Grand Lucayan sale ‘still on track’

The government will resume its negotiations for the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort tomorrow, Minister of Tourism Dioniso D’Aguilar said yesterday.

The government purchased the property, which is located on Grand Bahama, for $65 million last year, with an initial capital investment of $32.4 million.

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

However, D’Aguilar said yesterday that Hurricane Dorian’s destruction on Grand Bahama last month slowed down negotiations.

“The only way that it’s impacted negotiations is obviously all the Cabinet ministers, all the decision makers and policy makers have been focused on the storm and so the negotiations themselves have been pushed back a couple of weeks,” D’Aguilar told reporters outside Cabinet.

“…The intended purchaser is still very much interested and negotiations are ongoing. I think they recommence tomorrow or on Thursday where we will get back into the weeds of trying to seal the deal.

“The message is we’re still very much on track, there’s a very interested purchaser and negotiations continue.”

On September 10, the minister said the resort had sustained “very little damage” during the storm.

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 multimodal 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.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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