THE Government is set to review “at least three proposals” for the takeover of the Grand Lucayan Resort’s casino by a new operator, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday, telling Tribune Business it should be close to a final decision next week on which group would win.
Speaking with Tribune Business at the Bahamas International Business & Investment Forum, Mr Wilchcombe said he had had a “good meeting” in the Dominican Republic with one of the group’s vying to take over the Grand Lucayan’s casino operations, the Dream Group.
Mr Wilchcombe had stated previously that the Canada-based group had submitted what he described as a “very serious” proposal.
“We had a very good meeting. We were able to meet with the potential operators. We had a meeting at midnight followed by a tour of the casinos,” the Minister said.
“Obviously they are very successful. They are running 12 casinos, many of which run 24 hours a day. They are also into sports betting as well. They are employing some 13,000 people in the Dominican Republic. We wanted to see their reach, their client base and we wanted to see their appeal. We wanted to see what other offerings they do have,” said Mr Wilchcombe.
“We also discovered that they have an interest in hotel investment here with their partners, so we are looking at them. We will certainly talk to the Prime Minister this weekend, and by next week or so we will be getting down to the final consideration on which company we want to purse an interest in, and the subsequent to that to get them to work, because you know that the Treasure Bay group is going to conclude within a month’s time.
“There are at least three others that have expressed an interest. One from the United States and another is from Europe,” said Mr Wilchcombe. The Grand Lucayan casino employs about 200 staff.