Remove the Silence Shrouding Sam Lord’s Castle Project
Sam Lord’s story needs to be shared with us. It’s been a while now and it is important that the developments in the hotel sector are shared with all. The debt restructuring starting is also positive for us. Again they have only spoken to $500M worth of the debt so we need more info on the bigger picture here too – John A
Barbadians in this forum and elsewhere have expressed deep concern about how successive governments have allowed the idyllic Paradise Beach location to rot. It is an unpardonable sin what we have permitted and it is time Barbadians wake up and demand accountability for managing our affairs. To rub salt in the wound Avinash Persaud and Prime Minister Mia Mottley played leading roles in what is popularly referred to as Four Seasons project. Shame!
As if it is not enough for our leaders to demonstrate contempt for the electorate and continual misuse of public funds seen at Paradise Beach, the potential exist for the same to occur at another idyllic and historic location.
In 2015 the former government negotiated concessionary financing to restore the historic Sam Lords Castle. It is useful to remind Barbadians that Sam Lord’s Castle was built in 1820 and like Paradise and several other historic sites have been allowed to run to ruin. The most recent occurrence – deliberately destroyed by government with the blessing of the Barbados National Trust – an archeological find at Fort George.
It is approaching 2 years since the former government broke ground at Sam Lord’s Castle to mobilize a loan of $170 million from the Chinese Export-Import Bank. Sam Lord’s when or if completed will be operated by hotel management company Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. Another project with a similar feel is the hotel to be built next to the liquidated Liquidation Centre on Bay Street reported to be managed by Hyatt when completed. What is positive about the Hyatt project is that there is an individual driving about Barbados in a duty free gifted Mercedes associated with the project. Maybe, just maybe this project will be completed.
It has been reported that the Chinese have vacated the Sam Lord’s Castle property and like Paradise, Merricks and several other tourism projects scattered across the island have been left to rot. Will we ever learn?
How will this government and others achieve objectives set to turn around the economy if projects cannot be brought to completion? This is where BLP, DLP and others will enter the debate to point fingers. Silly!
This blogmaster joins with John A to ask the Mia Mottley government to update the nation on the status of the Sam Lord’s Project. A followup question – has the default on debt affected this project? It is the right thing to do by a government preaching a message of being transparent.