Categorized | National News


The  Minister of Tourism Dionisio  D’Aguilar  says,  the government’s decision to purchase The Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama “is not a good decision, but  we have to make a decision. Governments have to act to make an attempt to save the economy of Freeport.”

The decision however  is criticized by a cross-section of the public, including from  former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, the  official opposition leader Philip Davis  and  two  Queen’s Counsels  Fred Smith and Maurice Glinton.  

All parties agree that  the decision is just not a good idea, but  Mr.D’Aguilar accepts this,  though he says it  is not an easy decision. 

He said, “On one hand if you do nothing, you run the possibility of another Royal Oasis debacle evolving, and I want to remind the Bahamian people  of  what happened then. The government did not step forward and they were hoping to have it sold. It was not sold, and the rest is history.”

He added, “You have a hotel that is dead. Then, it  had the effects of destroying the International bazaar, and it died. So, there’s that decision. Then there’s the decision of the government buying a hotel.” 

“The government does not want to buy a hotel. The government does not want to operate a hotel. The prime minister was Chairman of the Hotel Corporation back in the day, and he remembers when the government owned hotels. So, this is not something that we are willingly wanting to do.”, he said. 

Minister D’Aguilar  accepted that while the government’s proposal may not be a popular decision, it’s compelled to do something before it’s too late. 

He said, “No one is willing to step forward to purchase the hotel. So, the government must step in to avoid the closure of that hotel and the economic consequences that may appear or may happen.”

He added, “It’s not a good decision, but we have to make a decision. Governments have to act to make an attempt to save the economy of Freeport.”

Meanwhile, Press Secretary, Anthony Newbold, said the government must revisit its fiscal projections and all of the projections it had before the sale.

“Everything is going to have to be revamped and looked at in those terms.  This is something that the government didn’t expect to have to do,” Newbold said.

“Here it is, there’s this hotel that’s sitting out there, a couple thousand people not working, we’ve got to get involved.

“So, the government gets involved, the Prime Minister says we’re going to buy this hotel.

“Well everything that goes with that now has to be factored against what was planned for the fiscal health of at least you know, over the next 12 months.”

Mr. Newbold said there will be more employment opportunities made available to the people of Grand Bahama, hopefully beginning with the Grand Lucayan. 

According to Minister D’Aguilar, the government hopes to find another buyer as quickly as possible to take the burden off its hands. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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