Categorized | National News

‘Gov’t Wrong on Approach to Grand Lucayan Sale’

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said the government’s approach to selling the Grand Lucayan Hotel is wrong, as he believes this is the reason why the hotel hasn’t been sold as yet.

According to Wilchcombe, the government should consider conducting the sale through the Hotel Corporation.

Apart from that, he said, the government should explore Bahamian partnerships to manage the property.

“Where the Hotel Corporation ought to have been the owner of the property, as it technically is, and then the government ought to allow the Hotel Corporation to cause for the refurbishment of the property and seek out a partnership,” Mr. Wilchcombe said.

“Now why does the partnership have to be foreign? The partnership does not have to be foreign.   We are extending our messages outside The Bahamas when inside The Bahamas we have Island House and the Hollowesko’s for example. 

“You have people like that who are in the hotel industry and others who have money.  Why aren’t you inviting them to be apart?

“Why aren’t you talking to George Myers and his group? Why aren’t you asking them ‘how do we get them moving’ and then put some money aside to cause it to happen.”   

It’s been three months since Lucayan Renewal Holdings signed a letter of intent with Royal Caribbean Cruises and the ITM Group to purchase of resort for $65 million and to redevelop the Freeport Harbour. 

Mr. Wilchombe charged that the letter of intent is just that – a letter – and he doesn’t see RCL spending $65 million on the resort considering the high cost to get it operational.

“All that does is really take others out of the market and you’re sitting and talking. Then, of course they’re going to try to work out terms,” Mr. Wilchcombe said.

“It’s going to be a give and take.  The government right now is in a desperate situation and one of the strategies you deploy is to stretch it out because in government they are going to make decisions because they’re thinking about elections, so they’re going to stretch it out because they might get the better deal.

“So I think that is where they are right now. I think the government is making a fundamental mistake. We should look internal and get the help internally. 

“Let’s talk to some of the Bahamian people who have the where with all, who can do it.  You can talk to the Mosko’s.  You can talk to George Myers.  You can talk to the gaming boys.  Put it all together. Put the money together.  Make it happen and then let them go get someone to manage it.

“You pay for a brand and a brand will come in and manage it.”  

The government purchased the Grand Lucayan for $65 million under heavy criticism from the opposition who insisted that it was a bad idea.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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