With the government continuing to incur $1.5 million every month in operational costs for the Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahama, Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday that cost is expected to decrease following the completion of a voluntary separation exercise next week.
The government, which purchased the property, has accepted responsibility for paying workers severance.
Lucayan Renewal Holdings, a special purpose vehicle established by the government, is handling the process and is also responsible for finding a new buyer for the resort.
Asked about the matter on the sidelines of the 2018 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade, Turnquest told The Nassau Guardian, “We have budgeted $1.5 million basically a month, but we expect that with the VSEPs that are just being settled, that that will bring that cost down.
“In addition to that we have some good business coming in for the next six months that’s going to further bring it down and we actually might turn a profit for the next six months.
“So we were optimistic that we are going to bring that cost down and keep it within the budget that we had before.”
The sale was executed on September 11.
The government has purchased the resort for $65 million with $30 million paid upfront, with intentions to find a private buyer for the property.
The government initially announced that it would sell the property within three to six months of purchasing it.
However, last month Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the government hired a company called Colliers to manage the process for it and should have everything sorted by the second quarter of next year by the very latest.
The board of Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd. has made voluntary separation offers to both the line and managerial staff of the resort.
Those payouts were expected to be completed before Christmas. However Turnquest said yesterday they were delayed.
Managers at the resort said recently they were not prepared to accept the latest offer made by the board.
More than 200 employees of the resort have applied for VSEPs.