The Grand Lucayan resort.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
NEGOTIATIONS are on track and the government is continuing its due diligence for the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort, according to State Minister for Grand Bahama Senator Kwasi Thompson, who said last week that his government is “anxiously” awaiting a completion of the process.
Earlier this year, the government signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Royal Caribbean International and ITM Group for the purchase of the resort.
“We look forward anxiously like the rest of Grand Bahama to having this process completed, and we continue to work as diligently as we can to ensure it is completed in a short period of time,” he said.
He also noted that an application is before the National Economic Council with respect to the former Royal Oasis resort and the Xanadu Hotel.
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to add a lot…, because it is still under active consideration for NEC. I would not want to make any sort of announcements or any detail information until that process is completed. We believe that process should be completed shortly,” he said.
In 2004, the old Royal Oasis properties suffered severe hurricane damage by Hurricane Frances. The initial owners, the Driftwood Group, decided to close the property, leaving more than 1,000 hotel workers jobless.
Although the properties were purchased in 2007 by the Harcourt Group for $33m, the developers’ plans for redevelopment did not happen due to the economic crash of 2008.
The junior minister said his government remains hopeful about the economy and the future of Grand Bahama, and believes things are getting better generally.
“It does not mean things are better for everyone,” he said. “We accomplished a significant amount, but we have a whole lot more. We have not hit the halfway mark yet, but we are close to it. We made progress, but we have a lot to do.
“And that is why we have to continue to remain focused in Grand Bahama, to work and press forward to improve the lives of every Grand Bahamian.”
Mr Thompson applauded Grand Bahama MPs for the work they are doing in their constituencies.
“The MPs have been doing an excellent job working through their own constituencies, so we have seen MPs like Pakesia Parker (Edgecombe), Michael Pintard, Peter Turnquest, and also Iram Lewis who have been making significant contributions to their constituencies and impact the lives of those constituents,” he said.
The minister did not mention the MP for Pinerigde, Frederick McAlpine, who has been at odds with his party on a number of national issues.