The Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahama.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
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.