I have been following the various views expressed, vested or otherwise, over the last few weeks comparing the merits of proceeding with the stated non-binding Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Sandals group of companies and Government or allowing the current operator of Almond Beach Village to take over the entire property. What appears dismally lacking is any comprehensive analysis detailing the potential financial benefits of both options for the short, medium and long term. With Sandals now closed, at least until December, the majority of fiscal activity will be generated by construction, where virtually all materials used are imported and require foreign exchange to pay for them.
Even with just 160 rooms out of a total of 396 currently open, Almond St. Peter will continue to earn somewhere around BDS$2 million per month at 85 per cent occupancy. With all rooms fully functional that amount would increase to approximately BDS$6 million. Meaningful employment would not only be retained but substantially grown year round increasing NIS and tax contributions to Government. And on the subject of tax, the current Almond ‘managers’ still pay VAT and from what I understand largely source the majority of consumables locally.
Then there is the critical airlift support question. Nearly 16,000 seats this year have been lost with the closure of Sandals. Almond is helping to fill around 300 of these per week, based on current room availability which could climb to nearly 800 weekly, if the entire hotel was open, based on an average 7 night stay. When, as planned, Almond then closes again on April 2015, it will be years before a new Beaches adds any additional or replacement airlift. Whether during the interim this leads to even more reduction in air services, either in frequency or curtailment of routes, only time will tell.
Meanwhile another 240 rooms remain empty, abandoned and unproductive at the derelict Sam Lords Castle, as the CLICO debacle slumbers on and on. The current administration has been less than candid over what amounts of NIS, land and other taxes are still outstanding by the owners of this property. As a preferred creditor in this case, it is also puzzling that over $100 million can be found to buy Almond, but not a lesser amount to acquire and restore, what is in many respects, an equally attractive location with tremendous land potential for expansion.
The site lends itself to building a new conference centre, providing over two hundred truly 4 star suites and the possibility of enticing a world brand to manage it. There is probably no better location than Long Bay to attract substantial numbers of incentive or motivational groups either. Despite the open hostility frequently directed at hoteliers on Barbados the general public perhaps tend to forget that Government is in fact already the largest single owner of accommodation room stock on the island.
Very few of us in the private sector consider this desirable or even sustainable, but until our political directorate levels the playing field, as has been repeatedly promised for months, this is very unlikely to change in the near future.
Pingback: Sandals, Almond, Butch, Bernie…Decisions, Decisions, Decisions | Black In Barbados
Those who have been made TAX victims in this country must get up and help the CUP win the government of this country, so that at the end of the day the CUP will help remove this evil wicked TAXATION system from the political landscape of this country and so that they and nobody else will be TAX victims in this country.
What is the CUP doing to articulate its position using mass media? What is the CUP doing to organize itself? Get real!
For years Bajans were convinced that ‘soil technicians’ were grave robbing. Today in the Nation, we now see a rental casket business growing. We wondered whether there was a gestation period for this business all along. And that we were right all along! LOL
This is not new, it has graduated to coffins but it began with digging up old graves and scaterring the bones all over the place.
David | April 14, 2014 at 6:25 AM | @
Understand the Elections were bought, paid for stolen and the police stood
The people voted . Now they must feel the PAIN for what they voted for and sold their Votes for, They love name calling , drinking and making fun at the time of election stage games ,
The people also voted and paid Union dues for crook to speak for them ,
Once again , they were crooked out of money and work. Sold out ,
The People must now feel the pain of their bad ways and see first hand who was speaking the truth before the vote.
The CUP can not get in the way ,of what they sold their votes for and elected Union Crooks,
If the CUP get in the way the People will never see the end of the show the DBLP government is putting on for the World to see,
The CUP will look like trouble makers as the Union and the DBLP government turn on us and loose the focus of their nice work in running the Nation in to the mud of Barbados.
Let hope by the next vote they will remember NOW , We are gathering FACTS, FINDINGS ,
Barbados is a 166 square mile crime scene .
Court will be held next election and the People will once again have a chance to Chuse their Government .
Thy Kingdom Come.
David | April 14, 2014 at 6:25 AM |
What is the CUP doing to articulate its position using mass media? What is the CUP doing to organize itself? Get real!@
Yes David get real .
The CUP is very real , More real than all the media houses in Barbados and Even Jamaica .
CARIBBEAN 360 , NOT REAL
NATION NOT REAL
ADVOCATE NOT REAL
CBC NEWS NOT REAL
REPORTERS IN BARBADOS PAID TO SHUT UP AND SLIDE THE TRUTH OF MATTERS.
BARBADOS TODAY TRYING MORE THAN OTHERS
BARBADOS FREE PRESS HIDE INFORMATION SENT TO THEM
BAJAN REPORTER WAS TOLD NOT TO LOOK INTO THINGS , HIS WORDS HE DONT WANT TO BE LYNCHED , along that line of warnings to Him.and to leave well enough alone,
DPP AND POLICE AND THE DBLP GOVERNMENT GOING AFTER FREE SPEECH OF TRUTH ,
One thing you will see DAVID, The CUP HAS NOT CHANGE ITS WORD OR WORDS TOWARDS THE TRUTH BEING TOLD
All the media have tape recordings , video , pictures, they can play them at any time ,But they Chuse to hide truth and put out what the DBLP government want them to play on CBC and what they print in their controlled papers and printing press,Ask your Media friends to play the tape and the news conference we held and taped recording in the CBC NEWS room ,
Timothy Slinger of the Nation who rob Violet Beckels of $2500bds,after trusting him to cash a $6000bds check for her , Who brought her to Ralph Thorne crook lawyer who crook $4500bds. All reported to the police and BAR, Nothing happen was promoted to QC during the time he was before the BAR as Kieth Simmons sat their with other members hiding the truth. When out of no where after he leave the BAR on his own and a BOMB threat came in to clear the Old High Court to interrupt the hearing.
Lawyer and Media working well together ,to shut down free and truth speech .
Why have you not shared the videos, recordings with BU?
“This is not new, it has graduated to coffins but it began with digging up old graves and scaterring the bones all over the place”
Frankly i am not seeing the link between the stealing of coffins from old graves and the digging up of old graves and scattering the bones all over the place. Like in everything else, there will be those few who act in breach of rules and regulations and ‘soil technicians ‘ are no different particulary those contracted to dig graves without supervision. There is some evidence that this nefarious practice of ‘scattering bones’ particularly obtains in ‘grave yards’ managed by churches who tend to adopt this undignified approach in diposing of remains which they find in the course of preparing graves without suervision for burials; but this is simply not the norm and certaining not in Government run cemeteries where the digging of graves is done under supervision. Furthermore, for ‘soil Technicians’ to engage in the business of stealing coffins from graves does not make sense since they must have a ready made market to dispose of their deadly product which would make Funeral homes complicit in their action of resurrection.
Frankly I’m at a bit of a loss to see where digging up of bones and selling caskets has anything to do with the headed subject matter.
One of the characteristics of a Bajan is we like order yet we are perplexed about our lack of entreprenuership. Let free thinking and contributions rein, a little lattitude in these matters is encourage and BU will use judgement to intervene.
“This is not new, it has graduated to coffins but it began with digging up old graves and scaterring the bones all over the place”
Me too but since the issue was raised i decided to give my two cents on the matter.
David | April 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM |
Why have you not shared the videos, recordings with BU?@
All the media have tape recordings , video , pictures, they can play them at any time ,But they Chuse to hide truth and put out what the DBLP government want them to play on CBC and what they print in their controlled papers and printing press,Ask your Media friends to play the tape and the news conference we held and taped recording in the CBC NEWS room .
The media have them for their pvt info , but not play on TV nor radio,
as said before you will have to ask them , During the Elections We said what we had to say, It never made it on CBC. They pick and Chuse parts that let you know nothing , but to say we had air time, But they did play the part where the PM called me a NON – NATIONAL ,WHICH IS ANOTHER LIE FROM A CROOK LIARS AND SCUMBAG THAT BARBADOS HAVE,I WILL SAY TO HIS FACE , WILL THEY PLAY THAT ON CBC?
Do you realize the Caribbean360 link you posted is alreqdy a blog below?
“Sandals, Almond, Butch, Bernie………..isn’t the last one supposed to be the oldest scam artist on the island? heard busy Bizzy said that was his bestest (sic) male friend…just asking
David why don’t you give PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2014 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad a separate post so he can blog all day without interrupting the “flow” of every post on BU?
I have decided NOT to read anything written by him or domnkey but support their right to free speech and my right to complain about people who write shiite ad nauseum.
You are correct there is a price to pay for guarding free speech. The CUP needs a Communications Strategist.
A Siamese twin friend of mine swears by Barbados….it is the only chance his brother gets to drive
WHAT HAS BECOME OF YARDBROOM?
He posted a comment to Looking Glass blog a few months ago and that is the last time. He obviously monitors the blog. Maybe he is disappointed in Stuart,,,lol,
Hants | April 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM @ We sure you love the long talk getting no where in the minds of people , More than 100 years missing that you need to know about and feel it in your pockets each day,
The DLP and BLP talk bull each week and you must enjoy them Jamming you, Well help stop it or enjoy the feeling,
This is time for you all to feel and see what you keep voting for and not do nothing until it hurts, Then soon you may say you had enough and look to do some thing , We are blogging and doing more than most besides the DBLP playing putty with your brains,
lead , follow or get the hell out of the way ,
When someone ask a question , we give the answer, unless you have the answers already, Share with us, We know the Roots of the Fraud , what do you know , share with us.
@ David | April 14, 2014 at 7:45 PM |
HAVE NOT SEEN HIM MUCH SINCE THE ELECTION
I LOVE TO READ HIS PROSE
I am desperately trying to link these comments to the original article. Am I missing something?
“There is a price to be paid for guarding free speech”
We have had this discussion before, free speech carries/ entails an obvious responsible Hants. Speech which is designed to cause harm or incite riotous behaviour falls outside the frontier of constitutional protection. Justice of the US Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that, ” Free speech doesn’t give one the right to shout fire in a crowed cinema, when there is no fire.”
Final point on the issue of freedom of speech… We all can agree on the fact that the role of the media in a democracy is integral to its very survive. But in some rare instances, what the media reports can at times compromise the national security or derail an on going criminal investigation.
British Airways confirmed that it has added £10 to ticket prices to six destinations – Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Kingston in Jamaica.
It said the move was “in response to market conditions” but one Caribbean tourist board said it was shocked at the decision. A Caribbean specialist operator described the move as “disappointing” so soon after the reduction in APD.
When I read your comments about the derelict Sam Lords Castle, I did a bit of searching on the property.
Among literally hundreds of hits, I found the following Nation article.
Focus on Sam Lord’s Castle
MON, JUNE 04, 2012 – 4:36 PM
One of Barbados’ most famous but derelict hotels may feature in the House of Assembly tomorrow, with Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley slated to move a resolution to compulsorily acquire land at Sam Lord’s Castle in Long Bay, St Philip.
The 23.5-hectare property, which houses the abandoned Sam Lord’s Castle Resort and accompanying buildings, is being acquired by Government for housing purposes, tourism development and beach access.
Notice was first given of the resolution in the Lower House in April 2010.
Do you know the status of the compulsory acquisition Minister Lashley was slated to move in 2012.
Also, I agree that there is probably no better location than Long Bay to build over two hundred truly 4 star suites.
But, instead of Government building and owning the suites, why not sell the property to a world brand and let the brand use its own money to build it.
resolution to compulsorily acquire land at Sam Lord’s Castle in Long Bay, St Philip@
Ever and seen nor hear so much being ACQUIRE LANDS ,, of such a small island , seem like the Government does it so easy and from Who do they get all of this land from , The to go in to business where they take and crook monies fro the time the crooked idea enter their minds , Look all over the island where they take over with no proof of ownership , Dam Crooks .
DD, Thank you. I vaguely remember the proposed resolution but did not hear any outcome. I am certainly not in favour of Government owning anymore room stock here, but sadly very few of the major hotel brands are into building their own hotels anymore. If I had a choice and bearing our dismal performance in the USA (2013 recorded the lowest long stay visitors arrivals for 11 consecutive years) I would perhaps be looking for a strong US brand like OMNI.
Didn’t the government plan to construct a housing development on part of the property? Will have to check parliament website to see if government’s cumpulsory acquisition went through.
I know from your posts that the out-of-date websites upset you.
While doing my Sam Lords searches, I came across:
I do not believe that visit-barbados.com is a Government site; but I do think it might be a good idea if BTA would take the time to have the owners of the site take down the Sam Lords page.
I was also interested to learn on the visit-barbados.com home page that;
“Tax free shopping and competitive pricing guarantees good value. Whether you frequent the quiet courteous air conditioned shops or purchase hand crafted goods from street vendors… shoppers can rest assured that they are buying genuine, high quality products. Prices can often be as much as 30% to 50% cheaper than the regular prices in Europe and North America.”
Adrian Loveridge | April 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM | I am certainly not in favour of Government owning anymore room stock here, but sadly very few of the major hotel brands are into building their own hotels anymore@
Adrian Lover,@ DBLP GOVERNMENT HAVE TO TAKE LEAD IN THE LAND MASSIVE FRAUD . very few none of the big boy will risk building on land with no clear title , Only a few will build on the back of the government , There no free market , to find the owner ,to make a deal , to get approved to build, Anytime theses crook Ministers see ways to make money they jump in , Take the land and the money moves
Unreal you all talk numbers and rooms and never look or admit some thing is wrong and fraud, Just looking at the money and people in your own rooms,
The Ministers , lawyers ,Builders , hotel owner, DO NOT CARE OR GIVE A SHE-IT about the people of Barbados ,In return non of the things you Bitch about will ever be fixed the RIGHT WAY.
WHEN THIS GOVERNMENT CHANGE EVEN IF ITS 20YEARS FROM NOW WHEN THE CROOKS, LIARS AND SCUMBAGS ARE DEAD, it will b fixed , like the slave masters of old.
I think the BTA should have a good look at the own websire first. Despite being pointed out months ago, Casuarina is still listed. NOT Almond, Not Couples and not Sandals.
The government is waiting until the split is completed.
David, thy Jest?
There is a friends of Sam Lords face book page. Check it out and sign up if you can. Very interesting reading. We are developing a 3-D digital recreation of the building as part of our attraction …!
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
“The best way to make your dreams come true
is to wake up.” – Muhammad Ali
A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. – Muhammad Ali
With age comes wisdom; with wisdom comes respect.
Impossible is not a fact. – Muhammad Ali
Shaking up the world is hard work!
BAFBFP | April 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM@ very sad S AM LORD
IT ALL CAN NOT HAPPEN WITH OUT LAND AND TO FIND AND I.D , THE CROOKS CLICO PLAN TO PULL OUT CASH BEFORE THE COURTS GET TO THEM OR PLANTATION DEEDS,
Thanks for the link. The comments are heart-breaking.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, metaphor is a word or phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar.
Sad to say that the way things are now, Sam Lord’s Castle may be a metaphor for Barbados
The current Government is so keen to quote just how much the private sector owes in outstanding VAT, NIS, land and others taxes, that I feel they have a moral obligation to state exactly what proportion/amount of this is owed by CLICO. If Government has to borrow the money from the Peoples Republic of China for the demolition and re-construction of Almond Beach Village, then surely Sams Lords is a more affordable option which would achieve viability much quicker.
Does anyone know if the Bushy Park project will be done in time for Top Gear?
Seems like there is still alot of work.
I am sure you have already seen the site at the link below; but just in case check it out.
Others may also be interested
Due Diligence | April 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM @ Any time ,
Yes ,Due Diligence | April 16, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Yes , We print it and walk with it , We Walk with the Information every time we leave home , We never know who we will meet and add info to what we have,
We sent DAVID BU a list of some info about a missing website from the archives to show what it use to look like, SIX MENS
We have other information that is no longer out there for the public .
just ask any minister about the land they want to build on,
Do let them talk and walk off ,Always ask about the land , they build to get votes and put money in their pockets,
When we get people to just LOOK and think it will become clear , we will say why we never ask or think before , We were groom to trust lawyer to do what is right,,But the amount of money to be had by all , kick all laws out the window ,
We with BFP KGB PDC= C.U.P have a plan , When we get past this information hump all will be clear,
After the layoffs is done We will show more , We dont want to get the way of the layoff, Let see if they will keep their word good or bad.
DD has been away from access to cyber space for a few days.
Just wondering if THe Nation, the MOT or Butch Sandals has clarified anything in the rather confusing “Buyout” article
MIDWEEK NATION investigations revealed that just two weeks ago the Gordon “Butch” Stewart-led international hotel operation informed Government that it was no longer interested in a lease arrangement for the sought after Heywoods,
A major change of heart by Sandals Resorts International of Jamaica relating to its proposed Almond Beach Village project in St Peter has opened the door for Government to stage a potentially massive coup in local tourism.
The shift in what is to be the largest single hotel project ever undertaken in Barbados has left Government with a recommendation that it purchase the historic Sam Lord’s Castle, one of the most famous names in local tourism, to establish a new Almond-branded resort in St Philip.