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Darville: Produce a plan for Grand Lucayan

Former Minister of State for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville said yesterday that the government needs to produce a definitive plan for the Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahama as it continues to move the goal post.

Darville was responding to comments made by Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar, who said recently that there may be a delay in the government offloading the resort to a qualified buyer, with new expectations that it would be sold by the second quarter of next year.

“Well, the situation with the Grand Lucayan, the goal post continues to shift, as the Free National Movement give us a date, a next date, a next and a next date,” Darville said.

“We are waiting patiently on the island of Grand Bahama to see some real economic growth and changes take place so that the residents can be able to support their families and those in the tourism sector can see some real growth.

“So, I’m waiting patiently, like the residents of Grand Bahama, for the government to come up with a definitive plan for the Grand Lucayan resort and to demonstrate the urgency to purchase the resort, will turn out to be beneficial to the residents, particularly those in the tourism sector.”

The government purchased the resort for $65 million, with $30 million paid up-front.

The sale was executed on September 11.

The assets purchased include 405 acres of land; seven buildings containing 7 million square feet of space; 1,271 rooms and suites; 19 restaurants and lounges; 15 meeting rooms; 45,000 square feet of meeting space; three pools; an 18-hole golf course; a casino; a spa; and a fitness center.

In August, Michael Scott, who is the chairman of the special purpose vehicle charged with finding a buyer for the resort, said the government had hoped to find a buyer for the hotel within the next three to six months.

However last month, D’Aguilar said, “We’ve hired a company called Colliers to manage the process for us, go out and market it, to get the proposals in, to sift through them and to make a recommendation to the government on which one we should accept. So it’s very much a process that’s underway and hopefully by the very latest the second quarter of next year we’ll have it sorted.”

D’Aguilar also told reporters that there are 11 or 12 seriously interested buyers in the property.

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Sloan Smith

Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas. Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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