Where’s the money to buy Grand Lucayan?

Leader of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

Leader of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff


Deputy Chief Reporter


PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday questioned how the Minnis administration plans to finance the purchase of the Grand Lucayan hotel if the country is as “broke” as the government maintains.

Mr Davis said it was a “pity” the Minnis administration had not moved with haste to settle a deal to sell the resort based on a memorandum of understanding left in place by the former PLP government.

His criticism came following the prime minister’s assurance to Free National Movement supporters on Friday in Grand Bahama “that under no circumstances will the Grand Lucayan close.

He said the Lucayan jobs must be protected, adding the government will continue to search - and if the need arises - will intervene and purchase the Grand Lucayan. Dr Minnis said people in Nassau did not understand the level of importance the resort held when it came to that island’s economy.

In response Mr Davis said: “It is clear that the government has no plan and had no plan to fix Grand Bahama. Grand Bahama rewarded them with five seats, and there are three ministers of the government from Grand Bahama, yet 15 months into this pitiful administration, they have no solutions to the problems there.

“Now we are told by the prime minister, whose main propaganda line has been that the country is broke and has no money, that he intends to buy Grand Lucayan if no deal can be settled with a private developer. What a pity, the prime minister and his colleagues did not move with alacrity to settle the deal based on the memorandum of understanding, which the PLP left in place when we demitted office. Had they done so, instead of ducking and dodging the investor for months and refusing to meet, perhaps the matter would have been well on its way now.”

He continued: “We make the point that buying the property is one thing. Where will the money come from? However, buying will not be sufficient. Who is going to renovate it and pay for those renovations? Is the owner willing to sell or will it be a compulsory purchase? Who will operate and manage it?

“The Hotel Corporation is a vehicle left in place by the PLP to manage these kinds of difficult projects. The FNM does not have to invent the wheel. We say fix Grand Bahama. If you need help, the PLP can show you the way.”

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell also attacked the idea of the government buying the resort as “desperate” and questioned whether Dr Minnis and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest were on the same page.

He said while the prime minister was on the one hand promising to purchase the hotel, Mr Turnquest previously said he would advise the direction the government was taking in 30 days.

“I must say that I get astounded,” Mr Mitchell said. “First of all, it is interesting to me that a party that is in government and markets the fact according to them that the country is broke - I don’t believe them for one second that that is the case that this country has a money problem.

“They say that the country has a money problem so on what basis are you going to buy a hotel and why has it come to that when they were all boasting that this hotel was going to be opened within a short period of time?

“The second thing that I am amazed about (is) with the whole thing with Grand Bahama was his visit to west Grand Bahama when he said that he was amazed about the level of infrastructure and the development and the size of the development. This is astounding. You wonder where was he when he was the leader of the opposition,” he said, referring to Dr Minnis’ recent tour of the former Ginn development. “Did you not know the country?

“I mean the PLP helped that investment, put a substantial investment in there. The problem is that in all of these things it shows how the FNM simply believe their own propaganda and didn’t know the extent to which the PLP was doing work in this country for this country and suddenly they have found religion.”

He also said: “I think generally these people were just ill prepared for office.

“I would say (the prime minister’s comments were) ill informed and sound rather desperate because they said this thing was going to be concluded and it doesn’t look like it’s anywhere near being concluded,” Mr Mitchell further said.

Mr Mitchell said there are alternatives to purchasing the Grand Lucayan.

“I have said to them that I know of a property, the gentleman happens to be a friend of mine and so I disclosed that interest.

“In Grand Bahama, they could nix all these discussions with the present owners of that hotel and they could for I believe less than half of the money they would have to spend to make sure that this thing gets up and running with this new property. Start a whole new thing and put people back to work and start getting people back into Freeport and boosting the tourism economy. But I’m not sure why they can’t move in that direction because you know the Xanadu hotel is sitting there with a willing seller. It sits on 21 acres, it’s got 75 marina slips, it’s got a right to ultimately have a casino licence. It sits on a wonderful beach so what’s the issue? They would have none of the problems, which they have on the Lucayan strip,” Mr Mitchell said.


HonestTruth 5 years, 10 months ago

Brave Brave Brave...you and the PLP did absolutely nothing for Grand Bahama and no one believes there was already a deal in place. Please dissapear along with your other corrupt colleagues with the hope of never being heard from again.

scampi75 5 years, 10 months ago

Listening to the words of Brave Davis, I don't know how they can show their faces in public! The PLP had no clue on Grand Bahama, and did nothing for the island. Now you want to stand up as if you guys have all the answers. Please, sit down and shut up!

OriginalBey 5 years, 10 months ago

If Cat Island can only prove Brave enough to do what Centerville did to Shuffling Perry, we can finally put the old guard to rest. This sense of entitlement to power makes my blood crawl. Leadership should go to the most qualified in the party and surely he is not that person. If they are confident he is, the PLP is worse off than I assessed.

proudloudandfnm 5 years, 10 months ago

Fred must be on meth. Xanadu???? Fred get real.

And who believes Minnis? Minnis is our trump. He has no intention of buying anything. He lies. This is his second promise to buy it.

Something tell me next election will come and GB will still not have its major hotels online... So tired of this FNM. Worst FNM administration yet. Minnis has to go...

TalRussell 5 years, 10 months ago

10th May, 2017 was a vote counting day worsening economic tragedy Comrade workers families awaiting ownership answers Grand Lucayan Hotel....... Grand Bahamalanders and others across colony islands would fall into complete shock if they were to learn who and what actually owns 50% of all Freeport? Ma Freeporters, this 2018 - not 1955 -yet you still are being governed under Hawksbill Creek Agreement singed by Sir Stafford and Pop Symonette, with Wallace Groves from a long ago 1955 era.

Gotoutintime 5 years, 10 months ago

The HBCA died, like Freeport, in 1967!

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 10 months ago

Davis has no need to fret where the money will come from. Minnis and Turnquest are already on record that they had originally planned to increase VAT by 100%, from 7.5% to 15%. But they were advised to do it in two steps, 12% VAT effective July 1, 2018 with an increase to 15% effective July 1, 2019. The IMF and IDB are still upset that VAT was not initially set at 15% as they had all along recommended. LOL

BahamaPundit 5 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Davis, the question is not where the money is coming from, but who the money is going to? We all know Bahamian politicians are expert borrowers. If you want to catch a Bahamian political party stealing, look no further than construction! Is it a coincidence that all these FNM building plans are being announced before the Fiscal Responsibility Act is brought into force and during the summer break when half the island is away on vacation? I think not! This announcement is a disasterous betrayal of the Bahamian people and flies in the face of everything the FNM campaigned against! The real questions are: 1. Who would be paid the attorney fees for the sale? 2. Who would be paid the realtor and finder's fee for the sale? 3. Who will be paid for the construction renovations and other equipment purchases? These are the real questions, because this is obviously just another slush fund, Bamsi project. The second slush fund, urban renewal project anounced in the month of July! Minnis has sold out!!! He is an untested novice who has never lead so much as a dog to its water bowl. Now his true majority rule, corruption colors are coming to light like a peacock on a stage.

TigerB 5 years, 10 months ago

So the Govt say they will try to buy it..are we happy? no.. we bellyache, they didn't get a buyer so far, were we happy? no we belly ache, the proposed buyer said its a difficult task to buy it, so he started to build one in Nassau instead, we belly ache. Not sure what we want on here. It wasn't open under the last administration either, les we forget!! Brave is an idiot, period!!!

licks2 5 years, 10 months ago

People them. . .don't blame brave for that thinking done over there. . .that's more like Fred to think like a mad black woman. . .Brave don't think. . .thank you very much!! What the heck them mean where the money coming from. . .JUST WHERE BRAVE THEM GET ALL THEM OTHER BILLIONS FROM. . .much to our economic risks! If do will ever listen to me. . .if nobody else want it take it from the Chinese dem at a fire sale price and get it going and sell it to a group of numbers boys or other Bahamian groups!!

Naughtydread 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe they could borrow some of the VAT money yall crooked sissies tief?

DWW 5 years, 10 months ago

ask Davis about the project in cat island he been blocking for a decade.

Sign in to comment