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Jon Kinsley, left, 59, and Tim Kinsley, right, 57, executives of Pennsylvania-based Kinsley Enterprises, died in an avalanche on Jan. 23 while heli-skiing in British Columbia. Tim Kinsley was the point person for the development team working on the Margaritaville project planned for downtown Ocean City.

Project still on amid 'tragic' loss

A Margaritaville resort planned for downtown Ocean City is still on, but the project experienced a major loss last week with the unexpected death of two executives of the project’s development company.

According to various national news reports, Tim Kinsley, 57, and his brother, Jon Kinsley, 59, were killed in an avalanche while heli-skiing on Jan. 23 in British Columbia, Canada.

Tim Kinsley, the president of Pennsylvania-based Kinsley Properties, was the point person for the 13-story, 265-room Margaritaville hotel and resort slated for the former Phillips Beach Plaza Hotel property between 13th and 14th streets.

“Tim, he was primarily responsible. It was his company, it’s his project. He’s the one that passed away in the skiing accident in British Columbia,” local attorney Hugh Cropper, who represents the developers, said Monday.

Cropper added that he has been in touch with other company officials and said that they plan to “move forward on the exact same path” for Margaritaville in Ocean City in the wake of the brothers’ death.

Tim and Jon, the president and chief operating officer of Kinsley Construction, were reportedly caught in a slide in Revolstoke. B.C., while on a guided tour with CMH Heli-Skiing.

Heli-skiing is an adventurous type of snow skiing in which skiers are taken by helicopter to off-trail, remote areas to experience natural terrains and fresh, untouched powder.

A statement from the company said that an avalanche hit the area where the brothers were skiing in the late afternoon last Monday.

“Three individuals were caught in the slide with two fully buried and one partially buried,” the statement said. “The individuals were located by their transceivers and extracted from the snow.”

Reports said the Kinsley brothers and their guide were airlifted to the nearest hospital. While the guide was reported in stable condition, Tim and Jon were pronounced dead upon arrival.

Kinsley Enterprises, the parent company of Kinsley Properties and Kinsley Construction, released a statement on the company’s website soon after the incident expressing their heartbreak and sadness over Tim and Jon’s deaths.

“Our entire Kinsley family is still processing this heartbreaking news of their deaths and respectfully ask for privacy at this time,” the statement said. “We know their presence as dedicated leaders in our organization and the community will be immensely missed by many and we are grateful for your love, understanding and prayers as our entire Kinsley family manages this loss.”

Kinsley Enterprises, headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, is a highly regarded company that is behind many noteworthy projects throughout the region. The Kinsley brothers were recognized as two of the most prominent business leaders in the town for their reported philanthropic, caring and positively transformative contributions through development and charity.

The company is responsible for projects in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. that range everywhere from business centers and condominiums, to hotels and restaurants, and more.

Tim Kinsley attended nearly every local meeting held to date regarding the resort Margaritaville project, usually sitting quietly in the audience while consultants and other officials shared the intricate proposed details.

Cropper said Kinsley was one the nicest, most accommodating and understanding clients he has worked with, even as the project hit multiple planning and development snags along the way, and his death is a major tragedy.

“It was tragic. He was the nicest person to represent, I’ll tell you,” Cropper said. “Every time I would call and say something got delayed he’d always say, ‘well, we understand, we know how it works, thank you.’”

The downtown Margaritaville project has been in the works for about a year and a half and still has a way to go before site plan development and approval.

In its current state, the project will stand out significantly at the confluence of the upper and lower corridors of downtown.

Along with the 265-room hotel, developers have said the project will include 14,000 square feet of flexible premium meeting space, three outdoor pools, an adjacent indoor pool, a kids club, three restaurants, and a complimentary guest shuttle service, among other details and amenities synonymous with the famous Jimmy Buffett-themed Margaritaville hotels and resorts.

The first floor of the resort will house multiple, high-end retail spots with access from the Boardwalk and 400 guest parking spaces will be included in the design of the building. The parking spaces will be all valet, and developers are looking into a bike share or some other type of transportation program for employees.

This story appears in the Feb. 3, 2023 print edition of the OC Today.

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