen said.

The attorney pointed out that TripAdvisor has named Mary’s Dream Bar the most popular bar in the Maho area. Nevertheless, ever since Alegria bought the resort business is down. “There are no longer large numbers of visitors. Alegria’s hotel has hardly any guests and until recently Alegria refused visitors entry to the pool bar. These days, visitors are allowed to go to the pool bar but they are not allowed to cross the hotel lobby.”

The pool bar’s turnover has dropped dramatically due to the low number of visitors, Nelissen said. “Therefore, the net profit is also lower. Because Alegria receives half of the net profit, it is shooting itself in the foot.”

Nelissen furthermore contested the allegation that Dijkhuis does not have a license to operate the pool bar. Previously, the bar operated under Kildare’s license. Now, a branch-license is in process. There is a stumbling block though: “”The licensing department refuses to issue a license to Marty because Alegria has requested a hotel permit that explicitly includes the pool bar. Because these two permits work against each other, the licensing department refuses to cooperate until the court has taken a decision in this procedure.”

Nelissen said that Alegria needs permission from the rent committee to terminate the contract and that the exception for hotels does not apply because Alegria does not have this permit yet. Unsal contested this later.

Lastly, Nelissen told the court that Alegria so far has failed to do proper maintenance on the pool bar, in spite of a court ruling that ordered it to do so. “Alegria probably does not want to spend a lot of money on this hoping that Marty will leave on his own when the situation.

“The situation is so bad that Marty is spending a lot of time diving up rusted nails from the pool. They fall next to the pool bar in the pool and could cause injuries to guests. Alegria has been warned about this but it is apparently not interested.”

Nelissen asked the court to up the penalty for non-compliance with the maintenance-order from 50 guilders to $5,000 per day.