While he was unable to give an exact cost, Chairman of Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd. Michael Scott said yesterday that following the completion of a recent voluntary separation exercise, operational costs for the Grand Lucayan resort are expected to decrease “substantially and significantly”, as the government prepares for the sale of the property by October.
“In terms of an entire staff complement we are reduced to about 200 people,” Scott told The Nassau Guardian.
“The decrease has been significant, which was the intention and the aim.
“We’re really now operationally getting ready for the intended sale to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the ITM Group in September/October of this year.
“So, we’re just sort of making our operations for that purpose during this interim period, to quote the well worn-expression, lean and mean.”
Scott said the current operational costs are still being calculated.
Earlier this month, 72 managers at the Grand Lucayan were paid $3.3 million in voluntary separation packages (VSEPs) after months of stalled negotiations, according to Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.
In February, 164 line staff at the resort received their payouts.
The Guardian understands that they received approximately $3.2 million.
The government purchased the property for $65 million last year, with an initial capital investment of $32.4 million.
Since then, another $14.6 million was directed toward Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd. (LRHL), the special purpose vehicle established to acquire the Lucayan properties in Grand Bahama.
“Acquisitions of financial assets continued to be dominated by the government’s investment in Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd. Following the initial capital investment of some $32.4 million, the government made additional contributions aggregating $14.6 million towards LRHL’s operating costs, bringing the total investment to $47 million by the end of March 2019,” the Ministry of Finance revealed in its “Nine Months Consolidated Fiscal Snapshot and Report on Budgetary Performance” report.
As a part of its purchase agreement, the government accepted responsibility for paying the severance pay for workers at the resort.
The Grand Lucayan Resort had approximately 400 employees.
In March, the government signed a letter of intent with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and the ITM Group for the purchase of the resort and the redevelopment of the Freeport Harbour at a price of $65 million.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications