$3m earmarked for GB hotel and airport

Grand Lucayan

Grand Lucayan

MORE than $3m has been earmarked for repairs to Grand Lucayan’s Lighthouse Pointe and the Grand Bahama International Airport, according to State Finance Minister Kwasi Thompson.

Speaking in the Senate yesterday, Mr Thompson said while the government continues to press forward to complete the Grand Lucayan deal with Royal Caribbean and ITM, there was a need to spend $1.6m to facilitate “pre-opening expenses” at Lighthouse Pointe.

The all-inclusive resort is expected to open on March 25. He made the comments during his contribution to debate on a compendium of finance bills that aim to boost transparency and accountability in government operations.

“We have also provided a budget of $1.6m, which has been approved for the pre-opening expenses again focused on just those immediate needs and repairs,” Mr Thompson said of the resort. “So, such repairs to the roof, air condition, maintenance, food and beverage outlets, the pool, interior, exterior, painting, freshening up the guest rooms, landscaping, inventory provisions are what is being done.

“We also continue to press forward to complete the Grand Lucayan deal with Royal Caribbean and ITM. It has been a long and difficult road but we believe that it is in the best interest of the Bahamian people.”

Earlier in his contribution, the senator defended government’s purchase of the Grand Lucayan.

“As a government we saw the need to purchase the Grand Lucayan hotel in Grand Bahama to preserve jobs and preserve the physical plant. We refused to allow it to go the way of Royal Oasis and I stand by the decision that we have made when it comes to investing in the people’s money, investing in the jobs and the lives and the livelihoods and the future of the people of Grand Bahama.

“Because every day we drive past the (International) Bazaar and every day we drive past the Royal Oasis; I am thankful every day that the government took the decision that it took. I am thankful that we are on our way to a redevelopment of that property.”

Regarding the Grand Bahama International Airport, the state minister said acquisition of the property from the Hutchinson Group is in the “final stages” of completion.

He said after acquisition, a request for proposals will be issued globally to find the best partner to plan, develop, finance and operate a new airport.

The government has committed $1.5m to restore some of the devastation caused to the airport by Hurricane Dorian.

“There is no quick or easy fix for this airport. It didn’t take us over night to get where we are and it’s not going to take us overnight to get us out of where we are.

“So, there is high interest. We have agreed in principle to the terms of the transaction to acquire the airport and the legislation is now being amended for the Airport Authority to now own airports in Grand Bahama.

“The airport will be transferred to the Airport Authority and the RFP that is being issues will allow for a special purpose vehicle to be created similar to the NAD transaction that will operate the airport as a fully owned Bahamian facility.

“There is already widespread global interest in partnering with the government to develop the airport and consistent with our government structure the RFP process will guide the decision of the best fit partner for the government of the Bahamas.

He continued: “I am pleased to advise that pending the redevelopment of the airport we have committed to spend $1.5m to restore some of the devastation at the airport.

“As persons may note a new facility has been expanded to allow for more persons to be accommodated at the airport but we are going to assist with the $1.5m in repairing the tower building, replacing the elevator system, creating office space at the old domestic terminal and repairing the current cargo building.

“Redevelopment will be planned with partners but the repairs will return operations to a more comfortable state.”

He further noted that a total of $4.5m has been spent on restoring 15 schools on the island.


The_Oracle 1 year, 5 months ago

A joke with no humor. The GB airport could get a basic clean up for $3m if the government is involved. Another Government fiasco smothered in incompetence.


proudloudandfnm 1 year, 5 months ago

No doubt this means there is no sale to RCCL anymore.....

They really think people are dumb....


Ah well, Brave, hope you can sell it...


TalRussell 1 year, 5 months ago

The government-in-waiting, should pledge that they will, on day 7, upon takin office be governing over the realm's 1200 out islands, cays and rocks, plantations, appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry to seek out answers to, what could've possibly been the reshirtys,' motivation to buy the Grand Lucayan Hotel, from Hutchison Whampoa, and with the authority to make a further inquiry, so as to exposes, exactly, who IS this, The Mr. Huttchinson, that took the 35 House-elected redshirtys,' for a 200 million dollar gone south, ride?


Proguing 1 year, 5 months ago

Just think for a moment all the taxpayer money that has been wasted in sectors that the government should not be involved. I am thinking in particular with airlines, international airports, and hotels.


tribanon 1 year, 5 months ago

Our most incompetent and power-juiced Minnis has clearly demonstrated he likes having absolute control over everyone and everything. And as our most arrogant, nasty and vindictive supreme leader, his orders, protocols and actions (or inactions) are not to be questioned in any way by anyone.


birdiestrachan 1 year, 5 months ago

The young man never speaks TRUTH lies slip off his tongue easily. The Airport does not belong to the Government. Let Hutchison do the repairs.

The doc has now made himself King of the Bahamas


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