Saving Almond Beach Village At What Cost

Almond Beach Village beachfront

Neal & Massy (52% shareholder) delivered the Almond Mess lo Barbadians last week which has knocked CLICO from the front page of the Nation newspaper for the moment. A scan of that paper’s front page this morning should create some concerns for Barbadians. Bjorn Bjerkham is mentioned as one of about four parties bidding for the 30-acre beachfront Almond Beach Village property in St. Peter. If Bjerkham gets his wish a small island is about to be divvied up between COW Williams and himself with CLICO’s significant land holding currently encumbered as a result of its publicised demise.

In the case of Bjerkham Barbadians may want to sit up and take notice. If he is able to acquire the Almond Beach Village property, he gets control of the greatest portion of St. Peter coastline – he already owns St. Peter’s Bay in the Road View area. Remember he is currently working on redesigning the Six Mens area with the Port Ferdinand marina project. For those who are familiar with the area try to visualize if Bjerkham is able to acquire Almond Beach Village property with its vast beachfront.

Officially our government boasts that there are no private beaches in Barbados but if Bjerkham is allowed to acquire Almond beach front it is akin to creating a private beach front in Barbados by effectively blocking off access at both ends. Whether by accident or design our laws of public beach access in Barbados are being circumvented by those who have deep pockets.

So what is new anyway!

If that was not enough to consider look who else is reported to be in the bidding for Almond Beach Village, none other than Paul Doyle of Skeete’s Bay fame! His plan to privatise Skeete’s Bay did not go well after protests by Mac Fingall and residents of Bayfield, he seems to be trying a thing on the west coast. It makes one wonder how did Neal & Massy (ARI) manage to lose this property screwing the 48% minority shareholders along the way.

To cap it all, our sources suggest to be wary of Ritz Carlton. It is true that we need brand name hotels in Barbados but at what cost. Take a look at what happened in St. Lucia when Ritz Carlton was supposed to be built there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeDnsncap1s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEYaVOVDkv4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4y4pB2H_l8

It is now going to cost the new Ken Anthony Government in St. Lucia almost US$60 million to buy back their own lands in very difficult economic times. This story has other meanings for Barbadians as far as the Four Seasons project here is concerned.

Barbados is a one leg economy, we all know it. Tourism is all we have for the moment and BU believes it must be treated as a strategic asset. There is no doubt the government has to make a deal happen. There is the impact to our major forex earner in a recession which cannot be ignored.

Yes we need to save Almond Beach Village but at what cost.

  • AND YOU OLE ONIONS are suffering from perpetual verbal diarrhea! I really hope that my taxes didn’t help fund your education because if it did , it was a colossal waste of my money!

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  • Ole Onions I hope that you knew that the great hotelier Tom Grant never financially contributed to his children’s education and welfare after his first wife divorced him. You are such a limp dickhead you will call anyone your friend without checking out their background. You certainly have shown your nuts here on BU.

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  • old onion bags | April 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM |
    Ralph aint my friend nor Grant..nor Alibaba..nor..Family First….get D drift ?
    ***********************
    Any one could believe this umman..???

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  • Ya done…ya ole harangue-tan..go and cook or wash do! And doan cum back ….lol..(a luv it)

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  • Go and wipe yuh shitty behind yuh now come bout hey and want tah tek over dis place. An while you at it clean yuh rotten onions balls as well!

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  • David…ban this umman !..lol..lol

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  • Islandgal 246; Bonnie has risen again.
    OLd Onions; Islandgal sweet like bonnie. You can’t win in a battle like this. Time to declare victory re. the substantive issues and move on.

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  • IslanGal
    Gets away with murder on this blog ..others can’t

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  • Quoting John: Guess you got an answer!!

    Please understand that I was not negating experience, or attacking or defending anybody. That said I commend Adrian Loveridge and Peach and Quiet for the excellent work they have been doing.

    Note that I said that hard work is important and note that Adrian and his wife have worked long hours and continue to work hard, and of course experience and hard work is an excellent combination.

    My contention is that Barbados and Barbadians (and I count Mr. Loveridge as a Barbadian) have what it takes to manage the tourism industry, if only we will take the best managers, the best staff, the best properties and move forward.

    My point was that it is not nuclear physics. My point is that we all ‘o we can do it.
    I don’t know Mr. Grant nor Mr. Edgehill. I’ve never met the gentlemen.

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  • Quoting John “All of the qualities you list are necessary to get experience.
    If you don’t exhibit them, you get fired if you are employed or lose your shirt if you are an owner”

    So we agree.

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  • The Sam Lords hotel was left by Marriotts in a most dilapidated state….(worse than ABV)….lots worse..Grant had a dollar bill and wanted to be seen as a major player in the Barbados seen of things..(so was Roach of Bajn Queen fame)…..what they failed to understand that hotel needed BIG MONEY injected for immediate repairs (Almond)…..CLICO decided to come to the rescue and ran into litigation with shareholder members of the prior interest when time to acquire.

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  • Both Grant and Roach took on big losses as a result and owed the NIS millions of dollars I recall.The Hotel from then till now remains a parro hole.

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  • Dear Onions:

    Are you saying then that Grant bought a pig [Sam Lord’s] in a poke?

    And if so why?

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  • CHECK IT OUT …I have been attacked and had to defend myself. My educated opponent resorted to using profanity and that was where I drew the line. If you have noticed I have been behaving myself for
    some time and how I miss my Bonny, she would have been here defending me. Alas I am being accused by other chauvinistic supporters that I am getting away with murder and THAT is not TRUE. One good thing about these rants is that it reflects our core beliefs and how we see people. My educated opponent Mr Keith aka Ole
    onions thinks he can fool many but Keith yuh ent fooling muh. I will retire for the day. A prochain!

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  • @ Random
    The situation with Grant and Co. is that they came into a tidy sum unexpectedly, and SLC seemed as a good chance to get into the hotel industry ( diversifying) at a time when tourism was really doing well. Being novices proved costly..the rest is history.

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  • Islandgal; I, and I think many others enjoyed the exchange. But as Ole Onions might say if he were’nt punch drunk. “Enough no more, t’is not as sweet now as it was before.” I don’t think any of the regulars considered that you were getting away with murder. I miss bonnie too and, as I said, your repartees reminded me very much of her.

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  • Does this guy Ryan Straughn understand that the problem with Almond Beach is the quality of the product/plant and not cash cashflow per se?

    If you keep the property open by an injection of cash to manage day to day it will not solve the problem. This is what N&M has been doing for the last 18 months.

    The place need a huge injection of capital to revamp the plant to meet 4 star expectations.

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  • @Island

    continue to sock it to ole onion. He too hypocritcal. Go girl.

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  • @Blogger2012, Zoe and robert

    There is a new feature which WordPress has turned on called ‘infinite scrolling’. It allows visitors to the blog to scroll down and down and down to read older blogs instead of clicking next and next and next. As you can see from the note below they are still working out the bugs, It is entirely outside of BU’s control unless we switch out to another blog theme. Let us be a little patient and thanks for your feedback.

    Howdy guys, thanks for the feedback.

    The initial usage stats from infinite scroll look really good — people are reading more posts which means they’re spending more time on your site. As you might guess, people are way more likely to just scroll down than they were to click the “next page” button — it’s faster and better. It’s the future of all web pages with more than one page of content.

    We’re still working out some bugs, and as some of you noted your footer widgets are temporarily inaccessible, and figuring out the best way to deal with that and other edge cases.

    A few people have asked if “everyone” is against this why we’re just not turning it off. Well, there’s a thread like this which seems overly negative for pretty much everything we launch. People don’t come to the forums to say they like something they usually come when they have a problem. That’s why we ask for feedback on the forums, to find the problems, not to gauge popularity. For that we’ve learned to look at stats, what people do versus what they say. This is better because it allows us to get feedback from millions of people in addition to the few thousand who frequent the forums. Both voices are important.

    Thanks for your patience, and as we fix these issues up we’ll continue rolling out infinite scrolling to the rest of the themes that work with it. Also thank you to the people on the thread who provided calm, rational feedback without attacks or hyperbole. The team is always here for you.

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  • Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow’d what came, And the puff a dunce, he mistook it for fame; Till his relish grown callous, almost to displease, Who pepper’d the highest was surest to please.

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  • Old Onion; Nice!

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  • @ Blogger 2012
    Hypocritical ? Man what you talkin bout ? …here this one you should take note
    “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be
    indifferent to them; that’s the essence of humanity.”

    Now am I hypocritical ?..warm Onions, lover of mankind ?..nonsense

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  • @ Check -it
    Thanks ole friend….Glad we still have men of civility in here .

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  • Onions; You adverted to the ceremony of the investiture of the 100 new bajans earlier today and it was really an eye opener to see the report on CBC tonight. DT must be somewhat amazed to see where his beloved DLP now seems to be heading.
    Kudos to Sandiford for thinking up a proactive strategy to minimize or forestall the bad regional press that is sure to come with the holding of the Myrie case here. Good move. as it might arguably induce forgetfulness by the Guyanese and others of the earlier treatment under DT when they were definitely made to feel not welcome. I wonder if it will be enough to get them out to vote DLP in the coming elections. In any case, FS is doing something different and actually proactive. Good for him.

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  • @ Check-it
    You see this Myrie case…I feel we heading for a pinch of hell…this clever cleft will not be enough to shade us from the oncoming ..and I envision the worse….
    The mere fact that CCJ will make it a point to be here, contributes and enhances my suspicions.

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  • Wow! Looks like Old Onions came second in that battle. The problem with “Onions” is that he writes the same post every day and the theme is “Owen is god, Thompson is a thief and Freundel is a ninny”.

    Islandgal has said that she would like to see the back of the present Gov’t but even she got tired of the interminable diatribe and called out Onions on it so he in the Bajan parlance “get vex” and started to attack Islandgal who gave as good as she got and much more so now “Onions” limp away and has returned to quoting dead poets.

    Onions you should have quit while you were ahead no sense in alienating someone who may very well support your Party after all you want to put that PHD to use don’t you?

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  • chechitout if you regard spendind thousands of dollars to bring mr sandiford all the way from china to attend a ceremony motivated by naked political expediency proactive in these socalled hard economic times as proactive then we are in a bad shape.lord come for your world.

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  • Balance; What has cost got to do with proactivity for someone who is not known as being anything other than pusilanimously and proudly reactive? What does the bad economic times have to do with a political party bringing someone from halfway around the globe to do something that might bring in some votes? political expediency is par for the course for both parties. proactivity is far from par for FS.

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  • @onion

    why y paying me any mind though, your fight is with island and i am here to stoke the fire.

    Island burn he up, yah got he buy he old balls squeezing them.

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  • @Blogger Sarge
    You gentlemen should credit Onions with more sense than that…I will not fall victim to my own petard. However pitchin a sprat caught a whale…>>> ” ad occupatus ut averteretur a fein”

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  • Let those who have ears …let the hear
    castrametabuntur a sprt capere cetus

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  • @ Check-it
    What does the bad economic times have to do with a political party bringing someone from halfway around the globe to do something that might bring in some votes?
    *********************************************
    A lot for some…….when you catching at straws, a handful may save your seat……the DLP certainly will need to summons every one it can get…cost not the consideration.

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  • What butch stewart say and his real intentions are varying. at this point it the ones/with hard capital and willing to go for the long haul will be the new owners right now investors are squimish into putting money into markets that have a sizeable drop in tourisim .this not going to be an easy one to resolve without some financial and other comitment from the govt.

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  • Old Onions and Balance; No politician in Barbados has ever, to the best of my knowledge, bit the personal or party economic bullet. They’ve made the general public do so in spades. To expect FS to veto a proposal for Sir LLoyd to use scarce govt resources in a venture that could, even if farfetchedly, bring in some votes, is totally unrealistic

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  • @ Check-it
    You seem to know those goodly politicians too well ….to vouch for what a politician will do is a rather brave move…especially in these times.
    A politician is a special breed….we come to learn only too well……
    No deceit is so veiled as that which lies concealed behind the semblance of courtesy.

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  • I somehow believe that elections will be called in the next few weeks and that Sandy is here to give advice and support.

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  • The cost of a first class ticket from China to Barbados is approximately US 19922.68 DOLLARS. If Sandi was accompanied by his wife that would be US 39845.36 DOLLARS and BDS 79690.72 DOLLARS. Is this value for money in light of the ONE BILLION DOLLAR deficit in this year’s estimates? Why was it necessary to bring Sandi here for this partisan event?

    islandgal, I think you may be right as Freundel dont trust nobody in the DLP not even the Philip Greaves. My spouse thinks Sandi was brought home to become GG. Freundel certainly cannot call an election having not appointed a GG when he promised one by January 2012.

    By the way, what’s wrong with David Estwick?

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  • @ Prodigal
    Primary school chant : ” We shall see what we shall see…cows (now) in the meadow..one ..two.. three..”
    Wifey may be right …

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  • Prodigal I was asking the same question about Dr. Estwick. They say that no news is good news BUT in this case it sounds like real bad news to me. I hope is all right and I am wrong. I miss his big mouth in the house. Infact nuff of the government ministers looking worried.

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  • “bonum REMISSIO ad malum magnum os”

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  • vaccas in in prati .. unum .. duo .. tres.

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  • got your point checkitout but what a waste in theses perilous economic times.were any chineses in the citizenship mix?

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  • did not FS say that the call for election would not be dictated by any ones agenda. however personnally i think that with all that is happening it would be longer rather than sooner .in any case what is the hurry expect for the BLP yardflows who is salavating at the mouth looking fuh a quick fix

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  • ac
    The discussion on VOB 929 David Ellis has shifted to PM going to the IMF..reportedly to give a lecture..and thereon to a casual meet with the World Bank general manager……(warning signs gone off).

    Who would believe from a baton hand over to DT of $ 2 billion in Forg.Reserves it has come to this…? Who will want to be lectured to from us ? Don’t be fooled ac..the IMF will tell us when to call elections.

    The foot soldier population is bigger than we think ….

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  • I ask about Dr Estwick first
    I cant get an answer yet from nobody but his non-appearance and sudden silence is cause for concern.
    The DLP parliamentarians must do something about their excessive weight gain. Even Stuart got a big hump now. Dont talk about Richard Sealy and Harry Husbands. –All former bony men. It is not a healthy sign and looks pretty ignorant too. Add Donville Innis to the list
    ———————————–
    However , I must say that the DLP seems to be in trouble in many ways.

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  • I understand that Dr Estwick was ill and has now recovered. He is due back out to work next week.

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  • Tomorrow’s press briefing, to “clear the air”, by Neal & Massy should be interesting. Let’s hope the media ask enlightning questions. David did you get an invite :-)).?

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  • @independent

    A little blog must know its place…lol.

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  • Here we are again having to speculate if a minister of government is sick or not.

    This is an issue which should be addressed in a routine communication based on a declared government communications policy.

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  • Observing (and hoping)

    @david
    The magic question is IF something will be said when he reemerges….that would be even worse than the silence during the “hiatus”

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  • My friend who lives close to the grape vine tells me that the good Doctor is pulling one of his sulks. Apparently he was none too pleased that Frun Frun appointed Richard Sealy to act as PM. Now I don’t know if this is true, but I did see him in a shop in St. Philip when he could not be seen in the House. So he can’t be ill.

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  • #Bajan to d bone

    You may recall when he was transferred to agriculture he threatened to do many things but was otherwise persuaded. The DLP has issues and we all know it. The longer they wait to deal with them by electing to band aid the issues the rougher it will be. To those who will raise the point that similar issues exist with the BLP can be answered simply by suggesting the average voter is more comfortable with Arthur than Stuart at this point because of his perceived track record of success.

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  • Now who in the media has been misreprenting the matter. ABV is being closed and that is a fact. All the other stuff is horse manure.

    http://www.cbc.bb/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4148:almond-press-conference&catid=36:local-news&Itemid=59

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  • Not so fast David. Some “other stuff” that is important: did N&M enter in negotiations with the union re. staff? What can staff expect from N&M? What about the shareholders: what can they expect? Why are ARI shares still being traded on BSE. Is N&M, in its haste to offload ARI, willing to more or less give it away? We’re talking about prime beach front property here.

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  • @Independent

    N&M confirmed at the Special Meeting that the staff will be paid severance to comply with law.

    The FSC is the agency to speak to whether to suspend trading in shares.

    Agree that we need more transparency in the sale but at this point what additional can they do except to restage a Special Meeting to allow more minority shareholders to have a say.

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  • Agree with you David. So we’ll see.
    N&M say that they want to clear up some misconceptions that are floating around in the press. Wonder if they read BU??:-)). In that case Taylor may want to address some of the veiled and not so veiled accusations leveled at him on this blog….

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  • The firing of Ralph Taylor is a black eye for government when one considers he was the blue eye boy of tourism in Barbados and was crowned Chairman of the BTA.

    http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/on-way-out/

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  • Ralph Taylor is just another “fall guy”.

    They let him take the big juicy brass scale, run with it and then pin him.
    Then as he spiralled downward the shark cut him in half.and they cut the line and let the rest eat him.

    Old Onion bags claim to be a fisherman so he can deconstruct the above metaforic paragraph.

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  • independent wrote “Taylor may want to address some of the veiled and not so veiled accusations leveled at him on this blog”.

    Taylor needs to do damage control to protect himself from lawsuits and he has enough experience in the hotel industry to rise from the ashes.

    He made some mistakes. He is human.

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  • @Hants

    Taylor is a little Napoleon who show now have an appreciation for team work.

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    During the press conference , Gervase Warner referred to N&M ploughing $24 million into Almond (and I thought he said specifically ABV) over the last 24 months. Were these operational losses or debt servicing?
    IF it refers to ABV alone, then it makes no sense, as it would mean with an average annual occupancy of 80 per cent, they would have lost $104.40 for every occupied room night over that 24 month period.
    There are an awful lot of questions that need to be answered.

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  • Adrian Loveridge “Gervase Warner referred to N&M ploughing $24 million into Almond “.

    So the little Napolean was so powerful that his bosses gave him $24million to waste.

    What does Parris and Taylor have that they could mammguy Trini Bosses ?

    It would be interesting to find out how much of the food,liquor and other supplies were bought ffrom N&M owned companies?
    Get my drift?

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  • You guys have missed the point completely….Ralph Taylor is not a loser here!!!!

    He ends up with a lot of businesses, assets, money and out of the sight of the media is laughting all the way to the bank!

    I’m sure his businesses were fed off of Almond and Massy money!

    The Trinis and bajan non-management stock holders were HAD….taken to the bank, taken to the cleaners!!

    Ralph for a long time was untouchable: head of Almond, head of Barbados Tourism, Head of Caribbean Tourism this & that; free to do whatever he wanted; key officials of both parties; key elements of the media (have you ever seen a negative Ralph Taylor article in any of the local papers? why not???) How could a CEO have so many business conflicts without ever a question as to the negative impacts/negative potential impacts?

    I must hand it to him….he played the game well!

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  • @TooManyLawyers wrote “he played the game well!”

    The game ain’t over yet.

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  • http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/taylor-wasnt-pushed/

    There is a lot we can deduce from the above story. The BU intelligentia can comment.

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  • @Hants

    Believe BU that Taylor had to go. It is clear N&M has placed the blame of the ARI financial situation on Taylor’s decision (and his board of directors at the time) to expand in the aggressive way they he (they) did.

    Now that Taylor is on his way out perhaps he can explain the following position if Almond spent most of 2008 revamping its products. What happened?

    http://www.travelagentcentral.com/caribbean/almond-resorts

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  • I’m a former employee of Almond Beach Resorts and witnessed first hand the mismanagement of this organization. Ralph Taylor has raped the company as well as it’s employees of everything that they had and has now left them with nothing. He has been allowed to do this for years with no one challenging him on the questionable and risky business decisions he has made over the years. From the beginning Almond Beach Resorts kept two sets of accounting books – one that was presented to the auditors and the shareholders and then the real books showing his mismanagement. Ralph has a lot to account for and should be brought up on charges for mismanagement, embezzlement and fraud.

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  • Bimshire Boy
    From the beginning Almond Beach Resorts kept two sets of accounting books – one that was presented to the auditors and the shareholders and then the real books showing his mismanagement. Ralph has a lot to account for and should be brought up on charges for mismanagement, embezzlement and fraud.
    ********************************
    Why don’t you inform the relevant bodies now…….(annon-Crime Fighters). as you got nothing to lose ? Who knows you may be rewarded..

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  • The view of this hotelier concerning Taylor’s role in the hotels demise reconciles with BU’s. Now taxpayers may have to bail this thing:

    http://news.barbadostoday.bb/barticlenew.php?ptitle=Almond%20to%20blame&article=16219

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Down to Brass Tacks TODAY – Sunday at 11am – VOB929.com
    What went wrong with Almond Resorts?

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