Adrian Loveridge Column – Hotel Investment Galore!

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge

Of course there are many positive attributes to the all-cash sale of Elegant Hotels to Marriott recently and enormous kudos should be given to the locally based Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sunil Chatrani and his team, for taking the company to this stage, ensuring that his fiduciary responsibilities were executed and realizing, what appears to be a very attractive offer for the company’s shareholders.

Today, Elegant employs over 1,000 local people, with only two work permits, bringing in 100 per cent of their revenue into the foreign reserves, which currently amounts to around ‘$120 million per annum’.

Marriott is a largely brand driven group, or as its website describes, an ‘unparalleled Collection of Brands’ promising ‘whatever your preference, we can’t wait to welcome you, while placing enormous emphasis on its stated 133 million BonVoy members.

The recently renamed loyalty programme embraces 30 brands across 131 countries and more than 7,000 hotels, which should especially help us drive our US market.

What isn’t quite so clear from outsiders at this stage, is how exactly, they will brand, operate and market three of the smaller Elegant Hotel properties, notably the House, Treasure Beach and Waves.

All of them currently occupy relatively small land spaces, so unless demolition and reconstruction skyward is under consideration to greatly increase the number of rooms, it is difficult to envisage how they will fit into the existing Marriott accommodation offerings.

Perhaps the closest sub-brands are their ‘Tribute Portfolio’ which cites certain properties as boutique, but this currently does not include any hotels within the Caribbean.

And their ‘Autograph Collection’, which includes just two properties within the region. French Leave Resort consisting of ‘12 luxury colonial-style villas’ located on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera and Scrub Island Resort and Spa in the British Virgin Islands with ’52 ocean view rooms and suites and seven hillside villas’.

So it will be interesting to see exactly how Marriott incorporate all the new Barbadian acquisitions into their branding model.

Add the former Elegant rooms to the existing 118 rooms of the Courtyard Barbados property and Marriott now have 706 in total on the island, becoming the single largest private sector hotel owner/operator here and this having been achieved without the granting of extraordinary concessions that a limited few have been able to extract.

Meanwhile, the Government, or should we say taxpayer, with its 354 rooms at the Hilton, 102 at Savannah (currently up-for-sale) and until clarity is given whether or not, the 100 room plus Blue Horizon has in fact been sold and paid for at a fire-sale price, based on the promise of becoming a Hard Rock Hotel?

Add the former 242 rooms at the now idle Sam Lords Resort still surrounded with the ongoing apparent secrecy concerning the future of this project and the public sector may still be just ahead in overall room stock.

This will probably change, as and when the promised Beaches property is completed and opened. The Sandals group will then leapfrog into first position, presumably with all the leverage and potential benefits that brings, by a lodging dominance of the destination.

Existing and any new accommodation investment will then obviously have to evaluate whether or not they can fairly compete without a truly level playing field.

48 comments

  • Wily recalls that the original sale announcement started it was Marriots intention to ultimately sell the acquisition and only retain a portion under their direct management and operation. This may explain some of Adrian’s questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Stated not started

    Liked by 1 person

  • (Quote):
    Add the former 242 rooms at the now idle Sam Lords Resort still surrounded with the ongoing apparent secrecy concerning the future of this project and the public sector may still be just ahead in overall room stock. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Not a word on the role of the long-promised Hyatt hotel!

    Why Adrian? Are you afraid to mash somebody’s toes, justifiably so, and which is not part of your apolitical DNA?

    Why don’t you be your usually bold and much admired brave self and ask who are the money merchants behind the Hyatt erection?

    We know that Sandals is behind the “Beaches” hotel project and a foreign developer is about to appear on the real ‘Blue’ horizon to signal another rebirth of the baby in Paradise for all Four Seasons, so why not the Hyatt behemoth?

    What is holding up the birth of this long-in-the-wound Hyatt baby?
    Is it because the financial pregnancy has been a phantom one all along

    Liked by 2 people

  • Miller, are not the Hyatt involved people the same who were able to buy taxpayer owned Blue Horizon at $5 million? If Blue Horizon was promised as a future Hard Rock Hotel, why should we believe the same on Hyatt?

    Liked by 2 people

  • Miller
    Shhhhh. The Hyatt in the TPD, revised plans, EIA done or being done and consultation coming. Why yuh don’t start deciding how much yuh gine invest in it? All yuh ain’t ready yuh!🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Wily
    sell the asset, to a REIT or similar, and retain a long term management contract. Marriott refers to it as an ‘asset light strategy’. More properties at a minimum cost to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Northern Observer at1:01 PM

    You are right. That is the business model. Which begs the question : Who owns the real estate at Hastings?

    Like

  • @ Enuff October 28, 2019 11:38 AM

    Heard all those promises of assurance all before! Just like we have been hearing about restructuring of the sugar cane industry, agriculture in general (involving the role of the CLICO plantations), the electrification of public transport, cruise ship terminals with marinas, SOEs and everything under the Bajan economy restructuring sun.

    So what are you trying to say here, “Enuff”? That the construction of Hyatt will be financed by way of an IPO called the Taxpayers’ slush fund?
    There is no more money in the Workers Housing fund to be raided.

    Don’t you think it would be in the interests of both MM the money man and the MM administration to take the people into their confidence and confirm the source of funding of such an impressively game-changing project for that decaying city badly in need of both economic and social revitalization?

    Like

  • @NorthernObserver October 28, 2019 1:01 PM

    100%, Marriott not going to expose their hard earned $ to Barbados Corrupt Politicians.

    Like

  • @Miller

    Why would the government go to the trouble of compulsorily acquiring the decrepit Liquidation Centre if the HYATT was not a real project?

    Liked by 1 person

  • I am curious. Is there going to be any diversification of this economy? Seems to be the same tune all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @VC
    does it matter?

    Like

  • @ David October 28, 2019 2:47 PM

    Why would the same government turn around and sell the same land to MM’s business to build a massive hotel to be in competition to his own Hard Rock hotel looking over the Blue Horizon on the South coast?

    Maybe it’s a way of bailing out a former financial backer for a friend behind the political paling whose failing business interest of a similar nature in St. Philip might soon be in real liquidation.

    Is that the stake the BTII would be holding in the Hyatt erection?

    You must be aware that the same BTII has made similar property acquisitions with little development to show.

    BTW, who owns the lands earmarked for the Pierhead marina project?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Robert Lucas

    Where have you been ? We already diversified the economy and ended up with one industry-Tourism.
    You need to follow current affairs more closely.
    This is a feat that no other country has achieved ! And chances are none will.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Miller
    Stop talk RH!

    Like

  • @ Enuff October 28, 2019 3:54 PM

    The TRUTH hurts, doesn’t it?

    Up to now you dare not address the matter of project financing.
    What kind of project manager of international standing are you having been in charge of an advisory team where you are mostly the only sambo in town.

    One can bet that if the DLP clowns were still in charge of the government boat carrying a cargo of taxpayers’ money you would not be so defensive of the scam.

    Weren’t you a chief critic of the Pierhead marina project? Where has the cost for redesign of that project ended up, if not in the Wharf?

    BTW, this is NOT the “Salemite” you up against.

    Like

  • @Miller

    Yo are not buying government’s explanation that this is part of the regentrification of Bridgetown?

    Like

  • @Dr. Lucas

    A good question, it is easy to follow the path of lest resistance managing economic activity in the country. It will call for very heavy lifting to see the diversification required. This government has the political capital to lead the effort.

    Like

  • The Hyatt not coming
    Govt out to transparent and tellbwho would occupy that space

    Like

  • Is there a government urban redevelopment plan? If so, where can we see it?

    Like

  • @ David October 28, 2019 4:16 PM

    Where is the money going to come from? The days of borrowing foreign money (instead of through savings) for rainy balance of payments days are over.

    Businesses have left Bridgetown in droves including many of the same Government’s offices.

    The few lenders willing to lend an ear of begging for loans to Barbados like the CDB would not see gentrification projects as any top priority.
    Gentrification must come from the Private Sector.

    BTW, the ‘plan’ to redevelop’ Bridgetown- especially along its main artery Bay Street- has been on the cards since Tom Adams and later Owen Arthur were PMs.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Miller

    We know the developer (MAM2) is local. In such circumstances one would assume the funds originate onshore. Up to now we have not been told differently.

    Like

  • @Hal AustinOctober 28, 2019 4:29 PM

    Is there a government urban redevelopment plan? If so, where can we see it?

    Maybe the urban redevelopment plan can be found in the ditch your beside your dead prime minister, now that Brexit has been extended beyond October 31, 2019.

    Like

  • @ Bajan in New York

    You need help. Your slip is showing. People in the UK are suffering from Brexit exhaustion. Try Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David October 28, 2019 5:00 PM

    Onshore where? Are you thinking about the alleged 9 billion of Bajan dollars ‘sitting’ idle in banks and credit unions?

    Or are you thinking about the same sources which financed the Valerie & Grotto penthouses?

    This is a plan for the construction and outfitting of a ‘luxury’ hotel (not some spartan puritan primary school) which would require a massive amount of foreign inputs.

    Where would the foreign exchange be coming from to match the cost of imported goods and services to be used in the construction, finishing and furnishing of this top-class ‘business’ joint?

    From the IMF or the savings of $5 billion as announced by the PM as a result of the deferral of foreign loan repayments?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David,

    ” regentrification ” The restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle-class or affluent people,

    often resulting in displacement of lower-income people.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Is there a government urban development plan?”

    Some research, rather than condescension goes a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Enuff

    If you know the answer, then state it. You do this all the time. It is your little game. Maybe I should Google it.

    Like

  • Hal the latest i heard from Mottley concerning Urban development was geared towards the squatters in financial aid
    Having heard her said anything else
    Meanwhile Presocd is up to his neck in garbage and town and country was told to butt out of the squatters problem
    In a couple days the deadline given to squatters to move would expired
    Waiting to hear the next round of political salvo emitting from Mia on this problem

    Like

  • @ Mariposa

    It is the usual smoke and mirrors. If @Enuff knows of an urban re-development plan, all he has to do is state it, and even better, publish a link. His problem, of course, is that he believes he is the only person on BU who can Google.
    But this is not the way Bajans debate; they make statements and drop hints. For ten years we have been hearing of plans to develop Fairchild Street. How is that going?

    Like

  • @enuff

    You are referring to the PDP 2003 (amended)?

    Like

  • David
    October 28, 2019 7:17 PM

    “You are referring to the PDP 2003 (amended)?”

    David,
    A lot of abbreviations are being used on BU. I am not always able to figure them out.

    I believe that the adoption of a standard would help. All BU readers would then know what is being referred to. In this case:

    Physical Development Plan (PDP).

    Like

  • @ William Skinner October 28, 2019 3:26 PM
    ‘Your post is very discerning. Very good exposition like Hans Christen Anderson’s the “King’s new clothes.

    Like

  • Barbados has negotiated an air services agreement with Germany that could see the island expanding tourism as well as trade links with Europe.

    Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds made the announcement yesterday when he welcomed the inaugural Eurowings flight of the Lufthansa Group to Grantley Adams International Airport.

    Like

  • Because I knew some people who had contacted me, I did a backwards search, and found this
    https://www.cip-icu.ca/Files/APE-2018-Projects/02_Barbados_Physical_Development_Plan_Amendment_Pa.aspx
    It is recent, 2017.

    Like

  • There was also another report done locally, for those who like reading
    http://habitat3.org/wp-content/uploads/Habitat-III-Report-Barbados-final.pdf

    Like

  • @ Northern Observer

    BU readers of which de ole man is one, thank you for this document.

    For 3 reasons

    1.that it is a recent document (probably the same 2003 Amended document heheh)

    2.that Physical Development Plan is sourced outside of the “charles Me Love You Jong Time ” pdf files which are now on ALL GOVERNMENT SITES.

    Files that are now being downloaded by unsuspecting Bajans that are loaded with ET call home software.

    Charles and Mugabe Mottley DARE NOT RISK SENDING THE SAME TYOE OF COMPROMISED FILES to international agencies cause if the do that shy$e IT WOULD BE CURTAINS ON THEIR PROGRAMME

    3.it has shown a “chink” in the armour of the Disinformation Dissemination Mechanism of the BLP.

    Normally ALL FILES BEING DELIVERED TO THE PUBLIC BY THE MUGABE REGIME at relayed by BU and are the latest version.

    Which begs the question about the outdated version?

    But don’t mind de ole man…

    Like

  • You should not the link provided is what is available on the Town Planning website. You really need to stop your silly inferences.

    Like

  • @ David [BU]

    There are 3 of you David and you are able to tell that, AT TIMES, I do stop the inferences

    So much so that sometimes, WHEN WE AGREE ON A SUBJECT, Mr. Vincent Codrington is on record to have said that he needs to examine a topic carefully BECAUSE ” PIECE AND DAVID[BU] AGREEING AND MUST BE UP TO SOMETHING”

    The point that I try to make all the time is what Mr Codrington calls “Trust but Verify”

    As man, Honourable Blogmaster, tell us if, and when, you receive documents from us the general public, DO YOU IMMEDIATELY PLACE THEM ON YOUR HARD DRIVE WITHOUT CLEANING THEM?

    Answer that question with a NO and I will not call those two poochlickers Rented Jackasses no more!

    I thought not!

    Here is a link that should show BU readers why our sparring over this Minister of Disinformation role assigned to part of you is useful.

    https://www.eff.org/pages/tor-and-https

    In this digital environment that we live, YOU HONOURABLE BLOGMASTER KNOW, BETTER THAN MOST HERE, that the state conducts electronic warfare against The Fourth Estate WHICH YOU ALONE CHAMPION IN BARBADOS

    You once did me a serious service which I remember and cant forget but, one of you…

    I however respect YOU SPECIFICALLY, but i cant see when you are there at the table AND YOU CANT BE THERE 24/7 day you?

    It takes a while for you to cultivate the Tree of Truth Integrity & Justice

    Dem, is not you, Honourable Blogmaster so i ent giving dem no free passes, sorry

    “…And there arose a King who knew not Joseph…”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal
    What smoke and mirrors? There are Community Plans for Bridgetown, Holetown, Oistins and Speightstown in the PDP. In the draft PDP there are also plans for St.Davids to Six Roads, Warrens, Bathsheba, Boscobelle and Wildey. Community Plan, urban development plan same difference. Evidence via research over condescension.

    Like

  • @ NorthernObserver,

    thanks for the PDP. 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  • David BU

    What tourist attractions Barbados has other than the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, Crop Over Festival, Friday Nights in Oistins, Oistins’ Fish Festival, Holetown Festival and the Food and Rum Festival?

    Take St. Lucia, for example, an island that is also dependent on tourism.Throughout the entire year, St. Lucia is bursting with exciting events and festivals that celebrate the island’s heritage and lifestyle.

    Every year for two weeks around the end of April and beginning of May, the island hosts the “St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival,” during which time local and international jazz musicians showcase their talent, performing around the island, for locals and tourist alike.

    Then there is the “Squash Open,’ “St. Lucia Carnival,” Friday Night lime in Gros Islet, the annual “Dennery Fish Festival,” “Roots and Soul Festival,” “Creole Day,” “Arts and Heritage Festival,” just to name a few.

    I read with interest that, on December 13, 2019, the Royal St. Lucia Turf Club is set to host, at Vieux Fort, “the Caribbean richest race with a purse of US$150,000 and entertainment featuring St. Lucian and Caribbean artiste.”

    Perhaps its about time the Barbados Turf Club and Sandy Lane look at revitalizing the Gold Cup’s format, of which there hasn’t been any significant changes since the race day was first introduced in 1982.

    Like

  • @Artax

    You may recall when the BTA morphed to BTPA and BTMI there was intended to be a focus on the marketing AND the product. Will leave you to assess its success. We continue to focus on plant which we must but to your point, we must improve the product.

    Like

  • David BU

    https://www.antiguaobserver.com/parliament-agrees-to-buy-additional-us-15-8-million-in-liat-shares/

    Gaston Browne is behaving as though Antigua has majority shareholdings in LIAT.

    He is making his own arrangements without consulting the heads of the other shareholder governments, but anticipating they would agree because LIAT is urgently in need of financing.

    “Now, clearly this matter has not been approved by the shareholder group as yet, but recognising that LIAT is in need of urgent money, I cannot see the existing shareholders refusing to have a capital call to ensure the viability or survivability for that matter of LIAT in the first instance and ultimately its viability and sustainability,” he told MPs.

    Like

  • @Artax

    He knows that LIAT will not refuse 15 million share purchase. Is Jean Holder still the chairman?

    Like

  • David BU

    I have not heard otherwise, so, it’s reasonable to assume Holder is still the chairman.

    However, I heard among Browne’s list of proposals for restructuring the airline are a change in LIAT’s executive, pay-cuts and retrenchment of employees.

    A change in the executive may result in the removal of Holder as Chairman (which may be a good thing) and Julie Reifer-Jones as Chief Executive Officer. I believe the “crafty” Browne would push for these posts to be taken up by Antiguans (he may have already selected).

    Another interesting observation about this LIAT saga is, since Browne decided he no longer wants to purchase Barbados’ 49.4% shareholding in the airline, PM Mottley or Minister of Tourism Symmonds have not informed Barbadians if the shares are still for sale or what is government’s position on LIAT going forward.

    The media has also not found it necessary to follow up on the story…….. while Rev. Joe’s, Verla’s and Grenville’s silence makes one conclude they are uninterested in these developments.

    But, what the heck….. the chairman of LIAT’s shareholder governments, Comrade Ralph, has been silent as well.

    Like

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