Lucayan Renewal Holdings Chairman Michael Scott, QC, said yesterday that between 50 and 60 employees will return to work when the Grand Lucayan resort on Grand Bahama reopens later this month.
The resort is slated to reopen on March 25.
It was initially set to open on February 1 after being closed in March 2020 ahead of the signing of a heads of agreement for its sale to Royal Caribbean International (RCL) and the ITM Group.
Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar has said he doesn’t expect high bookings when the hotel reopens next month.
“It takes a while to get your reservation system back up and running,” he told The Nassau Guardian on February 16.
“I think while there probably are bookings, it’s probably not significant because if any other hotel is to go by most hotels, especially the larger hotels, they are running in the low double digits occupancy. If you look at our three key markets – the United States, Canada and Europe – there’s no way to get to The Bahamas from Europe unless you come on a private plane.
“And if you’re a European, you’re not allowed to go to the United States and we don’t have any non-stop flights because the United Kingdom has their citizenry in a virtual lockdown. They’re discouraging travel to the point where British Airways doesn’t think it would be cost effective to run a flight to The Bahamas.
“Then you’ve got Canada, which says no flights from Canada to the Caribbean are going to operate until April 30 at the earliest. There’s a ban on all flights from Canada to the Caribbean, imposed by the Canadian government. So that only leaves the United States, and I have to say, the recent decision to impose a COVID-19 test has unsettled some travelers.”
The government is trying to finalize the sale of the Grand Lucayan, which it purchased in August 2018 for $65 million.
D’Aguilar has said the deal being negotiated now is not the same as the one entered into before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, he said a consulting arm of KPMG was looking over the transaction to determine if there are areas that need tightening up, or if there was “anything glaring” missed.