Pure Beach Resort, Boom or Bust?

Submitted by Due Diligence
Artist rendering of Pure Beach Resort & Spa

A rendering of Pure Beach Resort & Spa

You will probably think I am flogging a dead horse; but since PURE Beach Resort has all the signs of being a dead horse, here goes anyway. I happened on a new  PURE Beach YouTube video posted recently. It is simply a new and expanded version of previous 3D renderings. There is also an October 2013 investor presentation. Clearly the promoters are still active flogging PURE Beach to unsophisticated “investors”.

I was going to post a comment to one of the BU Harlequin blogs   but thought it might not get much attention because the original post was too long for BU readers to take the time to read and digest. In your opening comment to the original blog you said the local press has since highlighted this matter. There having been no further reporting in the local media, I think it timely to resurrect the matter. I believe that you referred to the September 4 story in Barbados Today $500M snag: Luxury St. Philip tourism/residential project delayed by financial problems.

I recently also came across the original message from the management of Pure Beach Resort & Spa assuring their “founding members” the venture remains “attractive and viable” and that new joint venture partners were coming on board and additional sources of funding being secured”; which had apparently been leaked to Barbados Today and was the basis of its story. An April 24, 2013, letter to Dear Founding Members is posted on the website of M. Montgomery Insurance, of Bradford, Ontario.

At http://mmins.com  you will see Pure Beach listed as an “Alternative Investment”; so it would follow that Montgomery is selling the Pure Beach project to its clients.  The letter to the Founding Members was likely received by Montgomery as a Founding Member (whatever that means), and it posted it (in the NEWS tab) to allay the concerns of those who made an investment through them. As you can see in the letter, Management says “Each of these firms (The institutional lenders/investors) has been afforded full and transparent information on the current status of PURE project”.

Questions for the Attorney General, Minister of Finance and the Minister to whom Town and Country Planning reports.  Has PURE afforded full and transparent information on the current status of PURE project to GO?.  If so, will they afford the Barbados public with full and transparent information on the current status of PURE project?  If they have not been afforded full and transparent information on the current status of PURE project, will they demand it?

The letter also says “Barbados has weathered that recession and is beginning to recover: visitor arrivals have increased through the past number of years and are up this Winter, over last year”.  That is simply not true.

Ecoterra/PURE Beach has been promoting this project as far back as 2008 (three years before conditional approval was granted by T&CDP). There is no way of knowing how many unsophisticated “investors” have made deposits for units in PURE Beach; but it is reasonable to guess that hundreds, if not thousands, of “investors” in Canada, Korea and elsewhere have purchased or  made deposits on PURE Beach units

It now being over seven months since being advised of the financing problems and no apparent resolution to those problems, the “trust” of the investors in PURE (the Founding Members), will be growing thin; and litigation would seem inevitable.

With the embarrassment of Four Seasons, Harlequin/Merricks and other similar “investment opportunities”; Barbados can ill-afford another tarnish on its reputation as a place to invest and own a vacation home.  It is time for Government to take whatever action required to stop the madness at Foul Bay, prevent any further investment by unsuspecting and unsophisticated “investors”, and spare Barbados the further embarrassment of another major financial scandal should (when) the PURE house of cards comes tumbling down.

4 thoughts on “Pure Beach Resort, Boom or Bust?

  1. DD is disappointed at the lack of comments and apparent lack interest from the BU Family on what may be a major international scam, and could be a serious blemish on the Barbados Brand in the international investment community.

    Kudos, though, to Shawn Cumberbatch, who wrote “$500M snag: Luxury St. Philip tourism/residential project delayed by financial problems” in Barbados Today on September 4; and published excerpts from the “update” dated November 26 to the “founding members” in the online edition of The Nation today at the link:


    DD copied the article (below) at about 7:30 am; and at 11:30 am it appears to have been pulled from the Nation website. DD hopes Shawn Cumberbatch has not be disciplined for reporting on a document that was apparently leaked to him.

    The text of the story follows.


    China’s appetite for investing millions of dollars in Barbados is being tested by the developers of a stalled luxury tourism and residential project.
    More than two years after they broke ground at the site of their proposed resort at Foul Bay, St Philip, foreign investors behind the Pure Beach Resort & Spa (PBR) have now turned to the Asian giant in a bid for US$300 million in financing.
    And if the deal involving an unnamed “Chinese construction entity” now working in The Bahamas fails to materialize, PBR’s management is banking on financial support from other sources.
    They included “a Toronto-based corporate finance firm” (US$47 million in bridge financing plus the option of US$240 million in project financing), “a United States of America/United Kingdom-based private equity firm” (US$150 million in a series of US$20 million disbursements), and “a New York City-based private equity firm to complete the project (US$240 million).
    However, based on documented information seen by BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY, it appears the project’s principals are placing their greatest hopes on getting the Chinese funding.
    In an “update” dated November 26, 2013, the “PBR Management Team” said while US$17 million had already been pumped into the project, significantly more funds were needed to get it to the building stage.
    Calling the proposed Chinese deal the “first option of total funding”, they said the negotiations entailed accessing US$300 million to provide a “turnkey” solution of financing and construction.
    Noting that this type of funding was a senior debt at four per cent interest per annum for a term of ten years, the document said the Barbados project was introduced to the Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas in July, and that official introduced a senior official in charge of Caribbean projects to PBR “to conduct fact finding and due diligence on the potential partnership between PBR and the subject company”.
    “The officer of the subject company explained that their efficiencies can be maximized, as much of the construction resources deployed in The Bahamas will be transferred to Barbados when an agreement is reached on PBR project participation,” the information added, noting that meetings between the parties were held on September 13 and 14 in The Bahamas and again on September 27 and October 3.
    As for plan B, which involved securing financing from the Toronto firm, PBC’s management said the bridge financing will allow it “to complete all pre-construction requirements, such as completion of construction [engineering] drawings, grading of the land”.
    “Once the construction (engineering) drawings are completed, the actual floor plans for PBR can be provided. This will allow Sotheby’s to begin pre-construction sales of PBR units. In addition to bridge financing, a provision is agreed on an alternative source of project financing for PBR in case the Chinese construction company turnkey solution is delayed,” they said.
    “While we are progressing on institutional financing, there has been a significant reinvestment into PBR by existing investors and new participants for soft-cost funds. The soft-cost funds will facilitate pre-construction requirements such as completion of construction drawings and creation of a reserve fund for the purpose of proof of funds required in some financing structures. In all cases, soft-cost funds will prepare us for construction to begin in a timely manner.”
    As currently proposed, the St Philip project will be “a 309-unit mixture of one, two, and three-bedroom luxury condo units on 18 acres of land. About 55 of the units are designed to be used as hotel suites”. It is being led by Canadian resident Sang H. Park.”

    End quote.

    Publication of the the excerpts from the “update”, which was obviously leaked to Cumberbatch (not by DD), is a good “heads-up” that something may be rotten in the State of Barbados,; but is not exactly in-depth investigative reporting.

    The following is an excerpt from an August 29, 2008, Press Release from the New Brunswick Securities Commission, which it is believed refers to the same Sang H. Park.

    “Sanctions imposed on securities salesperson

    SAINT JOHN (CNB) – A 10-year ban on participating in capital markets has been imposed on Sang H. Park of Toronto, Ont., as part of a settlement agreement approved by a New Brunswick Securities Commission-hearing panel. The agreement also imposes an administrative penalty of $15,000 plus costs of $3,000.

    The panel found that Park made an insufficient effort to ensure that New Brunswick residents who were investing in, or who were considering investing in, the securities he was promoting were qualified as accredited investors”

    DD believes “Chinese construction entity” now working in The Bahamas to be the China State Construction and Engineering Corporation which is building the massive Baha Mar Resort; and the Asian giant to which PBR has turned to in a bid for US$300 million in financing is believed to be Export-Import Bank of China, which is financing the $3.6 billion Baha Mar Resort.

    If the Chinese, with their not-so-secret Caribbean agenda, do not have an appetite build and invest $300 million in PBR; it is almost certain that the promoters will not find financial support from a Toronto-based corporate finance firm or a United States of America/United Kingdom-based private equity firm.

    The “investors” (Founding Members) who have already pumped $17 million into the project (Where did it go?) can kiss their money goodbye.

    • @DD

      Because the BU family has not shown an interest to date can probably be explained given the prevailing climate. Barbados is sailing in uncharted waters.

  2. Given the lack of interest in this blog the first time around, I thought it timely to resurrect it. PURE Beach Resort is clearly a dead duck which has undoubtedly SCAMMED international investors with dreams of owning a piece o de rock, and in so doing has damaged Barbados’ reputation as a place to invest..

    Here is a 2009 promo, still posted on Youtube

    Here is the speech by Attorney General Hon. Adriel Brathwaite at the October 2011 Ground Breaking, still posted on Youtube

    Besides its own website, http://www.purebeachresort.com, the promoters have used many internet sites to promote the “project”

    The primary site used in most recent times is Issuu.com where there are 35 separate promotional documents posted at:


    That the most recent documents were published at Issuu in November 2013; suggests the promoters have abandoned the project.

    Unlike the Harlequin Merricks scam, PURE Beach has not received widespread media coverage, so the “investors” may not yet realize they have been taken.

    There is no way of knowing how many unsophisticated “investors” purchased or made deposits on units at PURE Beach; but given the amount of internet exposure given to the project, and apparent endorsement by the Attorney General and Government, there must certainly be hundreds, if not thousands, who will be counting their losses and vowing never to taken in by another Barbados Scam or to set foot in the country that has made this possible by looking the other way.

    In October 2013 the Financial Services Commission issued a warning cautioning investors about the Barbados Sea Island Cotton promotion (scam) by Canadian Jonathan Bryant being done through the Internet at:


    The Advocate reported it at


    Before any further damage is done to Barbados reputation as a place to invest, FSC should publish a similar warning about the Canadian promoters of PURE Beach Resort.

    And the Attorney General should use his Office to put an end to the madness at Foul Bay

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