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Grand Lucayan Loi Signed

Grand Lucayan

Grand Lucayan

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced on Friday that a letter of intent (LOI) has been signed between the owners of the Grand Lucayan hotel strip in Grand Bahama and the Toronto-based Wynn Group.

In a statement, Dr Minnis said he hoped this step would lead to the full renovation and opening of the Our Lucayan strip in early 2018.

He also said the government received a mandate from the Bahamian people “to restore economic health and vitality to the economy of Grand Bahama.”

He added: “Over the past several months we have made positive steps to improve Grand Bahama’s economy. However, the island’s recovery will not be complete until the full opening and development of the Our Lucayan strip properties.

“While this process has taken longer than the government would have liked, significant progress has been made. I am therefore pleased to inform Grand Bahamians and the nation that today (Friday) my office has been informed that the owners of the hotel strip have signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Paul Wynn. This is a very important formal step toward the completion of the sale.

“The government will now enter the approval stage and enter formal discussions with Paul Wynn on a heads of agreement, which will detail the future development of the hotel strip. We expect this process to be completed within the next month to two months.

“The government is very hopeful that this important formal step will lead to the full renovation, opening and redevelopment of the entire strip in early part of 2018, helping to bring much needed economic growth and jobs to Grand Bahama, which will also help to boost the national economy.”

The Grand Lucayan closed last October after Hurricane Matthew and deprived Grand Bahama of 59 per cent of its room inventory and at least 1,000 jobs.

Dr Minnis, in a national address earlier this year, said renovations at the Grand Lucayan would likely start in August - a deadline that is now long past.

The Minnis administration had also previously announced it would part-nationalise the hotel by taking a temporary equity stake in its acquisition, in an effort to revive Grand Bahama. While talks for this process took place, it did not materialise.

Comments

TalRussell 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Comrade Freeporters may have a difficult time placing their confidence in a prime minister and his Imperial red shirts cabinet who while they keeps identifying Freport's economic woes - keep moving the goal posts. The man and KP shows up every couple weeks in Freeport to announce some recovery scheme of which a light at the end of the tunnel is never really visible because before any deal can close the red shirts cabinet finds a way obstructs the line of sight.

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sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Is Renward Wells anywhere near this signing desk???????? ...... That's HAM lieutenant.

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rawbahamian 3 weeks, 2 days ago

No one seems to remember that the Freeport econony has been in the toilet for a number of years but tiny minded people think that the problem can be rectified overnight. The former administration damn near destroyed the ENTIRE Bahamian economy and it will take some time to undo the multiple 'F' ups before a corrective action can take place

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SP 3 weeks, 2 days ago

It's only fair to give credit where credit is due. The former Christie administration deserves 1/3 of the blame for destroying the Bahamian economy and following the lead of Pindling and Ingraham, who are both intrinsically equally responsible for "leading" the country to the dire condition we now find ourselves.

All three former prime ministers sold out to UBP special interest groups, managed massive systemic corruption for personal gain of friends, family, and lovers, and should be charged with treason!

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BMW 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Raw, agrees 100% these other two that never have any good to say cant see that the plunder loot pillage had 5 years to build the economy but instead like you say DAMN NEAR DESTROYED NOT ONLY ECONOMY BUT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!!!

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John 3 weeks, 2 days ago

This would have been a really historical event if this was a group of BAHAMIANS signing on this agreement. The time has come for BAHAMIANS to take control on our economy and stop pandering to some boogeyman in the closet. There are multimillionaires in this country and manywith a wealth of business experience. Time for Bahamians to get their fair share of the tourism pie and keep the wealth at home.

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OldFort2012 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I would not take on a hotel in the Bahamas if you gave it to me for free. And neither would anyone else who actually earnt their money.

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Truism 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Winter of 2018 here we come. I would LOL if this wasn't so sad.

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BMW 3 weeks, 2 days ago

The Bahamian multi millionaires like snake and brent know better than to invest in hotels where they have deal with corrupt unions very low productivity, mash mout attitudes etc..... God know I would not. Congratulations to the present admin. for getting this deal moving. Dealing with chinese is not easy.

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SP 3 weeks, 2 days ago

@ John - whereas I totally agree that Bahamians must become owners in our economy, this LOI signing with the Wynn group is a positive step in the right direction mainly due to the fact that they have 40 years experience, international clout providing the ability to "jump-start" this facility.

Factoring in that statistically, 60% of all new ventures fail, unfortunately, this is not the right place in time for a new Bahamian owned group to try their hand at reviving this property. Freeport needs an immediate infusion of experienced investors with deep pockets and the wherewithal to succeed.

That being said, nobody travels to a vacation destination just to sit in a hotel room!

Bahamian investors can still play major roles in owning & developing the economy with far fewer risk factors by investing in fun resort amenities i.e. theme parks, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, water activities etc' which feed off resort properties.

However, again, the Bahamas is far behind the eight ball and need not waste time reinventing the wheel, initially Bahamian investors would be better off partnering with experienced companies with similar operations.

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watcher 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Well said. Let the major international players do their thing, while local entrepreneurs benefit from, and assist with, the smaller infrastructure by providing ancillary amenities. Government should play no part, except for providing reliable utilities and roads.

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John 3 weeks, 1 day ago

In other words let Bahamians continue to do slave labor. Let the international players carry the whole cow while Bahamians fight over the head and the tail. Y’all sound so silly.

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John 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Bahamians can even purchase the property and get a franchise to brand and operate the hotel they will own the property and still get profits from the operations

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OldFort2012 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Simple: because there are no profits. Every hotel here goes bankrupt.

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ashley14 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Actually in thinking American's don't own most resorts here. It's foreigners and convenience stores are also foreigners. To make matters worse we would have to pay taxes on the money made if we owned it. Foreigners don't have to for the first five years, then they sell it to a relative and they don't pay taxes either. Some of our laws make no sense at all. More positive note, Merry Christmas to all! May you have a wonderful Christmas!

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John2 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I think everyone here would agree that only about 5% of wealthy Bahamians have the financial capacity to purchase and own one of the major Hotels. The problem is they are reluctant to do so because i think of the historical track record of hotels in the Bahamas. If you look back in time every major hotel got into some kind of financial problem and could not meet its financial obligations resulting in either bankruptcy, selling out or closing down and i think its because we have to simply redefine the hotel models we allow to be built in this country. .. Bahamian institutions such as Credit unions, Pension funds and insurance companies have the financial capacity to purchase a major hotel but the uncertainty of the steady and reliable returns from such and investment is a major hindrance to venturing in that area especially when you factor in the many unrealistic demands of the archaic unions in this day and time. Also these type of institutions operate on long term financial projections which would be heavely impacted during slow periods thus making hotel investments highly unattractive. Someday Bahamians will own major hotels but it will require a major shift in our way of thinking. We must adopt a long term view of thinking when it comes to our finances and begin to think like the chinese who have a mind set of thinking in decades. I call it generational thinking. As i write the chinese, Amenicans, Jamaicans and a canadian pension fund own all of the major hotels in this country. We must get rid of the black crab syndrome, be willing to take financial risks and pool our resources together.The charge in that status quo will be made easier the more Bahamians are educated aboard, get experience aboard, and be willing to come home.Hope fully some of the new policies of the present administration will make this reality easier. . If the Jamaican owners of Breezes and Sandals can own major hotels here Bahamians certainly can.

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SP 3 weeks, 1 day ago

@ John..."Let Bahamians continue to do slave labor"? On the contrary my friend!

Our due diligence confirms a decent amusement or theme park requires a minimum $175M investment and has faster, significantly higher ROI than any hotel can ever dream of!

Proof of the pudding only takes a quick look at the Atlantis water park, adult price: $169. child price: $118 (ages 4-12) and they are overwhelmed 70% of the time mostly with cruise passengers. Take a moment and do the math. What hotel can produce these numbers?

In comparison, the Freeport property requires purchasing, refurbishing, franchise fees, marketing, staffing, maintenance, union headaches, cost etc'. Why not invest in lucrative low hanging fruit and graduate to more complex hard to reach stuff after setting up a few cash cows to generate funds to finance hotel ownership?

How do I know this? My group did all the studies, had an experienced, very willing investor with $190M cash and made a comprehensive proposal to Pillage Loot Plunder in 2012, BUT, dancing clown Christie and his group of pirates was in La' La land, only focused on putting all their eggs in the Baha Mar basket.

If you call this "slave labor" PLEASE sign me up!

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sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Next vital thing ......... Let the Government take over and run the Freeport Airport (like NAD) ...... and get rid of those ridiculous taxes that hinder hotel and GB destination competition.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Comrades, what fantasy economic growth expectations my fellow bloggers promote whilst ignoring that 85 cents out every dollar tourists spend in Freeport, or elsewhere in the Bahamaland - will leave the country. The entire economic system as we know it has long been broken. As for Freeport, even Wallace Groves and Sir Stafford never could bring their much promised 'magic city prosperity' to Freeport..never could and that's an recorded historical matter of economic fact... yet much blame has and continues to be unfairly directed at Lynden Pindling's"Bend or Break speech" .... when by the time Pindling arrived as prime minister, there wasn't much economic property in Freeport for the man to break. The Bay Street Boys UBP never did get around to making anything close to magical about Freeport's fantasy economically viability. What now makes you think Minnis is suddenly the one with the Midas Magic Touch?

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John 3 weeks, 1 day ago

See so what started out as a black vs white struggling has now evolved into the workers vs the elite. Meaning that a large portion of the white race is now being excluded from enjoying the Economic pie. Not only in America but globally. So the financial traps that were set to keep black people poor are now being rebaited to keep certain classes of white folk and other ethnicities excluded. Bill Gates is no longer the richest man on the planet but the CEO of Amazon is after the stock price of his company hit the $1,000.00 mark. Then what is bitcoin? Basically an imaginary currency that was created on the internet and is now trading higher than the stocks of some of the worlds most successful companies. But what exactly do you own when you own bitcoins? And Amazon is set out to gobble up and/or destroy all the major companies that are in competition with it. In addition it is seeking to own all the companies that are ancillary to its core business. This includes courier companies, credit cards, Air cargo companies. And the effect is so great not only on American economy but gl so much so economists are calling it the Amazon effect. A few years ago regulators would not allow a company to get this big and so powerful so soon. They made the Bell Phone Company split up and divide itself into smaller companies. And yet you say Bahamians can’t own and manage hotels.

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OldFort2012 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Bahamian can own and manage hotels. It's just that we are too smart to sink money into a total hole with no hope of ever seeing it again. Do the numbers.

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SP 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Correction, no one said Bahamians can't own and manage hotels.

As an individual, I would prefer a theme park or other supportive ancillary resort investment with less risk and a higher, much faster ROI.

Everyone wanting to invest in hotels have my blessings and I wish them success.

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John2 3 weeks, 1 day ago

@Jonn ...when you own bitcoin, you own the worlds first technological crypto currency that is not regulated by any government thus its popularity is growing, Someday soon a cryto currency is going to be the worlds single standard currency that is going to replace the US dollar, euro, yen , ruble and all of the worlds major currencies. Governments don't want this to happen but regulation has started on bitcoin in hong Kong, Japan next year a few exchanges in the US hasve already announced their Start date for acceptance and regulation and trading. Major hedge funds world wide have all ready started placing bitcoins in their portfolio. At present crypto ATM machine's are gaining popularity in the far east and retailers have began to accept the currency for purchases,so its only a mater of time before the tide sweeps to this part of the world.

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ashley14 3 weeks ago

I hope it doesn't in our lifetime. I guess I don't totally understand the bitcoin, but I'm very skeptical of it. It works kind of like the stock market, from what I understand. Too much money is lost in a split second in stocks. Merry Christmas my friends! Lisa I should change my sign in, Ashley is my daughter.

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John2 3 weeks ago

@ashley14 Some men come anto this world and they see things years before they happen thats why they are called visionaries. Have you ever heard of a man called Ncola Tesla ...he predicted the cell phone would be in everyone hands from 1926 and today its a reality. I am attaching his quote or you can google Nicola Tesla predictions and read about it. So Bitcoin is already a reality and the guy who invented it will be proven right someday because our grand kide will not have to use Cash ...only crytocurrencies and if Bitcoin dies there will be a future replacement

None

by John2

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Comrades, you've got to know who the Bitcoin fooled the most in our country.....Graham Rutherford the most compulsive serial caller into every local talk show. Him has be broke if he followed his own Bitcoin buy now and buy lots advice he often volunteered to give to previous and current governments the Bahamaland? Comrade Graham the smartest man's in the room - but only if Dionisio did step out da room to take a piss.

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John2 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Comrade Tairussell, ... Graham is onto something you have just got to start to beleave in the future. Bitcoin is at its evloutionary stage in history like the electric car...someday electric cars will totally eliminate fuel driven cars from the earth ....so will crypo currency's like bitcoin eliminate Cash.from the world, its just a matter of time.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Comrade John2, then why isn't Graham the Bahamaland's Warren Buffet or Bill Gates? The man's at least up in his head has all kinds ways make billions just in the months I've been listening to his predictions and lost opportunistic running in the billions of dollars. According to Graham's economic predictions all the roads Nassau Town and Freeport, should've long ago been paved with gold. Him makes making billions sounds so simple?

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John2 3 weeks, 1 day ago

@Comrade Tairussell .... Graham is not the Bahamas Buffet or Gates because he talks and does NOT put his money behind his ideas. Bill Gates and warren Buffets got angel investors and they pooled their money and put it behind their ideas and most importantly their ideas worked and was successful . ..Graham talks but he does not seek investors to fund his local ideas . He invest in Bitcoins but so do many others world wide but that was not his idea so he is only going along for the ride no matter how volatile Bitcoin may be.

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John 3 weeks ago

Who remembers the Enron scandal. Did anyone ever go to jail? The president of Enron got a 24 year sentence but died of a heart attack before he went to jail. Some say it was assisted suicide.

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ashley14 3 weeks ago

Martha Stewart went to jail for receiving inside information. They made a example out of her.

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John 3 weeks ago

At least things the Bible foretells that Trump May be responsible for (1) The collapse of the US economy and the US dollar. While he says the huge tax cuts are to stimulate the economy and get big businesses to invest, the fact is many US businesses already have huge amounts of cash they are not investing. And employment is already at 4% (Japan is at 2) So where will additional workers come from even revenue if additional jobs are created? And despite the low unemployment even since the beginning of Obama’s second term consumer confidence and spending is down. So if Trump cannot generate additional growth to compensate for his huge tax cuts America will sink deeper into debt. Workers will get laid off as companies cut back on production and some close completely. Then of course China and Japan and other countries will fight for market share and drive prices down. America will be the weaker under its high debt and crumble.

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John 3 weeks ago

Secondly, Trump not only wants to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem, but he has promised to assist in the rebuilding of the holy temple. The Bible foretells that Solomon’s temple will be rebuilt before the return of Christ. But within the seven year period it will be occupied by a vile and wicked person pretending to be Christ. This deselator will be a world leader with great powers and great influence. And if it is Donald Trump he will have to move very quickly to get the capitol relocated and the temple rebuilt or he will have a second term as president of the United States.

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John 3 weeks ago

And again the bitcoin fits into Bible prophecy. Because after the collapse of the US economy, the Bible says the world will move to a one world economy and a one world currency. No one will be able to buy or sell ‘save he receives the mark.’ Powerful and true.

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John2 3 weeks ago

@John hey comrade john ...i think i will soon have change my name because bloggers may think we are the same person hahaha ... But on a more serious note. you are correct about about those biblical predictions. The complexities of what is happening on the world global stage is beyond the comprehension of any one person or group. All we can do is sit back and watch it all evlove and take place. If not Trump the the Next far right USA president . Its all going to be up to the US electorate.

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sheeprunner12 2 weeks, 6 days ago

When will work begin on this facility to improve this tourist strip???? ....... Then when will the GBPA & HW move to make the airport fees less costly to attract more airlift for GB??????

The two issues must go hand-in-hand ............ KPT and the Cabinet must force this joint-venture between more GB hotel room inventory with increased cheaper airlift.

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ashley14 2 weeks, 5 days ago

People struggling in Freeport probably don't care who owns these hotels, they need to go to work to feed their families. I love Grand Bahamas and would love to see it thrive again. Memories which was Holiday Inn when I started coming to the Bahamas, holds so many memories for me. I met John which I truly loved, it wasn't a fling, it never went away. I was young and stupid or I would still be there. Memories of traveling with my mom. She's passed away about 20 years ago now. We were very close. She was married to a Bahamian, I don't think we ever told John that. She spent her last five years in Nassau. Anyway at this point the Island needs tourists and revenue to get back on their feet. Freeport is a great place! It's hard to believe that it's never been rebuilt since the big hurricane. I spent a afternoon talking with a bus driver in Freeport a year or so ago. He showed me around now. We reminisced about the hotels, the people, the pancake house (my favorite boiled fish), the world bizarre. The good ole days, I wish I had never left. I talk to much sometimes, but I'm hoping I will eventually find him again.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Comrades, pull your heads out the sand - Freeport has never proven itself to be economically viable as a tourism destination. The same buyer signing now with the Imperial 'red shorts' cabinet is the very same company who smoked and mirrored after previously walking away from letter of intent (LOI) signed between the owners of the Grand Lucayan hotel strip in Grand Bahama and the Toronto-based Wynn Group. My question to PM Minnis, what public purse millions dollars in concessions are you offering to hand over this time in the hope of saving face on but one the many broken promises your red party made to Freeporters? Nothing is ever free to Freeporters when signing a LOI. PM, why not show some deal making transparency for Freeporters to judge yours and KP's negotiations skills for themselves?

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