THE Government has received a “very serious proposal” from a Canadian group interested in taking over the Grand Lucayan Resort’s casino, tourism minister Obie Wilchcombe confirmed yesterday.
Mr Wilchcombe, who spoke with Tribune Business at the Bahamas International Investment & Business Forum, said he was heading to the Dominican Republic yesterday afternoon to assess the group’s casino operations there.
While refusing to identify the name of the casino operator, Mr Wilchcombe said: “It’s a group that’s really out of Canada, but the strength of the base is in the Dominican Republic where they own multiple casinos.
“They have an interest and they have sent in a proposal. They have an interest in not only the casino here but also hotel and airlift, and so we are going to take a look at their casino. They are having an opening tonight; we’re going to look at what they’re offering and exactly how their operations are run.”
“We are running in there today and coming right back because we have to make a decision,” Mr Wilchcombe added.
“They have very serious interest and they sent in a very serious proposal. This present casino [Treasure Bay], their operation contract is up, they are moving on. They only have a short time left here and so the transition must take place and we must find a very high -nd brand that will help us lift Grand Bahamas’ image.”
Treasure Bay, which has operated the casino since 2009, is pulling out at the end of the month. The casino employs about 200 staff.
Last year, the Government, Hutchison Whampoa, Grand Lucayan’s owner, and the Sunwing travel group reached an agreement to re-open the 500-room Reef Village as a five-star resort.