Various sources are reporting that billionaire Richard Branson has sold off Mosquito Island (also spelled “Moskito”) in the British Virgin Islands for the sum of $20.5M. The sale apparently happened back in August but only recently came to light.
This is the same island that Branson originally pledged to turn into a model sustainable resort — with 20 villas and a beachfront restaurant powered entirely by wind turbines and solar panels. He 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.
The billionaire said at the time: “I was terrified Moskito would end up in the wrong hands and be ruined. 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.”
According to the accounts, the buyer, Split Holdings, has reimbursed all of Branson’s development costs to date. Let’s hope they continue the 66-year-old’s vision for a sustainable resort; though something tells me he never would have sold to someone thinking differently.
UPDATE: The rumors are false! Branson is not selling the island, check out our updated story here.