Categorized | National News

Wilchcombe supports Grand Lucayan purchase

Former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said that he supports this government’s decision to purchase the Grand Lucayan Resort,  but he says the purchase must be done  with a purpose.

Mr. Wilchcombe’s statement comes after a lot of criticism from the opposition and members of the public over  the purchase of the resort.

“We have to renew the plant and if we don’t renew our tourism plan nationally, then another country is  going to do it. Right now, we’re leading the way as we lead the way with Atlantis and Baha Mar.

“Grand Bahama with a renewed plant, not just the hotel, but a renewed plant can become the new destination of the Caribbean; but its how its done and putting the players in work,  going after the right brands and putting the airlifts in place,” he said. 

According to Mr. Wilchcombe, the former Progressive Liberal Party MP for West End and Bimini,  the Grand Lucayan alone will not be enough to boost and sustain Grand Bahama’s strained economy.

“Let’s put the magic back, let’s create a place that’s  not  Nassau;  because you can’t compete with Nassau, let Nassau be what Nassau is, but create something unique, create something that focuses on night life, create something that focuses on shows, create something that focuses on shopping, real shopping, put an emporium of shops there. 

“Take a look at the international bazaar and create something spectacular. I want to see the old  Driftwood Hotel, particularly the Kings Inn area. I want to see that become a national museum because you don’t have one here.

“Well if I create one there, then that means people from here have to go there to see it and that creates domestic tourism and people from outside have to come to that as well,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis,  the government has no intention  of  running the hotel, but to save jobs for Grand Bahamians. 

A resolution was tabled and passed recently in the House of Assembly  allowing the government to borrow $35 million to be  paid to Hutchinson Lucaya Limited and Bahama Reef Limited.

For the next three and a half years, the government is expected to pay $5 million dollars every six months at a four per cent interest rate.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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