At the end of last year, various news sources reported
that Richard Branson had sold off Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands for the sum of $20.5M.
The 60-year-old billionaire purchased the 124-acre beauty back in 2007
mainly because he was worried that someone else would destroy its natural beauty. The island sits only a mile offshore from Necker Island, Branson’s home in the Caribbean.
His original plans were to turn it into a model sustainable resort
, with with 20 villas and a beachfront restaurant powered entirely by wind turbines and solar panels.
“I was terrified Moskito would end up in the wrong hands and be ruined," he said in '07. "I want to start from scratch and create the most ecologically friendly island in the world. Come back in five years and you’ll find a mini-Bali with a rainforest in the Caribbean.”
The reports, which came from reputable sites like The Australian and The Washington Post, stated that a company named Split Holdings had reimbursed all of Branson’s development costs -- with assumed intentions to continue the original plans for the sustainable resort.
According to the projector manager Ryan West, the sale rumors are completely false. He tells the BVI Beacon
that discussions about the resort with the Town and Country Planning Department continue; noting that the "timing has not yet been right" but that he hopes to work to commence sometime this year.
Great -- but don't expect to visit the final results in person unless you've got very deep pockets. Branson's Necker Island resort, which can accommodate 28 people, currently rents out for over $50K/day. I imagine Mosquito will match around the same, but perhaps there will be a discount for the unfortunate name.