Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Grand Lucayan Deal Merits Under Review

 
The Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahama.

By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Consultants have been hired to review the Grand Lucayan deal’s merits amid growing doubts that it now delivers the promised benefits to the Bahamian people, Tribune Business can reveal.

Multiple sources close to developments, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the go-ahead had been given to hire one of the so-called ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, thought to be KPMG, to assess whether the Government should proceed with the terms as they presently stand with Holistica, the ITM Group/Royal Caribbean joint venture.

This newspaper was told that while still interested in proceeding with the acquisition of Freeport’s former anchor resort property, ITM/Royal Caribbean had used the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the global cruise line industry to water down the focus on the hotel.

The number new hotel rooms to be constructed is said to have been drastically slashed, with the redevelopment timeline pushed further and further back, as the Grand Lucayan becomes increasingly secondary to the cruise component and Freeport Harbour.

This contradicts the Government’s main goal, which was to ensure the resort’s transformation has equal billing with the harbour’s redevelopment as a water-based adventure theme park, given that it would provide the greater amount of job opportunities, entrepreneurial spin-offs and economic benefits for the Bahamian people.  Read more >>