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‘Airport key to Lucayan rising again’

The Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahama.

The Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahama.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE former chairman of Lucayan Renewal Holdings believes the government must fully commit to redevelopment and reconstruction of the Grand Bahama International Airport in order to successfully conclude negotiations over the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort.

Michael Scott, QC, was contacted after the Grand Lucayan board and Electra America Hospitality Group in a joint statement last week revealed that negotiations over the hotel’s sale will be extended by 45 days to September 15.

“Unless there is some firm commitment on reconstruction and renewal of the airport in Freeport, you are unlikely to see any substantial investment and that is simply economic common sense,” he said.

In May, Electra America Hospitality Group made a $100M purchase offer for the Grand Lucayan Resort.

The agreement was subject to a 60-day due diligence period, with closing no later than 120 days.

However, officials said both sides agreed to extend the time because more time is needed to complete “due diligence” and all the required legal documents.

“It does take time. This one may take a little while,” Julian Russell, Grand Lucayan’s chairman, told Tribune Business last week. “There’s still a few things we need to close,” the Grand Lucayan’s chair told this newspaper of the need for a 45-day extension. “But I am very, very confident that we’ll progress that forward. Very confident. I’ve got no reason to believe otherwise. I have no doubt we’ll get it done and get this deal closed.”

The Minnis administration purchased the hotel for $65m in August 2018.

Nearly two years later, Royal Caribbean International and the ITM Group signed a heads of agreement with the government for the purchase of the resort and redevelopment of the Freeport Harbour.

In December, the Davis administration cancelled the deal, branding it a bad one and entered into an agreement with Electra America months later.

Electra America’s plans involve three resort properties. A four to five-star branded luxury lifestyle hotel, featuring 198 rooms and 24 villas and targeted at corporate and leisure business; a four-star convention hotel with 535 rooms, featuring an amphitheatre and convention centre; and a 257-room condo-hotel style family resort with suites that are double the size of the Grand Lucayan’s existing rooms.

Comments

bobby2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This sale is never going to close. Unless of course, the Gov't caves in on buyer demands for dramatic changes to original offer. Mark my words.

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birdiestrachan 1 month, 3 weeks ago

They did say 5 million was not refundable , the FNM lie was the harbour was the problem , not the airport there must be an agreement about a airport that should have been enforced. The FNM folly again they bought the airport the hotel will be sold

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tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Aahhh, yes, the infamous 'Dr.' Scott. Of all the people for The Tribune to contact about why the current corrupt and incompetent PLP government must now pay a foreign buyer to buy the Grand Lucayan property. LMAO

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realfreethinker 1 month, 3 weeks ago

How come Chester the jester is as quiet as a church mouse. He was talking about this hotel ad-nauseum. I guess cat gat he tongue

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Flyingfish 1 month, 3 weeks ago

At this point they should turn the hotel into housing estate for Grand Bahamians. At least it wouldn't be empty and functionless. Plus if GB does flood again these apartments will be high enough to escape the surge.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Must I ask the new premiership, exactly what the hell kind of things is the new chairman and team at the Lucayan Renewal Holdings tasked with performing, considering not much is occurring at the long shutted Grand Lucayan Hotel? ... Seems kind of a cleanup task the premiership might assign Commodore Raymond King 's 100% mission accomplished to offset the still a few things needed to close the sale. .... Comrades, you just couldn't be making up such crazy stuff like having balls be demanding $100 million sand dollars price tag on something that mysteriously doubled in the selling price Whampoa snagged out Thee Mr. Minnis .― Yes?

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killemwitdakno 1 month, 2 weeks ago

That airport's got to move across Queens Highway to elevated land.

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