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We're Still Negotiating Over Grand Lucayan - D'Aguilar

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the government is still negotiating the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort, suggesting yesterday that the commitment of developers may not be as firm as it was before the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s not a good environment to be trying to strike a deal with a company that is in as much distress as they are in,” he said, referring to Royal Caribbean International, which has partnered with the Mexican-based ITM group to invest some $300m in the hotel.

The purchase deal and heads of agreement for the Grand Lucayan resort were signed in May. Some 3,000 direct and indirect jobs were promised.

Mr D’Aguilar said yesterday: “You’re either going to buy it or you’re not going to buy it. Every one of the projects we’ve done have been done with cruise companies and every cruise company, we have to face it, is fighting for survival and they’re fighting for their core business which is taking people, putting them on ships and sending them around. The next tier in their importance is obviously the destinations. Some of them they own, some of them they go to. It’s the new reality. They’re obviously all fighting for survival and the decisions and the investments and the commitments they could’ve made six months ago they can’t make now so it’s just a completely different environment.”

Mr D’Aguilar suggested the developers are distracted as the COVID-19 crisis continues to ravage businesses around the globe.

He said: “We have Disney in South Eleuthera, all their parks are closed, their cruise ships have been brought to a dead halt, you’ve got Carnival, the largest cruise company in the world, they’re at a dead stop, Royal Caribbean is going to do the Grand Bahama project, Carnival is going to do the Grand Bahama project, you got Virgin in Bimini, they were just about to launch, I think they were one week away from their first stop in the Bahamas and then of course we shut down.

“So a lot of these companies are having to first and foremost fight for survival. What are they doing, they’re going out and borrowing billions of dollars to try and stay afloat because they understand for example Carnival has like a billion ships, they’re all just sitting there, burning everyday. You can’t just park it anywhere because no one ever contemplated ‘oh these cruise ships going to some place and just sitting still’ so you got no place to park them so they have to sit out in the ocean, they have to float up and down, you got a crew on board, you have to burn fuel, you have to feed them, you have to keep the systems going.

“Then you have to think about how you are going to repurpose your business. Before it was pack ‘em in, mass tourism, now you got to think about how that is going to go. Needless to say they’re slightly distracted by that.”

Comments

proudloudandfnm 2 months ago

You just fired all the employees saying it had to be done before closing. Now you tell us you're STILL NEGOTIATING?????

Ya'll couldn't work for me, none a ya'll would make it past your first 90....

Muddos...

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proudloudandfnm 2 months ago

No government has been worse for Grand Bahama than this crew....

This is ridiculous...

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

I really think they need to bring in a planning team and stop the good news PR spin stuff. He's still talking about Atlantis opening for thanksgiving. Atlantis will open when COVID is gone

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BONEFISH 2 months ago

They have competent civil servants in that ministry.He is just a typical bahamian politician who don't listen or understand sound advice.

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tribanon 2 months ago

Even that little Irish guy who runs AML readily admits Dionisio's limitations are such that he should have stuck to running the laundromat business his father Vince established and left for him.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months ago

I don't know him personally, but I'm pretty sure he's a moron...

Damn... Dumb. Bad.

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moncurcool 2 months ago

Did I miss something? This is a pure click bait by the Tribune which is very sad. Expected better editorial standards. Nowhere in this words of the Minister did I read him to say they are still working out the Grand Lucayan deal. What I read him saying is that even though they have a heads of agreement, because of COVID19 impacting cruise lines, the cruise lines first focus is to make sure they can stay in business. I for one would think that would be the first goal of any business

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tribanon 2 months ago

Didn't anyone tell you that you need an awful lot upstairs as a minimum prerequisite for being a fact checker, even a wannabe one?

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moncurcool 2 months ago

So show me the facts, you who believe you have all knowledge upstairs.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months ago

Did you see the FNM fire everyone at the hotel last week? Did you see they tell us why they fired everyone? Because they were closing the deal next week? Did you? I did. The people that lost their kob did....

This is the worst government yet. Minnis bumped perry right out of the worst PM spot...

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moncurcool 2 months ago

Did you see the article above and what the headline was claiming? Did you see that stated in there? Where did he say they are still negotiating? If as by your claims they were letting people go, then you agree the deal is sealed.

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tribanon 2 months ago

@moncurcool: You must be one humdinger of a loser in life. LOL

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birdiestrachan 2 months ago

Did Scott say they put the Our Lucayan employees on the unemployment line. because the hotel sale would be completed by the end of July.??

These fellows lie so much. that only a fool would believe anything they say, They should try to get their lies together.

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