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Offer On Table For Grand Lucayan

Grand Lucayan

Grand Lucayan

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE Minnis administration has made an offer to the owners of the Grand Lucayan Resort to purchase the properties in Grand Bahama, press secretary Anthony Newbold said yesterday.

Although he did not provide the details of this offer, Mr Newbold said it was in keeping with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ commitment to not only keep the resort open, but to ensure present jobs at the hotel are maintained.

He said the prime minister will only make an announcement when he has something to report. However, he will not make a grandiose statement about what could happen.

“The government has made an offer to the Hutchison Whampoa to purchase the Grand Lucayan properties,” Mr Newbold said yesterday during his weekly press briefing.

“As you know the prime minister made a commitment to not only keep the properties open, but to ensure that the present jobs are maintained as well.

“More on that in the coming days but the prime minister will only make an announcement when he has something to report.”

Back in August, Dr Minnis said he engaged in “fruitful talks” with representatives from Hutchinson Whampoa regarding the resort.

However, at the time he would not reveal any details discussed or progress reached during his meeting with them at the Office of the Prime Minister in Grand Bahama.

“We continue meaningful discussions towards the forward movement of the Lucayan hotel strip,” he said at the time.

“I don’t want to go into specifics to derail or prejudice the investment moving forward, but we would continue discussions, and we will continue to work as much as is necessary to try and bring back the Lucayan strip.

“There are too many people here in Grand Bahama suffering, and this has happened not as a result of the recession, but Grand Bahama has been in pain even before the recession.”

A deal for the sale of the hotel property in Lucaya is critical to the survival of Grand Bahama’s economy, which has been struggling since last October when the three-resort hotel property closed following significant hurricane damage.

The Nassau Guardian previously reported Paul Wynn, CEO of the Wynn Group of Canada, had pulled out of the deal to purchase the Grand Lucayan Resort on the Lucaya Strip, and was seeking to get his refundable deposit back from Hutchison Whampoa, the owners.

In late July, Dr Minnis revealed during a national address the government is negotiating to become temporary joint owners of the Grand Lucayan Resort in a bid to boost the hotel until it can sell off its equity.

At the time, he said “all signs point to the beginning of renovations at the resort” sometime this month, with the facility “ready for business for the winter season.”

Comments

Truism 1 month ago

How is a crash strapped government to finance the purchase, repairs and renovation of the Grand Lucayan?

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The_Oracle 1 month ago

Good grief, is there not one shred of imagination in any elected government? Keep repeating the same costly mistakes, pissing non existent treasury $$ down the drain, keep shooting new holes to bleed out of before fixing current holes....

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrades! Not a single major 2017 campaign promise to uplift the working poor and near poor which were made by Minnis, KP, Dionisio, Marvin, Carl, Jeff and Brent, have been kept..... yet these men's keep dusting off to recycle from the dustbins the same old PLP programs that couldn't work back when the PLP's held the reigns of governing,,,,, nor will they work in the Red Shirts governing years 2017 to 2022. This Red cabinet, is nothing more than a shadow of the PLP's.

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

Purchase it with what?. Must be with the sand on the beach, just talking foolishness to keep some folks calm.

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The_Oracle 1 month ago

Banker, That summit didn't originate in the heads of Government or Port Authority, there is a movement afoot that hopefully they will not be able to control/squander/screw out of existence. I remain hopeful.

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banker 1 month ago

Actually Kwasi and Marlon.

As far as I am concerned, the Port Authority is part of the problem and not the solution. They are milking the old cow dry until it dies, and then the real estate might be worth something someday.

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DDK 1 month ago

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Minnis has gone certifiably mad! He and his bone head cabinet members obviously do not remember the history of the gross mismanagement of (and umpteen instances of major fraud at) The Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas that cost our country mega-millions of dollars of losses over many decades. We can ill-afford to have our current government repeat the monumental mistakes made by our past governments that foolishly ventured into the ownership and management of hotels. An ultimatum should have been given to Hutchison Whampoa to either renovate and re-open or sell the Grand Lucayan Resort by a certain date, failing which the government would take steps to have it auctioned off to the highest bidder with the net proceeds (after settling all claims of third party creditors unrelated to the Hutchison Whampoa Group, including all claims of our government) being paid over to Hutchison Whampoa in full settlement of all their rights and obligations pertaining to the property. WE MUST STOP BORROWING LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW AND START CONTROLLING COSTS IN A SERIOUS WAY. WHAT'S PROPOSED HERE BY MINNIS IS THE ANTITHESIS OF WHAT HIS GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Obviously the highest bidder at auction should have deep pockets and meet certain qualifying conditions of ownership set by our government.

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Reality_Check 1 month ago

While Minnis might be justified in going the way of a one-off eminent domain scenario, the next owner would want considerable assurances that such a scenario would never happen to them. The same would apply in the case of Baha Mar here on New Providence.

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Reality_Check 1 month ago

Our government is losing millions and millions of dollars every year by either owning or having a majority ownership interest in all of the following:

  • A clearing bank - Bank of The Bahamas

  • A national airline - Bahamasair

  • A national power company - BPL/BEC

  • A national water & sewerage company - W&SC

  • A national TV and radio broadcasting company - Broadcasting Corp, of The Bahamas

  • And so on

AND NOW MINNIS WANTS OUR PENNILESS GOVERNMENT TO GET INTO THE HIGH STAKES BUSINESS OF HOTEL OWNERSHIP IN A VERY BIG WAY BY HAVING THE TAXPAYERS OF OUR COUNTRY BAIL-OUT A LOSS-MAKING INVESTMENT MADE BY THE HUTCHISON WHAMPOA GROUP WHICH IS A HIGHLY PROFITABLE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR FOREIGN CONGLOMERATE WITH THE DEEPEST OF POCKETS. HAVE MINNIS AND HIS CABINET MEMBERS GONE TOTALLY BONKERS!!!

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrades! The PM doesn't even have the bullocks to stand before you to tell you how he and his Red Shirts cabinet colleagues - going buy the Grand Lucayan Hotel. He sends 'ACE' out to be his mouthpiece. The people need their PM to speak - directly to them. He needs speaks to the people with his own mouth. The people want see their PM's face and eyes when he's talking. The PM, got's see the faces voters during the 2017 general election campaign, and now they wants see the PM's face and eyes, not 'ACE's.' It's as simple as, PM, show your damn eyeballs to the people.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

SOLUTION ............ GIVE THIS WHITE ELEPHANT TO IZZIE AS A CONSOLATION PRIZE

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrade Sheeprunner12, before this 'Sale' is completed - she'll be a reverse Baha Mar deal? 'Papa Doc', needs to confess .... he's even more Christie PLP than 'Papa Hubert,' who was transparent enough on the floor the House of Assembly, to have confessed to being even more PLP, than his former law partner. { You just can't make this stuff up}.

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SP 1 month ago

Minister of Tourism is on the right track but needs to think out of the box to jump-start the economy!

Offer Sarkis enough concessions to entice him bringing a consortium of friends to develop Grand Bahama as a rival to Disney world or at minimum Canada's Wonderland and encourage public-private partnership to give Bahamians opportunity to meaningfully invest in the development of the tourism product.

https://www.canadaswonderland.com/

Simultaneously, jump start increased New Providence tourist spend by BRINGING IN THE BEST dinner show acts on rotational bases from throughout the Caribbean until Bahamians are brought up to speed.

Rotating shows will keep the tourism product "fresh and exciting", and expose Bahamians to what quality dinner shows should be.

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banker 1 month ago

Canada's Wonderland -- a good idea. Folks will get off the boat for a good scary ride and attractions. Dinner shows -- outta style, old fashioned, no one goes to them any more. However, big name entertainers work, but it requires a lot of money, more than your wonderland idea. I think if folks could see a wonderland style park from the boat, they would all get off to check it out.

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John 1 month ago

He who has eyes, let them see...Of all the comments SP is the only one spot on as to who the real purchaser of the property is...no hush before you mess up a good deal!

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SP 1 month ago

@ Banker .. On the contrary. 20+ years hands-on personal experience in tourism and research reveal food and spirit festivals in Orlando are actually enjoying healthy growth in popularity, as more visitors turn to foodie events as a means to determine their travel destinations.

Top Orlando Dinner Shows. - https://alcapones.com/orlando-dinner-theaters.php

Note, I specifically stipulated "dinner show acts on rotational bases from " throughout the Caribbean," purposefully intended to enhance "tourism travel experiences" throughout The Caribbean Basin,

Likened to the PLP and former FNM, CARICOM is an abject failure to the Caribbean diaspora for not having enough sense to speakING with ONE VOICE regarding regulating the cruise ship industry for the benefit of the region!

Aruba enjoys a booming 13 dinner show business popular with cruise passengers.

https://www.visitaruba.com/things-to-do/entertainment-and-shows/

Cuba has a thriving dinner show & nightlife business.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g147271-Activities-c58-Havana_Ciudad_de_la_Habana_Province_Cuba.html

Mexican ports enjoy huge returns from dinner shows.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g150793-Activities-c58-Puerto_Vallarta.html

Jamaica is off the chain with dinner and food tours

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g147309-Activities-c36-Jamaica.html

The Dominican Republic is THE most innovative & # 1 nightlife regional destination

https://www.viator.com/Dominican-Republic-tours/Food-Wine-and-Nightlife/d32-g6

The Bahamas lost it's way 4 decades ago! Successive PLP & FNM administrations turned a deaf ear to me & many other tourism industry professionals constant warnings that we were headed for disaster and failure in our number 1 industry.

50 years of neglect and gradual decline caused Bahamians to FORGET how to entertain tourist!

We must now bring in regional entertainment, rediscover OURSELVES and simply get back to the basics which initially propelled the Bahamas to the # 1 position in regional tourism.

NO PROBLEM.....CHILDS PLAY!!!.....IF the current FNM administration is receptive to well trained, experienced, hands-on, tourism industry professionals!!

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banker 1 month ago

I stand corrected. Who would have thought? I do know that food is big. Last August I went to a garlic food fair, and a fellow co-worker invited me to a pop-up restaurant -- $300 for a 6 hour dinner with 12 courses - chef's tasting menu that I ate some of the best things that I have ever tasted, but the show was actually the chef doing the cooking and no entertainment.

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SP 1 month ago

@ John...Sincere apologies. It was not intentional to overstep what should have been glaringly obvious, even to V. Alfred Gray and Picewell Forbes.

Why successive PLP & FNM administrations hadn't focused on developing Freeport as a rival to Orlando in the tourism industry is a mindboggling mystery, as it is relatively simple and albeit 80+% guaranteed success ratio!

Sarkis overall tourism development theory (with a few tweaks) is unquestionably the best model for not just Freeport, but Grand Bahama in general. AND he would be in a much better position with the whole Island at his disposal than being confined to the Baha Mar site.

I stop!

None

by SP

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banker 1 month ago

What was Sarkis theory (in general terms)?

Speaking of dinner and food, a few years ago there was a marvelous French restaurant in Port Lucaya. Funny little fat Frenchman chef with a Bahamian wife and bunch of Bahamian line cooks that turned out some delicious food (at high prices, but it was worth it for special occasions). If he had been in Nassau, he would have given Cafe Matisse a run for his money.

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SP 1 month ago

In general terms, Sarkis's theory is based on a rationale of cause and effect. Using the logic that doing it bigger and better than anyone else, bringing in the best of the best and brightest, treating them as partners, not employees, and targeting a high-end 5-star clientele would be a sure formula for success.

Case in point. Atlantis required no genius for plausible success. Sol Kerzner simply came to the Bahamas invested 10 minutes researching the most popular tourist attraction which at the time was "Coral World" and reinvented it as the biggest underwater observatory in the region. Hence the demise of Coral World!

As Nassau was ripe for more shore excursions, it was a no-brainer for Kerzner to throw in a high-yielding water theme park mainly targeting 4+ million passengers from the cruise industry.

Freeport and Grand Bahama are ripe and easy to do.....I stop.

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Socrates 1 month ago

what is more troubling than gov't buying this place, is what it says about investors' perception of the tourism industry on GB inparticular and the country in general. if the view was positive, buyers would be queing to buy the place.

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