Neal & Massy Pulls The Plug On Almond Beach Village

Gervase Warner CEO of Neal & Massy

The Board of Almond Resorts Inc (ARI) confirmed today at a Special Meeting of Shareholders that Almond Beach Village will be closed at monthend. The news of the closure should not come as a surprise because it was hinted at in recent weeks by senior Neal & Massy personnel. It was confirmed at the meeting today that  Scotiabank – after several loans arrangements – pull the plug. There is the good news that the other Almond properties will likely be sold as going concerns.

The closure of Almond Beach Village will be a massive blow to the tourism sector and economy of Barbados. Over 500 employees on the breadline with the official employment rate posted at 10%+ gives good reason for a national response. The shareholders present at the meeting today viewed unaudited financials up to end of December 2012 – huge losses, negative cashflows and deep erosion of shareholders equity makes the decision to close a no-brainer but…

It is interesting Warner (CEO of Neal & Massy) took the time to stress to shareholders today that the aggressive expansion strategy by the Ralph Taylor led Board in 2006 over-leveraged ARI. He qualified his statement by stating no one could have predicted the global economic meltdown which has led to the financial difficulty ARI is experiencing.  BU wonders why a short 5-years ago when Ralph Taylor and company made the decision to expand there was no vision to upgrade the existing plant. It was a poor decision by Barbados’ leading hotelier and his other board members.

The other notable occurrence at the Special Meeting was the presentation of Mia Mottley who represented her father on a proxy. Mottley must be given kudos for finding the time to lend her voice to another cause on the side of the people. BU cannot do justice to her eloquent delivery in written form. She explained to the Board how important the ARI product to the economy of Barbados. She used the analogy that the closure of the Almond Beach Village is to be likened to a hurricane hitting the economy of Barbados.     She suggested that the psyche of Barbadians must be managed carefully given consideration to how the closure is likely to be received. She reminded the CEO of Neal & Massy that it is a company with other businesses operating in Barbados. The analogy used by Mottley when she reminded the room of of the time Barbadians boycotted a Test match was misunderstood by Warner but not by the Barbadians present.

The question on the lips of many is how is government going to respond given the gravamen of the matter. So far discussions between Neal & Massy and the Barbados government has not borne any positive results. Say what you will this DLP government has had to deal with a few challenging matters.

0 thoughts on “Neal & Massy Pulls The Plug On Almond Beach Village

  1. To be fair, decisions made in 2006 were based on the economy at that time. Taylor would now look like a genius if the recession hadn’t hit and continued to today.

    The Winter Tourist season ends when the hotel is closing so the impact may not be as devastating as if it was at the beginning of the winter season.

    Tough times ahead.

    • @Hants

      The issue here is not the decisions made in 2006 but the fact the decision was made with full knowledge that the Almond Beach Village plant was old and rotting.

      They over-leveraged the company.

      A revaluation of property moved the number from -682 in 2010 thousand to -39 million in 2011.

      Obviously this number is greatly affected by the market value in the prevailing conditions.

      Someone is going to be able to steal Almond way below it is worth.

  2. It is unfortunate that Almond Beach Village will likely close at the end of this month, the 30th of April, 2012, to be exact.

    The PDC has said time and time again on here and elsewhere that the DLP and BLP are systematically destroying many of this country’s affairs, and that a bloody stop must be brought to this carnage, destruction and pillage.

    Indeed, this Almond Beach Resorts collapse, the Redjet/Carib Express crashes, the CLICO scandal, the Al Barrack Affair, the Four Seasons cum Four Seasons/NIS quagmire, the Trimart and Budg-Buy failures, the GEMS/Eastry House Scandals, Edutech, the profusion of useless Commissions of Enquiry, this prolonged political economic depression in Barbados, the very staggeringly high government debt levels, and many more unsavoury events show that there is an entire and deepening crisis in intellectual and political leadership in this country, and show too that there is no lack of dirty DLP/BLP footprints stamped all across these events.

    Surely, these dishonourably shameful events would never have come about if there was the right type of political rule, the right mix of policy prescriptions and the managerial organizations consistently taking place in Barbados.

    As it stands now in Barbados there is no clear concerted governmental and private sector political actions and projects that have been put in place since Errol Barrow’s death to reverse Barbados’s becoming a second rate Third World Developing country in the next 10 to 15 years.

    Just look at how Barbados has been tumbling down the rankings on the UN Humn Development index.

    Finally it must be said that in order to remove DLP and BLP inspired and engineered problems once and for all from this country, there must be the total and permanent removal of the DLP and BLP from the political landscape of this country.


  3. Tell me where all that money gone so fast. I would like to know! Do we need a forensic audit here too?

  4. @PDC, that was a blog that every can actually read and understand, keep them short like that and you may actually get some appreciation and respect, did not agree with all but about 90% of what you said.

  5. Them bajan sure pull a fast one the Trini’s of Neal & Massy when they made pay thru their behinds to buy a loss making group.

  6. The fault seems in the decisions made here. When N&M ‘merged’ with BS&T they boasted of US$1 billion in combined assets. It would not seem too dificult to borrow money at competitive rates with this sort of platform.
    They made the decision NOT to invest in upgrading and a huge price has been paid by the staff and the destination.

  7. @Ajack

    Do you think playing upmanship with perhaps the biggest employer after government is reason to rejoice?

  8. “BU cannot do justice to her (Miss Mottley’s) eloquent delivery in written form. She explained to the Board how important the ARI product to the economy of Barbados. She used the analogy that the closure of the Almond Beach Village is to be likened to a hurricane hitting the economy of Barbados.” BU in the above lead thread.

    While the PDC was not represented there at the Special Meeting, her supposedly eloquent delivery is not what concerns us though. What concerns us, according to BU in the excerpt, is her use of the analogy of the closure of Almond Beach Village with that of a hurricane hitting the economy of Barbados.

    What did she say??? What??

    Well, the Almond Beach Village – minus whatever short and long term managerial and operational decisions that have contributed to its likely demise – is primarily a victim of this prolonged BLP/DLP engineered political economic depression in Barbados.

    The impending closure of Almond Beach Village is not the hurricane itself.

    The impending closure of Almond Beach Village is but a primary effect of the existence of this man-made hurricane ( this prolonged political economic depression) in Barbados.

    It is another structure that has been badly maintained (metaphorically ) before and during this DLP/BLP created engineered hurricane ( this political economic depression), and which primarily because of the winds and rains associated with this man-made hurricane had to come down. .

    The Nation Newspaper of Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 could not have reported any better what Senator Geoffrey Cave had to say about Almond Beach Resort’s high debt levels and his use of a far better analogy than Mottley’s to describe what has been happening to Almond Beach Resorts in the context of this prolonged political economic depression in Barbados.

    “Saying that he had feared that a hurricane could have struck Barbados and that Almond, with its high debt load, could have gone under, Cave added: “The hurricane was in fact the the recession, and that was worse than a physical hurricane””.

    Anyhow in a related matter, the Daily Nation Newspaper of Tuesday, April 3, 2012 has been reporting that “Jamaican Hotel Magnate Gordon “Butch” Stewart yesterday (Monday) confirmed that he had a definite interest in buying out Almond Beach Village in Heywoods, St. Peter, saying it could be a happy marriage but it was not a done deal”.

    Well let the People’s Democratic Congress have a little say – for right now – from this far distance, on this matter.

    Mr. Gordon “Butch” Stewart must NOT be allowed to again put his hands on another Hotel plant like Almond Beach Village in Barbados.

    Mr. Stewart must never again be allowed to have a property the size and importance of Almond Beach Village property to Barbados.

    Never again, Mr. Stewart.

    Mr. Stewart seems to think that most Barbadians have so short memories.

    Who would believe that this is the same Mr. Stewart, a major owner in Sandals Resorts, who had in the 1990s bought the former Paradise Beach Hotel property, in Black Rock, St. Michael, and who had promised that upon redeveloping it it would have been an important player in the tourism industry in Barbados.

    Would anyone believe that this is the same man who had allowed that hotel plant to be so run down, over grown with bushes, and to be so paro-infested, and, not to forget, to be so caught up in legal court wranglings, and who has now the gall to be to wanting another highly valued Barbadian hotel property??

    To end up doing the same foolishness??

    We have one short message to tell Mr. Stewart based on how he allowed the former Paradise Beach Property and its many rooms to be taken out of the entire Tourism configuration in Barbados for so long, as if he had some conspiracy going: GET LOST, Mr. Stewart, GET LOST.


    Point taken. Thanks.



  9. @PDC

    You are aware the Almond Resorts is a private sector company? How so you are blaming BLP DLP?

  10. I’m with JB. Too much money gone too fast for this to be acceptable. Adrian, in my opinion N&M did not upgrade the Beach Village because even then they had no faith in Taylor’s management. Barbados’ leading hotelier? Perleeeze!! Steupse!

  11. @David
    Are you familiar with the word moojan ?….(a Guyanese term with Bajan connotations.) PDC is seemingly a Caribbean man.

  12. The People’s Democratic Congress | April 4, 2012 at 7:13 AM


    All you have to do is to read this blog and you will see how many Bajans have short memories including the blog owner.

    This is what the Barbados Labour Party members and supporters depend on.

    People WILL FORGET what butch did.

  13. When Neal&Massy took over BS&T, I said to my wife that I wonder how long it will take before they start shutting down large potions of it and sending home staff.

    Now I know.

    This is only the beginning, Spring Garden foods next.

  14. On this blog DLP supporters are always accused of looking back, but you have to look back and then move forward carefully.

    In a lot of situations that we find our selves in this is a result of not paying careful attention to history, even recent history.

  15. PDC check the facts before you attempt to chase Mr. Stewart away from Almond.

    My understanding of the facts is that, when Butch Stewart owned Paradise, the bureaucratic red tape, legal wranglings, interference by friends of politicians and string pulling so hampered every effort he made that Mr. Stewart was forced to throw in the towel and walk away. He was not the only one this has happened to.

    “They” did not want him here. They wanted what he had though

    and look what happened to Paradise without Mr. Stewart! You cannot put the blame for that on him.

    Perhaps I misunderstood the facts and I will check them again. I hope you will do the same.

    Get it right. 500 staff out of work is no joke!

  16. anonymous42

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  17. Plantations, Ricks, Budg-Buy, Julie’N, Harvest Mart failed. Trimart is open as we speak.

    How does Edutech belong on this list? To pad the numbers?

    Neal & Massy, a Trini company, got into a bidding war with Ansa McAl, another Trini company over BS&T. BS&T’s assets far surpass its liabilities. Bajans did not trick trinis into overpaying for BS&T.

    I am confused as to how every newspaper item, or at least it seems like all, ends up in the political forum? I wonder when John Brown cow drop dead if that will be seen as a failure of the current and/or previous administrations for not implementing proper policies.

    Finally, Monday talk about Sunday behaviour because Friday watch and ain do nuttin. Bajans are very good at writing letter to the editor and calling into programmes, but taking action, especially proactively is not our forte. Where would be be without unions…

  18. @CCC

    Here is what BU remembers, the late PM Thompson shouting to all and sundry that when a DLP government assumed office it would stop the Neal & Massy takeover.

  19. @ Carson (the real deal ) Cadogan

    Don’t you for one moment think that Barbadians will FORGET the DLP ..THIS COMING ELECTIONS>>>>.I don’t think their minds that short….especially those up Speighstown.

  20. onions

    “Don’t you for one moment think that Barbadians will FORGET the DLP ..THIS COMING ELECTIONS>>>>.I don’t think their minds that short….especially those up Speighstown.”

    You better hope that their memories continue to be short.

    That is the only way the Barbados Labour Party will be returned to office.

  21. The only thing government can realistically do now is throw a bunch of incentives as prospective buyers of the properties (tax relief) in order to ficilitate a quick sale. That cannot happen in 26 days so it would seem like there will be a temporary interruption for the workers of Almond.

    And that cricketing analogy was not a well-placed one at all.

  22. onions

    “Don’t you for one moment think that Barbadians will FORGET the DLP ..THIS COMING ELECTIONS>>>>.I don’t think their minds that short….especially those up Speighstown.”

    You better hope that Bajans memories are still short, this is the only way the Barbados Labour Party will be returned to office.

  23. I worked at Almond and was shocked at the wastage, tiefing and poor maintenance I saw. Taylor was warned that he was overstretching the company back in 2005 – check how many Accounts staff resigned at that time!!! All the properties are in the same shape – The Club is one of the worst properties are I have ever seen and Casuarina was reopened on a shoestring having been closed unnecessarily for 3 years!!!
    Almond Management are responsible for this mess, Taylor insisted on promoting these properties as 4 star when they were barely 2 1/2 and now that they are closing Barbados has another problem on it’s hands. Those people who have booked will have to be accommodated elsewhere in 4 star all inclusives – and we have no alternatives in Barbados. Our airlift will be reduced since our room numbers are now reduced. Almond Management has contributed significantly to the demise of tourism in Barbados. Come in and save us Butch Stewart – you are the only hope now!

  24. While we at it Carson ..the real deal C.
    Here is what you still left on the FIRE>>>>don’t burn down D place now !

    Alexandra Dispatch,the ‘CLICO Bonnie n Clyde’ the Knights closings,the International Business up and runnings,The Walmer Lodge miss-givings(,FTC), The FourSeasons Persuads,The BL&P-NIS emeras lodgings, the Round-a bout and Templar misunderstandings and now the Neal and Massey unforgivings (Almond )……we still have about 8 months to go… so adequate time for more to float up and add to the list.

  25. Concerned Tourism Worker,

    Personally I cannot not see any quick fix solution that would help the 500 plus direct employees and the trickle down effect it will have on suppliers, services etc. If magically a buyer came along now, it would have to remain closed for major upgrading and re-positioning to stand any chance of medium to long term survival.
    You have also mentioned what must be the next major concern – AIRLIFT.
    A loss of 400 rooms could equate 800 airline seats per week based on an average stay of 7 nights and two persons per room.
    We have already lost 1,145 seats each week with British Airways, 500 plus wih Virgin, 300 plus with American Airlines on the DFW route alone and we wait to see what will happen with San Juan and New York. Plus a dramatically scaled back service with Air Canada.
    Tour Operators need sizeable allocations to justify featuring a property.
    Then think about the financial implications. Even at an average rate of US$250 per room per night, average stay of 7 nights and 80 per cent annual occupancy, thats nearly BDS$60 million a year.

  26. Carson C. Cadogan | April 4, 2012 at 7:43 AM |

    On this blog DLP supporters are always accused of looking back, but you have to look back and then move [forward] carefully.
    I think we may to be a bit presumptuous here tis morning Carson…..per chance …did you mistype [forward]…when what you really intended was [EXIT].

  27. @Adrian

    It was made clear at the meeting that the other properties will be sold as a going concern but Almond Beach Village will be redesigned based on proposals being considered i.e. Villas, Boutique etc.

  28. David,

    I realise that, but with hundreds of unsold condominium rooms already on the market and the fact, even if they were sold it would not necessarily make any substantial difference to airlift, due to lower average occupancy, I really wonderful if a mixed re-designed villa complex of the Village is in the national interest.
    As far at the Club is concerned, without a beach, it is difficult to comprehend that major investment in a hotel would be made there.

  29. @Adrian

    The comment is about Almond Beach Village. At this stage Neal & Massy will take the best bid, period.

  30. @Adrian

    The comment is about Almond Beach Village. At this stage Neal & Massy will take the best bid, period. Remember BU is about treating tourism as a national asset but up to now we have not shown the gumption to determine our future. Instead this matter will be politicized.

    A case in point was David Ellis asking Noel Lynch this morning about the effect the long closure of Casurina had on ARI at that time. A big part of the problem is the arcane management and governance practices we have embraced in Barbados in recent years.

  31. @adrian
    Thanks for putting the issue in economic and national terms. Just another course on the plate of the government’s plate. 500+ more possible votes….another search for who’s to blame…and another wait for another solution. Did Taylor make any statement at all or was it all directors?

  32. @david
    Ellis’ point about “foreign” owners not appreciating the value of tourism as a national asset was instructive. Shareholder interests will always trump national identity, culture and domestic pride once the local interest isn’t represented well enough.

  33. @observing

    What do you want Taylor to say except what he did. ARI was very profitable up to 2007 until the global economic tsunami struck. Do you think he will put his hand up that under his watch he over leveraged the company?

  34. David,

    That is the point I was trying to make.
    Where else could you build 400 hotel rooms on prime ocean front sandy beach? If the Village goes into mixed use villas/condominiums, then airlift and employment numbers will suffer. That cannot be in the national interest.

    Prior to acquisition, Casuarina Beach Club was running with one of the highest average occupancy levels on the island. Would it not have been sensible to keep it operating whilst planning permission was pending to maintain the highest level of loyalty and repeat clientele?

    For tourism you need a national policy and we all suffer for not having one.

  35. @ David
    MOST SINISTER….Onions today……far fetched too as well…but here goes..Trinidad and ToBADOES..revisited….a certain Co . on a TV program wanted to buy out another company, as it wanted to be in control of its market share and be the dominant SEEN force flexing muscles.

    SBI……bear these things in mind.

  36. @adrian
    Have we ever had a national policy???

    Of course I won’t expect him to admit to what everyone is now realising…lol. At least not with a raised hand.

    Let’s talk economy…..what are the national economic impacts of such a closure in addition to unemployment and what adrian mentioned???

  37. We are putting NIS money into building condom-iniums on the Paradise Property and at the same time watching Almond close.

    I believe Almond was a competitor for those funds.

    Paradise has sat idle for decades it seems like, while all sorts of legal and financial games have been played.

    It seems almost like we are getting paid back for messing around with valuable assets … kind of like karma.

    Wonder if Almond will attract the same legal proceedings when a buyer comes a calling …. or indeed … if given the history of the games, there will ever be a buyer.

  38. Remember Neville Rowe Julie N ?
    Once you have hold of the umbilical cord …you can kill the child.
    Neal n Massive (TT) I don’t trust them…weaken the infrastructure first ..den wait , wait for the fall…..think these tings cud happen in JGMGTAdam’s day or EWB..? Leadership…..told ya it would be soon tested again!

  39. David
    What is most strange is how come the PM or anybody from that side aint sending a fella to say NOTHING…true to form….nuttin being said…this is an important matter and someone from the DLP should come out and say something ….The BLP was first up on Brass tacks with shadow minister Noel Lynch, and he put forward his position…Why cant they do the same ?

  40. @david
    Oh how we’ve seen the proof of that. Lol.

  41. Sad how we sometimes have to twist the truth to suit our cause…Mr. Lynch never made any promise…what promise David to which you refer ? The goodly gentleman out of concern for the soon to be unemployed 500+ workers expressed and even put forward a way out given his years of experience in the tourism industry. Sound advice too I must admit. But you know what coming from that side it is no surprise…the lack of empathy has permeated in this country of recent for too long.

  42. You would believe the way people talk that the people did not have a good reason to vote out the Bees last election. Too much wrong-doing.

    And if the Dees get vote out next election the people would have a good reason for that too. Too little doing.

    And every party come election time does run on a platform full of promises. Would you vote for me if I tell you I can’t do no better?

    If an independent could do enough for his/her constituency, and people believed he/she could we would see a different set of politicians. Ones we would be proud of. Until then, we stuck voting for Bees or Dees.

  43. Electorate Pulls the Plug on Freundel Stuart led Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
    The Barbados electorate pulled the plug on the DLP Governement in today;s General Election held earlier on Monday October 22, 2012 . The DLP lost all their seats with all of their candidates losing their deposits. The loss is the worst ever,experienced in the history of electoral politics in Bardown ( Barbados) -Bimshire–Bim -I love you; Bim we are proud of you

  44. @ Julie-B
    I luv it….I know you too…..but we got to hold on a bit longer and suffer throughout..”time longer than rope” day coming soon…HOLD

  45. old onion bags | April 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM |

    Remember Neville Rowe Julie N ?
    Once you have hold of the umbilical cord …you can kill the child.
    Neal n Massive (TT) I don’t trust them…weaken the infrastructure first ..den wait , wait for the fall…..think these tings cud happen in JGMGTAdam’s day or EWB..? Leadership…..told ya it would be soon tested again!

    The genesis of the problems we have today can be found with EWB and JMGM!!

    They sowed the wind … we will reap the whirlwind.

    If I were a biblical scholar I would say our end was pretty well described!!

    Check this verse regarding strangers or google “Sow the wind”!!

    “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

    … and the strangers sure are swallowing it up …. Paradise, Almond, BS&T etc etc!!

    Disclaimer: I am not a biblical scholar!!

  46. You sound like the John Kellman from d callin program…an activist, philosopher now turn fortune teller.

  47. Here we are yet again where private sector executives have lived high on the hog for years in the good times and in the bad times these SoBs will escape scotch free.

  48. @ David

    To answer your question, I am not rejoicing or suggesting anyone rejoice over the pending closure of Almond Beach Village.

    You may want to consider if Neal & Massy have a proposal to buy the Village and develop it into mother marina?

    Do they?

  49. I wonder if we should be looking at the closure in a different way. When the new Hilton was under construction, I suggested that the Holborn site be cleared and a purpose built conference facility be built next door. Neither Government sadly listened. Perhaps one way of saving the Village is to build
    the new conference facility next to it. Speightstown is already dying in terms of business and this could have the secondary benefit of revitalising the town. Repair the pier and have a passenger ferry operate from Speightstown/Holetown/Bridgetown/Oistins.
    We have already lost around 60,000 airline seats over the next 30 weeks.
    We cannot afford to lose any more.

    • A note from the email commenter:

      Why is it that the Barbados Government that speaks as its mantra of “Barbados is more than an economy, its a society” did not do more to prevent this closure? Aren’t the Almond staffers part of the society..or is the society only consits of this rich Barbados Turf Club racehorse owners who refused to payover taxes owed to the Government for years and received a $19.2 Million waiver on those taxes owed to the state? Why is it that the rich villa owners at Four Seasons are receiving a US$60 Million guarantee and further a $60 Million loan from the NIS for a now non-existent and operating property when Almond already exists and contributes to Barbadian economy and society? Don’t these Almond staffers matter? These hard working members of the now forgotten Barbadian society (which the Government is always touting as being so important) pay income taxes and have contributed to building Barbados through tourism too. With children to send to school and feed, households to run with electricity and water bills to pay, appliance stores like Courts and Dacosta Mannings to pay? What about all the taxi drivers who depend on that Almond Beach Village for their daily bread? What about those who supply services and goods to that hotel? What about the tour operators and local attractions such as the Oistins Fish Fry which these people patronize? On the bigger scale, there is the potential loss of room stock and airlift capacity to Barbados. Almond Beach as a total group was responsible for securing a large portion of the charter business to Barbados (ask Colin Jordan of the BHTA) and we, Barbados, are now likely to lose that if the Beach Village closes and the Beach Club and Casuarina are split based on potential new ownership. So there is a looming loss facing Barbados in tax revenues and airport landing and parking fees etc., foreign exchange and unemployment will also likely increase at an already challengi

      ng time for Barbados. It can be argued that this wasn’t forcasted in the recently prepared Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2012-2013. If Neal & Massy has pulled the plug, we all need to find a way to plug it back in – too much is at stake

  50. “You are aware the Almond Resorts is a private sector company? How so you are blaming BLP DLP?” – David in an April 4 2012, 7.25 am blog.

    Blame must be cast on DLP/BLP Governments, as that, since the death of Errol Barrow, they have been grossly and recklessly mismanaging the political economy and services industry sectors of Barbados.

    For they have been principally deteriorating the long term, general business and commercial conditions in the country, with their very backward and inept political economic and financial policies.

    Many Barbadians are also in agreement that this is so.

    By deteriorating such conditions (more or starting) they are, in the long term, either putting many companies and businesses closer to the brink of financial business collapse, or forcing the closure of many other companies and businesses in this country.

    One theory that points to evidence where such policies have led to deterioration in the business environment – declines in business and corporate expenditure and investment and income, or absolute closures – is the cost of use of money theory (which on some previous occasions we have explained), whereby for every dollar that is transacted or used in Barbados, it costs a staggering 80 – 85 % of our incomes, payments and transfers to simply use that dollar in various areas of the society. The remaining 15 – 20 % of our incomes,payments and transfers is directed towards productive activity in the country.

    As it stands, as more and more borrowing, interest rate, insurance activities take place in this country, more than productive activities in the country, the worst business and investment conditions will become in the long run.

    So, many more businesses will collapse in this country as a result of the fact that the DLP and BLP Governments continue to initiate and implement very backward and inept political economic and financial policies that will increase the cost of use of money to a higher proportion out of every dollar.


  51. What is wrong with this PDC man’s head doa ? How many times must I ask ?LooK Bruds..if you COULD find 5 more like you and form a party , maybe just may be a few may take you serious ..until then,….stupesssssssss.

  52. A tourism property owned by a billion dollar Corporation, run by an individual who is supposedly at the top of his game in the hospitality industry on an island where the main revenue is derived from the tourism goes on the skids and somehow the Gov’t is to blame? ( that’s a mouthful).Was Almond bound by any Statutory reporting requirements that would alert any Gov’t that things were going downhill?

    Tourism is the lifeblood of the country but this can happen when a foreign interest owns part of your primary productive units, they can pull the plug anytime. If this was T & T they would be more sensitive to the plight of the workers and Kamla would probably have called them up on the carpet. It would be interesting to know whether they carried out any due diligence on the property since acquisition and only paid attention when the red ink go to be too much.

    When OSA was PM there was a time when he appealed to the National Pride of some of the Corporate Leaders not to take certain actions which would harm their employees, but then decisions were still made in B’dos.

    The people in the Boardroom in Port of Spain who make these decisions don’t have the same sense of National Pride when it comes to B’dos, everything revolves around the bottom line and they don’t have to live there.

  53. Foreigners who own villas and condos in Barbados have direct contact with Bajans.

    The owners of Almond are a corporate entity and they are in business to make money not friends.

    They will try to pressure government for a “bailout” and keep their cash in Trinidad.

    In the words of David Clayton Thomas, “God bless the child that’s got his own.”

  54. Almond has been in decline long before it was bought by Neal and Massy. Just ask the workers there. Taylor ran this company as if it were his own and no one there could question his actions. When I worked there I would hear the staff complaining that the rooms needed fixing, leaking roofs, stained and holey bed linens, the grounds needed better maintaining. For almost fifteen years Almond was in decline, Taylor managed to convince many that the emperor did indeed have clothes on. Taylor saw himself as the black Donald Trump. This is no joke this man believes this. Many staff members have gone beyond the call of duty to make guests comfortable. They are a team of workers that many would love to have on board, let us hope that some will find work overseas until things become better.

    • It should be obvious, even to the most politically partisan, when Neal & Massy bought BS&T and became saddled with the hotel, it should have sold if it was not committed to upgrading the plant which would have been 12 years old at the time and already in decline. One wonders if the intention was always to asset strip Almond given the 30+ acres of postcard-like beachfront property. The global recession would have interrupted such plans.

  55. Today’s (Wed April 5) THOUGHT FOR THE DAY posted at :

    “In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times.” — Robert W. McChesney, author — Rich Media, Poor Democracy

  56. Has anyone given thought to Neal Massey’s buying Almond.. not upgrading it.not doing anything to it (Butch)..amassing losses ….using those loses as carry forward Group Losses to its betterment on Consolidated Group Financials ? Yes Bruds done internationally by prudent Tax Specialists (PWC)…may be NM portfolio has also reached that level of sophistication.

  57. @Onions

    Why would Neal & Massy do as you suggest?

    This is a company which currently owns a healthy chunk of Bajan enterprise. Are Barbadians so stupid that we would allow Neal & Massy other businesses to strive if what you suggest were to occur?

    Mia Mottley said it best at the Special Meeting, we all remember the boycott of a Test match for a no-name player named Anderson Cummins.

  58. Minister of Finance of Barbados, Mr. Christopher Sinckler, and some other Ministers of this DLP Government – including the Prime Minister – have been saying publicly for the longest while how the political economy and services industry sectors of Barbados have been stabilized, at the macro level (primarily by particular government fiscal monetary policies – false claim).

    So that each and every time we see or hear such statements being reported in the media, and these kinds of statement being attributed to the Minister of Finance and those other DLP ministers, we and many of our associates are made to ridicule and deride those kinds of feckless statements, primarily because of the ludicrously, farcically long period of time that they have been saying such (for almost four years now), and primarily because of the woefully inadequate amount of knowledge, wisdom and understanding they portray when it comes to such matters as relaying sufficiently plausible information on the real performances of the political economy and services sectors of the country, at the micro-level.

    The fact is that these sectors could never ever be stabilized at the macro-level at this juncture, when there are tons of evidence that there is serious instability and decline in business and commercial activity at the micro-level.

    The micro-level makes up the macro-level.

    What these joke DLP ministers muchly prefer to do is to believe in the many inaccurate statistics coming out of the Barbados Statistical Service, the Central Bank of Barbados, and the Ministry of Finance, and not to make it a custom to actually observe and listen properly to much of what is happening at the micro-level.

    But, what they apparently do not know is that the data/information gathering processes concerning the particular sectors comprising the political economy and the services industry sectors of the country, are so very flawed, deficient, and unreliable, as well as that the methods used in drawing statistical inferences about values for the macro-level from the very limited and false information provided at the micro-level, are also very flawed and deficient and unreliable too, that a lot of the figures posted by the Barbados Statistical Service, the Central Bank of Barbados, the Ministry of Finance are NOT WORTH repeating.

    Hence, what the PDC knows is that these joke ministers JUST DO NOT DAMN WELL KNOW ABOUT THE ESSENCE OF THE STATEMENTS THEY ARE MAKING re how the political conomy and services industry sectors have been stabilized (by government policy).

    Now this being so, it must mean that they ARE ACTUALLY PARROTING WHAT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TOLD TO THEM BY TECHNOCRATS like the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, who too has been for a very inordinately long time telling us – the citizenry of Barbados – that the economy has stabilized.

    What a sick joke!!!

    What a shame!!!

    Well, the impending closure of Almond Beach Village is another clear piece of evidence that there is serious and ongoing instability and decline in the services industry sector of the country.


  59. @Hants

    In the words of David Clayton Thomas, “God bless the child that’s got his own.”
    Musical taste is subjective of course, but the classic is still the Billie Holiday original first recorded in 1941

  60. To those who are issuing threats, veiled or otherwise including that insensitive comment about boycotting cricket your bullying is misplaced and mistimed. Get your facts first and get real. Find out first what is responsible for the massive losses at Almond. Don’t you think the investors are hurting? would you be putting in more money after losing over ninety million. You are picking on the wrong issue. If these people retaliate some people you least expect may get hurt.This is more than reaches the eye.

  61. @JB

    No threats but there is a current reality arising from the unraveling mess.

    If you are aware of out issues which must be discuss perhaps the time has come to articulate on them.

  62. as a uk resident who has been visiting the island and staying @abv with my family for over 12 years every I, and my freinds are incredibly saddened to hear the news, well done to Doreen who is fighting hide for the employees and the Island to say this institution…. we as customer could see this coming for many years and we are not surprised at all…. there will be big money behind this and someone will pick it all up for a song…….. very sad … and good luck to Doreen Motley and all the staff who have become freinds over the years…….

  63. @ You should know the facts. You have your ears to the ground! I guess too many people tied up in this. But be fair! Don’t go after the Trinidadians when you should know this is a homegrown issue.Let us stop burying our heads in the sand and realize we have serious problems in this country. This behaviour and all its cliquism is sinking this country.The chickens have come home to roost.!.

  64. JB wrote “Don’t go after the Trinidadians”.

    Trinidadians own Almond Beach Village.

    Only a village idiot would own a business ad not monitor its performance and profitability.

    The pattern I see with Clico and now with Almond is that the owners were happy when the Bajan CEOs were sending them buckets of cash prior to the recession.

    Then when the companies started failing they left them to self destruct and now looking for Government bailouts.

    I feel sorry for the employees who now have to go home and hope for a miracle.

  65. Perleeze!! Why should anybody, easpecially a private sector company, hang on to a company that has lost millions, owes millions more, and be forced to keep the same management that drove it into the ground. This is not a T&T issue, as JB has stated, and Island Gal has it right. Taylor had absolute authority. Nobody at Almond could suggest anything to him, because he always knew better. His hubris is unbeliveable. When one person has such authority that not even his owners could question without being accused of racism, then the responsibility for the demise of Almond rests fairly and squarely on the shoulders of that person. It is incredible, and unfortunately a measure of their justified desperation that employees would consider taking a pay cut to stay at the hotel under Taylor’s leadership. The late Clive Jenkins, a trades union leader in the UK once said in a similar situation, “You bloody well need saving from yourselves!” You will just be pawns in another pocket-stuffing exercise. Steupse!

  66. You all talking CRAP..Ralph Taylor knows this tourism industry BACKWARD OUT.Nothing but jealousy in here for a black man who started out as a bell hop at ASTA hotel and worked his way up to owning hotels in St.Lucia ,construction companies and more…..
    Can you tell me how a man 40 year + in the hotel industry with a staff he personally bought everywhere with him…would not understand the importance of refurbishing a hotel….BULL SHIT…
    The man has been able to get his staffs confidence to invest in the hotel..the morale up there was unequaled..and now some of you wid your jealousy and classicism choose to paint him negatively..BULL SHIT I say.
    Ralph may have his personal issues…but I know he is a top class hotelier.
    I give him that..

  67. I wondered why BS&T never pulled the plug on the good Tailor, I heard that he sewed their uniforms and sewed them well that he had their balls squeezing in their pants if they made a sudden move to remove them. The Tailor also had friends in high places it seems and was an excellent spinner of yarns. He was political paling cock backing those he thought would prolong his power. Well all good things must come to an end and sifting through the dust will give clues to those who want to know what was really going on. There is a paper trail and as John Denver sang…Follow me where I go, what I do, who I know Make it part of you to be a part of me Follow me up and down all the way and all around Take my hand and say you’ll follow me

  68. @David
    Why would Neal & Massy do as you suggest?
    This is a company which currently owns a healthy chunk of Bajan enterprise. Are Barbadians so stupid that we would allow Neal & Massy other businesses to strive if what you suggest were to occur?
    Beware Baje ! if Trinidad wanna shut down SBI..go ahead…ICB go ahead ..StarCom go ahead…Nation News..go ahead….BNB…go ahead.. Brydens .go ahead, Did I miss any ? My Point >.>….NUFF people go be outta WUK…..we threading dangerously people ..(not D Trinidadians in here doa),

    Trinidad and ToBADOES…..we cumin

  69. The word is Neocolonialism…look it up Franz Franon…UWI..recall.

  70. Neocolonialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization, and cultural forces to control a country (usually former European colonies in Africa or Asia) in lieu of direct military or political control. Such control can be economic, cultural, or linguistic; by promoting one’s own culture, language or media in the colony, corporations embedded in that culture can then make greater headway in opening the markets in those countries. Thus, neocolonialism would be the end result of business interests leading to deleterious cultural effects

  71. There you go Old Onion Bags, finally playing the race card. Taylor knows the tourism industry inside and out, the hotel industry too, for sure. So how come this doyen of management, this superb business strategist, lead the Almond group into such massive losses and debts? There has to be another side to this and that is a road that you don’t want to travel. Greed, incompetence and hubris are what brought Almond to its knees. Steupse!

  72. Definitely …there got to be another side to this …and nobody is talking…which seems strange to me. Also, where are the financials ? As once a business man myself…Neal and Massey’s behavior is not sounding right either, no one invests that kinda money…..and allow the plant to run to ruins? I could understand that with Sam Lords and T.Grant, but not NM.
    On the other hand, Taylor know his stuff…he is single handedly responsible for most our good tour business, the man got good good contacts overseas.No something wrong….no local CEO manages NM fairs with a free hand.get that right.Do you remember Geddes Grant ? Think.OK
    Bruds Onions don’t play no race card….is a class ting nowadays.

  73. In light of the financial state of the company it is not unusual for such to impact the completions of financials. In the case of ARI the financials (unaudited) up Dec 2011 are with the FSC.

    • Interesting to listen to President of the Barbados Hotel Association singing to all the benefits of Almond. It therefore begs the question why the hell the management would not have placed the revamp of the plant as a priority. What folly!

  74. Who or which company made significant income from Almond’s business, as fees or commission?

  75. @david
    To call it folly is being nice. Was there this past month and saw firsthand, plus overheard the complaints. Taylor may have had a vision but he clearly lacked a backup plan or escape strategy. Planning should have foreseen or provided for at least some of the causes for the failure. Again, will we ever be “informed” of the full “truth?”

  76. Ole Onions you like yuh know de man real good and how he know the industry Backwards out LOLL and all that Bull shitting.

  77. Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Mr. Colin Jordan, ought to hang his head in shame.

    In relationship to the ongoing national discussion on the imprnding closure of the Almond Beach Village Hotel, he is being reported in the Weekend Nation Newspaper (Thursday April 5, 2012, as saying that: “When you factor in those persons who have children, this could affect a good 1500 persons or more”.

    According to the said Weekend Nation Newspaper article he also supports some form of government intervention via tax concessions and electricity subsidy.

    While it is true that the likely closure of the Almond Beach Village will have significant social and financial repercussions, it is absolute foolishness for Jordan to be hiding behind children in defence of the sustaining of a hotel that has been clearly badly mismanaged over the years.

    No serious investors are going to continue investing substantial sums of money into what may be described as a loss-making venture any where anytime.

    This growing culture of using excuses to get already inept and wasteful governments to bail out hotels and other badly managed inefficient businesses has got to stop as well.

    The fundamental role of a government of Barbados must be to provide internal and external security for citizens and visitors alike – provide a significant measure of social and welfare infrastructure for citizens and visitors (citizens and visitors being made to pay for such services where really necessary) – to provide a measure of foreign affairs representation of the country and the country’s citizens overseas – to provide for a balance between the rights and freedoms of individuals citizens and the duties and responsibilities of those citizens, and all of those within the context of ensuring the integrity of the basic functions of the government, all within the context of a system of administration of justice.

    Hence, it is an entire folly to think that the government role is to be bailing out of hotels, businesses that have clearly been badly mismanaged,on some pretense that the social fall out would be significant, when already there exist a social safety net already in place in Barbados that can minimize such social fallout.

    What arrant nonsense.

    Mr. Colin Jordan GET LOST.

    Finally with regard to what is attributed to the Barbados Chamber and Commerce and Industry President, Andy Armstrong, in the said Weekend Nation article, he has got it right on this issue. The private sector must be apprehensive about the Government’s involvement in Almond Beach Hotel in a big way. And yes he also dealt with the fact that they are aware that the government wasted millions and millions of dollars in the Gems project..

    So who really wish to see government getting more and more involved in what is a private sector driven sector? Who??


  78. Heywoods Hotel was started in the early1980’s by the DLP with a loan from the World Bank . The DLP lost elections soon after and the project was completed by the BLP.
    In the 1990’s , the IMF pressured the Government of Barbados was to sell Heywoods Hotel and other state owned operations
    In 1994 the BLP sold Heywoods to the BS&T (Barbados Shipping and Trading ) for US $17 million ( $ 34 million BDS) .The BLP used the money to repay World Bank loans.
    Heywoods was later renamed Almond Beach Hotel by the BS&T.

  79. I Have been informed that a gentleman associated with Almond Beach had a company in Miami from which things were sourced for Almond Beach. Who is that gentleman? This is another sordid affair.

  80. Barbados is sinking because we are following the misguided policies of the IMF .
    Barbadians will continue to suffer if we continue to take the bad medicine prescibed by the IMF.

  81. Someone purchased 10,000 ARI shares at $0.50/share this week – speculation or informed action?

  82. onions you seem to forget that to thunderous applause from the frenzied crowd in hhaggatt hall that mr thompson promised to catspraddle the sale of bsandt to neal and massy if the ink on the sale document didn’t dry by the time he won the elections. methinks that the ink did dry.