Former minister hopeful, but has doubts on mid-2019 Grand Lucayan sale
As the deadline approaches for interested buyers of the Grand Lucayan resort to submit their proposals, it is being questioned whether government will meet its mid-2019 deadline to have the property sold.
Former Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville said yesterday while he’s hopeful a sale will take place this year, he has his doubts.
“It’s quite obvious they’re having issues. They said they had to buy it immediately to save jobs, but yet everyone is getting a package. They said they were going to move on it, but nothing has happened. They say they have 12, 24 potential buyers, nothing has happened. But again, I’m cautiously optimistic,” Darville told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar has said interested buyers have until February 15 to submit their proposals.
The government purchased the Grand Lucayan for $65 million last September, giving a target of six months to have the property resold to an investor.
In November, D’Aguilar said the government set a new goal to have the resort sold by the second quarter of 2019.
“I hope so because we’ve missed another year, we’ve missed another season, because it requires a lot of renovation and the further it’s pushed back, the more effect it will have on our economy, which is dying. Our tourism product is really in shambles and we need to do a lot of work,” Darville said, when asked if he believes the government will meet the mark.
“You’d be surprised, when you shut a property like that down. It’s not just the property, it’s hundreds of jobs indirectly tied into the property, and so you feel it throughout the length and breadth of the island.”
The government began distributing voluntary separation packages to 150 line staff employees of the resort last week.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News