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Govt doesn’t want to raise hopes on proposed GB project

The government does not want to falsely raise the public’s hope with the ITM Group’s proposed $130 million development for Grand Bahama, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.

The Nassau Guardian got a copy of the proposal which reveals plans to redevelop the Grand Lucayan resort complex and transform Grand Bahama’s cruise port into an adventure park.

The project would produce 2,500 direct jobs and 18,000 indirect jobs, according to the proposal.

D’Aguilar said, “While we always want to raise expectations, we don’t want to raise expectations falsely. So yes, the project has come forward. Yes, we’re reviewing it, but it’s still very much in the formative stage.

“You know, we have to dampen expectations [and] let it go through its process, which can take anywhere from three to four months. It’s a big transaction. It needs to be negotiated. There’s going to be a lot of twists and turns along the way.”

Last year, the government entered an agreement to purchase the Grand Lucayan from Hutchison Whampoa for $65 million.

According to the ITM proposal, the company will upgrade the port’s docking facilities at a cost of $35 million and provide multi-modal transportation between the proposed Harbour Village and Lucaya Islands at a cost of $9.8 million.

The redevelopment of the port, introduction of transportation, development of Harbour Village and Lucaya Islands, all total $130,800,000.

The proposal does not cost out the purchase of the Grand Lucayan resort, in particular, but forecasts an extensive redevelopment of the entire property.

The tourism minister confirmed that the ITM Group is interested in acquiring the resort.

He said the government is “naturally encouraged” and “we hope that something happens, but as I said it is still in the formative stage and it’s probably been released to the public prematurely”.

D’Aguilar said, “We would like to report to the public when we have something concrete.”

The ITM Group is a Mexico-based cruise port developer with several ports in Mexico and one in Roatan, Honduras.

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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