Pelican Bay General Manager Magnus Alnebeck said yesterday that Grand Bahamians will have to exercise patience in regards to the redevelopment of the Grand Lucayan resort, which sits just south of his property, but welcomed any economic activity to the island that will impact his hotel.
Alnebeck, who described his property as less of a ‘tourist hotel’ and more of a ‘commercial hotel’ said he looks forward to more tourists coming to the island as a result of the project.
“There have been very little overnight tourists in Grand Bahama for the past few years. But for Pelican Bay I think any economic activity in Grand Bahama in some way benefits Pelican Bay,” he told Guardian Business yesterday.
“And this is of course major economic activity that will happen in the next two years while this hotel is being redeveloped and repositioned, and will basically be a construction site. So, I think it’s great for Grand Bahama and business in Grand Bahama.”
The government on Monday signed a heads of agreement (HOA) with Bahamas Port Investments Limited – a joint company of Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and ITM Group – for the sale of the Grand Lucayan and the development of a cruise port on Grand Bahama.
RCI President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bayley said on Monday said the project is expected to increase the annual number of cruise visitors to Grand Bahama from 600,000 to 2.5 million.
Given that construction is pegged to last two years, Alnebeck said the Grand Bahamian community must remain patient.
“I think we have to have patience, because there is probably not going to be any extra person employed at that site in the tourist hospitality capacity for the next two years,” he said.
“There’s going to be a lot of construction and a lot of redeveloping there, so I think we all as a community ought to have a little bit of patience.”
Asked if he’s concerned about the level of construction just next to his property, which is slated to begin in the next five to six months, Alnebeck said, “Not really, I mean of course there will be inconvenience, but that will be short term and that is something we will have to live with, because it is in the interest of everybody to speed up the Lucaya area being redeveloped.”