Royal Caribbean Group hopes to close port and hotel deals together

Royal Caribbean Group’s cruise restart will reopen the company’s lines of credit and boost forward its remaining capital investment projects, including the hotel and port developments on Grand Bahama, the cruise line’s Vice President of Government Relations Russell Benford said yesterday, restating that the joint venture group Holistica will not close on the hotel and the port separately.

Benford, who made the remarks during an appearance on Guardian Radio talk show “Morning Blend” with Dwight Strachan, said the Grand Bahama cruise port redevelopment component is critical to the success of the Grand Lucayan hotel redevelopment. He explained that leveraging both at the same time is in the best interest of Holistica. Holistica is the joint venture group comprised of Royal Caribbean and the ITM group.

“The Holistica group didn’t want to close on the hotel without having the port piece done, because then we sort of lose this leverage thing,” said Benford.

“We have the ability through the port to bring millions of passengers and we will bring millions of passengers to Freeport, which is super exciting and we need those passengers to be able to use the hotel facility in order to generate the revenue to be able to pay for the cost of the hotel project.”

Benford added that negotiations with CK Hutchison Holdings, the owners of the cruise port, continue to take some time.

“Anybody who has negotiated with Hutchison… it takes a little bit of time. Not in a bad way. It just takes some time,” he said.

“It’s another multinational corporation who’s also dealing with its own issues related to the pandemic. Every business has had to adjust and adapt.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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