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Pm And Tourism Minister Attend Las Vegas Hotel

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Perry Christie and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe are expected to be in Las Vegas today for the opening of the SLS Las Vegas boutique hotel and casino and to meet with the Nevada Gaming Commission as a part of consultations for the revised Gaming Bill.

Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, Mr Wilchcombe said the opening of the hotel will give the government the opportunity to “check out” the SLS Hotel before the operators open in the Bahamas as one of Baha Mar’s luxury hotel partners in 2015. During the trip, a meeting is scheduled with the Nevada Gaming Commission to review their gaming laws and see what can be applied to the Bahamas.

Sir Baltron Bethel, senior policy advisor to the prime minister, is also on the trip. Mr Wilchcombe said he did not know how much the trip costs, but said it was necessary.

He said: “I know we are not paying for the hotel, but I don’t know how much the entire trip is, but it is worth the investment. You have to appreciate what we are doing and what we are trying to get done. SLS is a major brand and we want to see how it works and also take advantage of the opportunity to see how they deal with their gaming situation.”

Mr Wilchcombe also denied speculation that the trip was a birthday celebration for the prime minister and insisted that it was just a “coincidence” that the trip coincides with Mr Christie’s birthday, which is today.

“We are using the opening as an opportunity to meet with gaming operators, particularly related to technology and to see one or two individuals in reference to where we are in terms of gaming legislation,” he said.

“So it is a work visit. It just so happens that his birthday falls during the trip and he could not cancel. He committed the time and he will be working on his birthday. I will be frank, I wish he didn’t have to work, but we scheduled it and it falls with the same time and there are things that need to be done. The SLS brand is coming to the Bahamas with Baha Mar and we want to see their gaming facility and what they will be doing. The prime minister will also meet with president of the Nevada Gaming Commission and look at their operations and how their gaming works. So it is definitely working time.”

In June, Baha Mar and the SLS Hotel signed a management agreement.

SLS at Baha Mar will be the brand’s first international venture, and will complement SLS’ soon-to-open hotels and resorts in Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Brickell, Miami and China, as well as its signature hotels in Beverly Hills, California and Miami Beach, Florida.

The new gaming legislation is expected to be tabled in the House of Assembly after the Value Added Tax Bill has been passed.

Last year, Mr Christie came under fire from the opposition over his travel costs for trips overseas.

Concerns were raised over spending after Mr Christie travelled to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, then to Vatican City where he met the pope before heading to London.

The Prime Minister said last November, after initially seeming to be annoyed when asked about travel costs, that he would have no problem giving a full account of how much money was spent on the trip.

However, he never revealed the costs.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 6 years, 1 month ago

WORTH REPEATING: Christie's idiotic blunders over the past two years have now created a huge tidal wave of public discontentment that will do far more harm to the organisational structure and leadership apparatus of the PLP than Ingraham and the FNM experienced in their loss of the last general election. The stalwart councilors of the PLP need to find a new leader in a hurry, failing which we will shortly be seeing the permanent demise of the PLP as a political force in our country. Even the legacy of Ping as a pillar of the PLP cannot withstand and overcome the lamed brain dead lunacy of Christie.

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Sickened 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree that the stalwart councilors of the PLP need to start planning for the next election and NOT EVEN CONSIDER putting Christie or Brave on any ballot. If they do then all PLP's running for reelection will be laughed at during their door to door campaigning. Last election when they came to my door and we discussed Perry being the leader again I laughed and they laughed. They seriously apologized for not being able to put someone else at the helm but said that it wasn't their choice.

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Dan101 6 years, 1 month ago

This the ONE THING Christie cares about!

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The_Oracle 6 years, 1 month ago

Nero Fiddles, While rome burns. Please Take the matches away from him! Aside an occasional bright spark quickly extinguished, We really do elect trash. Working to the lowest common denominator is well known but making them leadership..........

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mangogirl01 6 years, 1 month ago

Please Mr. Christie, for the people's sake, for your sake, resign, ride off into the sunset, enjoy your retirement and especially your grandchild. There's nothing more enjoyable and worth living for than experiencing the joys of one's grandchildren.

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proudloudandfnm 6 years, 1 month ago

Perry gone to Vegas to party instead of voting on VAT. Well blow me down...

PLP man. The gift that keeps on giving....

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