Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday that his administration has no regrets over its decision to purchase the Grand Lucayan resort on Grand Bahama and would “do it again”.
But he noted that he does not believe that governments should be involved in the hotel industry.
“That has always been my view,” Minnis said.
“Government should not be in the hotel business.
“However, that was essential to save the economy of Grand Bahama and whatever is necessary to save the economy of Grand Bahama, as government, that’s our responsibility.
“Many people may have criticized us for that, but if we had to do it again, we’d do it again, because we thought it was essential for Grand Bahama to continue afloat.”
The government purchased the property for $65 million with $30 million paid upfront, and has said it hopes to sell the resort by the second quarter of 2019.
Lucayan Renewal Holdings, the special purpose vehicle established by the government, is handling the process and is also responsible for finding a buyer.
Lucayan Renewal Holdings Chairman Michael Scott said that when the submission period ended last Thursday for proposals to purchase the Grand Lucayan resort, there were “in excess of 60 bids” on the table.
The government also accepted responsibility for paying the workers’ severance.
Commonwealth Union of Hotel Services and Allied Workers President Michelle Dorsett said the voluntary separation packages (VSEP) for line staff employees at the Grand Lucayan resort included severance, gratuity and back pay for 164 workers.
The original recommended payout for line staff was $1.4 million, but The Guardian understands that approximately $3.2 million was paid in VSEPs.
Additionally, President of the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association Obie Ferguson was seeking over $4 million for the 90 managers at the resort who have opted for VSEPs.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish
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