The Davis administration hopes to sell the Grand Lucayan resort on Grand Bahama for $150 million once it secures a buyer, Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said yesterday, adding that it will take six weeks to shortlist qualified buyers.
“We’re in for $150 million and that’s the number. We believe that this is an attractive proposition,” Cooper said when asked how much the government wants for the property.
“Twenty-five hundred acres of prime beachfront property, a golf course, a marina site — this is a magnificent sight.
“It has the opportunity really to drive the economy of Grand Bahama and can be a substantial plank in the offerings of one of the major brands. So, we’re looking for the best deal for the people of Grand Bahama and the taxpayers.”
Cooper said the redevelopment of the resort has the potential to cause a lot of spin-off opportunities for smaller resorts and other businesses, including the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
He said the sale of the resort is critical.
“We understand the significance of this to Grand Bahama and, therefore, we are moving deliberately but swiftly to get it done,” Cooper said.
The Minnis administration purchased the resort from Hong Kong conglomerate
Hutchison Whampoa in August 2018 for $65 million.
The agreement between the government and Bahamas Port Investments Limited was signed in March 2020, under the Minnis administration, and the final buying price was $50 million.
The redevelopment of the property was set to start this year but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed and changed the terms of the agreement.
The government announced last month that it had terminated that agreement because it was not in the best interest of Bahamians.
Earlier this month, Cooper said the resort is expected to cost the government more than $1.2 million in operational costs each month until it finds a new buyer.
“I have said before that there are six credible buyers,” Cooper said.
“There are more coming to the table. We now have the board in place. We are retaining a broker who is going to be managing the process for us. As you would imagine, this is a very attractive property, attractive offering.
“It’s the anchor for Grand Bahama and, therefore, we see new potential participants in this bid coming forward every day. So, we are seeking to get through that initial qualification stage over the next six weeks and then we will have a shortlist of potential buyers.
“Hopefully, at that point, we will come back and give another update.”