Lifting the Veil

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

I would like this week to stay on the subject of transparency and communication in the tourism industry, and the underlying speculation, misunderstanding and consequential harm that can result by not ensuring these virtues are carried out successfully. In both major newspapers last Sunday was the announcement of an auction, set to take place the following Saturday, of many ‘goods and chattels’ owned by Almond Beach Village which closed its doors two weeks short of a year ago.

Yet in another arm of the media, a few weeks ago, under the banner headline Buying backwe were told that of the four options on the table, ‘Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will sit with his Cabinet to agree to buy back Almond Beach Village and its brand for almost $110 million’. The article went on, ‘The plan, being piloted by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, calls for a US$10 million refurbishment project, after which the sprawling 400-room facility will be turned over to former staff, who have submitted a plan to operate it’.

The purported logic behind choosing this fourth option was justified based on the time the property would be out of service, citing the other three alternatives as taking too long to implement. Other verbatim quotes include ‘In view of the urgency of this need, it is now proposed that Government seek to immediately acquire Almond Beach Village’ and ‘with a view of reopening in an effort to supplement room stock for 2013 and beyond’.

In the scheme of things, perhaps during the little under three months since these statements were made, so much could have changed. But surely in the interest of all those it could effect, least of all the severed staff, explain to the public what is now going on?

The first question: if you were seriously intent on re-opening the hotel in the shortest possible time, why auction all or part of the components that make it operational? Again, it is a classic example of lugubrious communication, with not just the industry, but also the taxpayer, who clearly will have to to pay the bills if the Cabinet’s decision is invoked.

And finally, I would like to finish this week on the subject of the Harlequin saga. At first I was going to describe it as the Harlequin debacle, but there has been nothing sudden about this whole sordid affair, as the political administration have been aware of it for years. Millions of Dollars of unpaid bills to contractors, suppliers, salaries a quoted ‘$80,000’ alone to the NIS and we have not even been told if there are other uncollected obligations like land tax or VAT.

Add to this the loss of possible profits to the private sector, income tax and NIS contributions, corporation tax, compounded by payment of unemployment benefits as a result, exacerbates the situation. This at a time when legitimate small businesses like ours are owed tens of thousands of dollars in outstanding VAT refunds for over two and a half years.

I really hope Government will learn something from this. It is long overdue that due diligence checks are a prerequisite to granting planning permission and ensuring legally, all ‘investor’ deposits are held in escrow pending an actual title sale [construction]. Once again, its needless damage control, when this scenario could have been entirely avoided.

0 thoughts on “Lifting the Veil

  1. It is clear that our government leaders are out of touch with reality. Buy back Almond Beach???? Government can’t run its own departments and they want to get back into the hotel industry?? Perhaps they are the ones holding up the sale. The man from the Crane is the best person to sell it to. What a bunch of idiots! We are really in a BADDD BAD way!

  2. Two definitions of mirage

    1. Something illusory or insubstantial
    2. Something that appears real or possible but is not.

    It turns out that The Miracle at Merricks is in fact the Merricks Mirage

  3. @Adrian

    Can you give a report about the meeting by tourism officials and the police held at Divi last week?

    Also not that the shooting of the Prior’s is featured prominently in today’s UK Daily Mail.

  4. David, Sadly I cannot give an account of the meeting, because we are no longer members of the BHTA and I was not there. We have had to make some very difficult decisions, due to monies owed to us by Government (VAT) and that was one of the casualties. The global media is dominated today. from a Caribbean perspective by the attack on ten British visitors on St. Lucia.

  5. Remember, military bases were to close, so this could be an excuse not to close some. But that does not excuse the killing of people and children who just turned out to watch a race.

  6. Living in large countries with a steady diet of daily violence tends to sensitize us against things such as bombings……….one guy who was at the marathon said he saw a leg fly past his head, this drew belly laughs from a group of people i was hanging with…………no one can be bothered being horrified anymore, we have seen too much already.

  7. Gp
    Signs of the times. Global economic chaos; social chaos; disintegration of social frameworks – crime and disorder; food, water and energy insecurity.

  8. My heart goes out to those who lost their lives senselessly today. There are so many “psychos” out there who just want to do others harm.

    But back to Almond Beach. I agree with you Adrian, I thought the same things as you. In the Throne Speech, the GG said “my government will restore and refurbish Almond Beach” and weeks after the whole thing blow up in their faces.

    Let’s be real, the government is flat broke, if year after year you are spending over ONE BILLION DOLLARS more than you take in, how the hell can the government buy Almond Beach? They have NO money and NIS will soon be broke as well. The mere fact that Stinkliar moved ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS out of our Severance Fund tells the whole story.

    I hope all the people who will have to depend to be paid out of the Severance Fund, should they be severed, are taking note of this!

    We have to conclude that the lying DLP gave the GG a whole lot of lies to tell to the people and poor soul he was not aware of this.

  9. 2 Timothy Chapter 3

    1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

  10. Well Well you should think about the people you hang around with, lest you be tarred with the old adage water finds its own level.Law and order disintigrates when good people do not stand up for what is right. When people turn a blind eye to crimes committed around them allowing evil to prevail the life you live and that of your children will suffer.

  11. Lawson…….I heard that…… might have just been a reaction to another act of violence, over the last few months we have been seeing some of the most heinous crimes perpetrated in North America, it appears as though as long as it does not touch people personally there is not alot of human emotion.

  12. over a million Chinese old and young alike including innocent babies suffocated to death at the hands of greedy capitalist who continues to seek fortune and cheap labour and not a peek from anybody. the silence on this most horrific act of genocide brought on these people with the help of their own govt is deafening.The air is filled with polluants ; but does it matter?
    Apparently not as long as cheap jeans and gucci handbags are well kept in stock it is O.k for them to die . where is the public outcry?
    However at todays events everyone is in Shock and awe ! why the different sentiments. Have society become so callous and selfish that only what matters is self and a cheap things .,
    For god sake these are people too.1million dead yearly and counting from the hands of greedy captalist

  13. Just out of curiosity AC……… you buy any chinese products??, it’s not a trick question, since everything is made in China today?

  14. @ GP
    Perhaps you could give us an exegesis of this scripture for clarity… 🙂

    Would “lovers of their own selves” include an increasing preference (and acceptance thereof) for homosexual relationships? …or is this only plain old selfishness..?

    Does “incontinent” explain the lotta peeing all ’bout the place – especially by Bajan men? …or is it only the tempers that are difficult to control? (Like how ac always at the Bushman’s throat?)

    Finally, the last verse says “…..from such, turn away”
    ….should Bushie turn away from Islandgal? …from ac?
    ….was the QC taking this advice with the high Judge last week..?

    Zoe would have gone back to the Greek to get to the bottom of these issues, but he like he get an early rapture…so it is up to you to fill the shoes GP…

  15. WHATS with the Banner -BU ?
    Is this not a picture from Haiti
    What is the significance
    We missed it
    What is the the significane again ?


  16. bUSHIE

    Finally, the last verse says “…..from such, turn away”
    ….should Bushie turn away from Islandgal? …from ac?
    ….was the QC taking this advice with the high Judge last week..?

    Zoe would have gone back to the Greek to get to the bottom of these issues,

  17. Prodigal Son; Where is the report on the alleged 100 million moved by Sinckler from the Severance Fund? Is that a fact?

    Bushtea; The quote from GP reminds me of the numerous readings of Edgar Cayce about Atlantean times and that period of cataclysms and the division of entities there into people with either “service to self” or “service to others” orientations. Perhaps the more things change the more they remain the same.

  18. @ Chedkit-Out
    …you realize of course that Cayce was a bushman…!? 🙂

    Perhaps the more things change the clearer it becomes that the fundamental purpose of living is largely independent of the things to which we attach most importance….

    Can you imagine the impact that Cayce could have had, if a forum such a BU existed to facilitate his ‘readings’?
    … wait! Bushie forgot about ac, Onions and Islandgal….that “Trinity” would have driven the poor man to an early grave…. 🙂

  19. It is quite possible that the bombs were planted by Christians so as to make it possible for other Christians to stand up and quote prophecy. I say round them all up for questioning.

    It is also quite possible that the bombs were planted by ppl from the Caribbean who as of late were the targets of unflattering international press reports on criminal activity.

    If my comments seem uncaring, it is that as per ac’s sentiments, people are dying horrendous deaths all over that world, needless deaths that are as a direct result of institutionalized greed. I have grown numb …

  20. Over a decade ago, this idiot stood opposed to the CSME. This idiot was trying to get across the notion that it was a cover for entrance into the FTAA, and that the result would be and all out grab for ALL of the worthwhile domestic businesses by the biggest sharks in the sea. Every economist with a voice insisted that it was a proper course to steer, there would be more businesses competing in the market space that would result in lower prices. There was virtually NO opposition (I didn’t count and still don’ count). To me it was the BIGGEST blunder that the collective wisdom of the economist fraternity has ever unleashed on a hapless population.

    They (the economists) should all be rounded up for questioning ..

  21. @ BAFBFP
    …skippa, you think you could have been more against CSME than Bushie?
    Obviously Owen got the idea from the Old Gold, ….but how the HELL did so many others go along with the crass idiocy called CSME?

    What economist what?!
    Snake medicine salesmen…
    All Economist should be rounded up for mandatory reprogramming.

    • The association with Rihanna is also expected to take the Barbados brand into 19 million homes via social media like FaceBook and Instagram

      Minister of Tourism – DLP website

  22. David
    To those who think this si the way to market a country; they have to be related to Fractured BLP or the Prono King who sits in the House Of Assembly. Could some one tell me if Donville Inniss was consultant on this video; Ac and CCC could say.

    • As we continue to fulminate to borrow Lemuel’s word here is what is happening in 2013:

      Barbados Statistical Service website down again and still NO arrival figures for February posted yet (45 days later)

  23. The problem is that we have no standards at all if we do it is low standards! I attended the NCF evening of music at the Hilton Hotel last Friday. When I presented my ticket at the door I was told it was a duplicate. I let them know that was what they gave me at the NCF and there were several duplicates on the table. Anyway I was allowed in. There were many Barbadians who turned out to hear the talented Debbie Reifer, Gabby, Arturo Tappin to name a few of the musicians there. There was limited seating on benches and on the fort there were many VIP areas. Now these benches were the ones used in infants school with no back support. I asked how can people sit on these hard seats for hours without no back support. I was told that we were lucky to get any seating at all because the NCF did not cater for seating and it was the Hilton that decided to assist the attendees. The Minister of culture arrived with his wife in a suit and tie for this casual event and was whisked away from the other patrons to his VIP tent on the fort where he can look down at the people. Arriving in a suit and tie? Where was he think he was going??? Everyone was dressed casually elegant and he was the only one in a suit and tie. If he were truly a culture Minister he would have been mixing with the patrons and chatting to them. Well he sat on the top of the fort being catered to by his peeps. I am disappointed how this event was organized. It was not very good, the snack area was upstairs and the bar was downstairs. The snack being sold were supposed to be fishcakes, I renamed them wishcakes, the worst I had ever tasted. I told the chef that he needed to taste them before he took them out of the kitchen. Overall it was not a properly organized function. The problem is that mediocrity is the standard of the day. Can’t we do anything properly??? I give the NCF a 4/10

  24. I am confused – In Barbados Today (today) the BHTA President is quoted as saying in relation to the recent Almond Beach Village auction – ‘There were no items from the operations of the hotel’ and ‘nothing from the hotel itself’. Yet if you look at the list of items offered including water sports equipment, busses etc., this is difficult to understand.
    Can anyone clarify please?

  25. Adrian

    “The global media is dominated today. from a Caribbean perspective by the attack on ten British visitors on St. Lucia.”

    Is this all that you have to say on this matter”

    If this had taken place in Barbados you and the BLP jokers would have been foaming at the mouth trying to embarrass the Barbados Government., just rember that Adrian.

    The more the monkey climb the more he shows his tail

    F.I.F.T.Y. F.I.V.E. (55) tourists and Two (2) CREW members assaulted at one time in your beloved St. Lucia and you have little say on the matter.

    I was waiting to see what else you have to say on the matter, but nary another word. I guess you don’t want to embarrass the St. Lucian Government that is reserved solely for the Barbados Government and people of Barbados where you are making your millions!

    “Celebrity Cruises confirmed that 55 passengers and two crew members were visiting the Botanical Gardens in Soufriere on Friday when the incident occurred.

    The trip was one of the shore excursions in St Lucia offered to passengers making the two-week voyage on board the vessel Celebrity Eclipse.

    Tourism officials described the incident as “rare” and “unfortunate”, but said no-one was hurt. However, a member of the internet forum Cruise Critic currently on the same voyage claimed a woman had fallen and broken her leg during the robbery.”

    Don’t worry it is clear you are just out damage Barbados.

    I wish you the best of “luck”.

  26. What really upsets me about this is that we have a beautiful boardwalk that was probably one of the best things that has happened to the south coast in a long time for both locals and tourists and now we have this empty half knocked down building smack in the middle.. wait till the vagrants start to book into the hotel for the night.. more crime waiting to happen!

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