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Sale of Grand Lucayan by end of year

The sale of the Grand Lucayan resort to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and the ITM Group will be completed by the end of the year, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.

“Certainly by the end of the year,” he said when asked about the sale outside the House of Assembly.

“It’s a large, complicated deal and even at this early stage [they] figured they would need some additional time to complete their due diligence and we were minded to agree to it.”

He added, “But negotiations are ongoing, and as you can imagine in negotiations it takes time to agree and there’s a lot of back and forth in negotiating. So that’s where we are at.”

The government purchased the property for $65 million last year, with an initial capital investment of $32.4 million.

In March, the government signed a letter of intent with RCL and the ITM Group for the purchase of the resort for $65 million and the redevelopment of the Freeport Harbour.

The first phase of the development is expected to cost $195 million over two years with the creation of approximately 2,000 jobs.

According to ITM’s proposal, the Grand Lucayan resort complex will be redeveloped into an area called Lucaya Island at a cost of $30 million.

It also proposed the upgrade of the port’s docking facilities at a cost of $35 million and the provision of multi-modal transportation between the proposed Harbour Village and Lucaya Island at a cost of $9.8 million.

ITM’s proposal also suggested that two million cruise passengers per year could be gained by these attractions, and said passenger spend could be about $180 million per year.

As he referred to the project as a “game-changer” for Grand Bahama, Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest initially predicted that the sale would be finalized within three to four months.

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish
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