Tag Archives: Four Seasons

Time to Put Up or Shut up Minister Estwick

Dr. David Estwick, a key performer on the campaign platform for the DLP

Dr. David Estwick, a key performer on the campaign platform for the DLP

The political temperature is rising in Barbados about one year after the last general election was held. At a time when Barbadians would have wanted the political directorate to seek solace in the attribute Barbados is well known – a politically stable country – we have Minister David Estwick adding unwanted political diatribe to the debate. This is how it appears so far anyway.

If Barbadians are expected to entertain the huffing and puffing from Estwick for what seems to be the umpteenth time, BU hopes he addresses the following at his constituency branch meeting tomorrow. BU understands the Barbados government has made a deal with a company to restart the Four Seasons project.  The terms of the deal from a source states that JADA will be the exclusive contractor. From all reports JADA is alleged to be in the process of forming a number of small companies to distribute the work to respond to the public outcry which is bound to come a la Coverly Housing project.

The other matter we want Estwick to clarify is the suggestion he is being pressured by a member of the deep pocket class to back off. In fact we understand he is being offered millions of dollars. Is this true Minister David Estwick?

Barbados needs to get its act together.

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.

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Beware of Streets Lined with Gold

Submitted by Old Onions Bag
Paradise Development rumoured to being sold for a parayer.

Paradise Development in limbo

When people don’t make use of their history, they are bound to repeat mistakes. Recall the Battle of Waterloo, think for one moment how Napoleon would fall for a similar Wellington’s ploy of deception, and engage a third of his French infantry on a pedestrian bridge that led to nowhere? Obviously not, once bitten twice shy. We should always learn from our mistakes or we doomed to repeat them. The great Napoleon would.

Recall another famous general Hannibal,… think he would ever consider marching his army of ten million elephants and men, into the Alps in the near winter months regardless how lucrative the potential outcome? Doubtful indeed. We have  the Greeks and the Trojan Horse, yet another to proffer. History is loaded with great men falling to mistakes while reaching for superior possibilities. Less we forget “All that glitters is not gold, often is the weary traveller told.”

We all  at sometime make mistakes (to err is human), but we should at all cost avoid repeating them regardless of circumstance, no matter the potential outcomes. Beware of bearers of fine gifts, remember the dog and the bone. A bird in hand is worth three in the bush. The people of Black Rock and its echelons would surely sanctify that, as for them while streets promised were to be paved with gold… Paradise Lost was never re-found, all left was a debauched Four Seasons. A real bad omen that, when a leprechaun smell can be sniffed back to one man.

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Movement on the Clearwater Bay (Four Seasons) Project

Local multi millionaire rumoured to be taking over the 'blighted' Four Seasons project

Local multi millionaire rumoured to be taking over the ‘blighted’ Four Seasons project – Click to read tender on the sale of Four Seasons Property

It is good to read about government’s effort to wrestle the Four Seasons beast to the ground – finally. It maybe tactical to have placed the tender in this weekend’s press which is sure to go unnoticed by many Barbadians who are gearing up to party in the last lap for Crop Over 2013.

All discerning Barbadians look forward to full disclosure promised by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler on this matter. Until he does Barbadians will begin to speculate about whether Ansa Merchant Bank has called the $120 million guarantee and the implication. It seems like a long time ago the late David Thompson went to parliament to validate the Clearwater Barbados Guarantee which was meant to kickstart the project. The media has reported the tender is meant to give the appearance of transparency. Given government’s hands-on approach to managing the project, it begs the question whither Project Manager and Chairman Avinash Persaud who was requested by the late David Thompson to retrieve the project?

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Paradise Beach Limited (Four Seasons) Inquiry

Opposition MP questioned Paradise Beach Limited project during the Estimates

Opposition MP questioned Paradise Beach Limited project during the Estimates

Barbadians welcomed the revelation by Opposition member of parliament Ronald Toppin that two Paradise Beach Limited  bond holders had to be paid by government to the tuned of BBD120 million. There was also the view that government’s haste to dump its minority holdings in the former Barbados National Bank, now Republic Bank, was to ‘shield’ this transaction in the wash.

What Toppin’s intervention did was to force Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to issue a clarification statement. BU understands the MoF’s explanation concerning the need to protect sensitive discussions by honouring non disclosure agreements. We also have applied similar understanding to the CLICO and Barrack transactions. Hell we understand why we the TAXPAYERS should not be told one damn thing. Those of us who understand the ramifications of the pending decisions will continue to live in hope that we will be told how a few people in smoked fill rooms will guide our future as well as our offspring.

In light of the Toppin revelation that government had to honour an obligation to two bond holders, how does this position the Barbados government? Can we draw a conclusion that the Barbados Government – or we the people – are owners of what use to be a picturesque piece of property at Black Rock?

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Four Seasons a Project for All Seasons

Four Seasons struggles to restart

Four Seasons struggles to restart

In the coming days leading up to the General Election – to be held on the 21 February 2013 – BU will be raising issues which we hope will be ventilated and explained on the campaign trail. The first is the vexing issue of the stalled Four Seasons project which has been forced from the public eye because of the CLICO and Alexandra issues among others.

It is fair to say that for most Barbadians the inability of all concerned to restart the Four Seasons project remains a big concern. BU believes the project is now suffering from a crisis of confidence. It is no secret the Barbados economy is a beast which must be fed forex to sustain itself. That it would take as long as it has to restart the project – harsh economic conditions notwithstanding –  challenges our ability to prioritize and manage the issues.

The news coming from Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last week that the government will be issuing a good news update about the project very soon is being eagerly awaited.  The usually loquacious Avinash Persaud has been persuaded to defer to government making the announcement, possibly at tomorrow night’s mass political meeting at Bay Street.

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When Will The Haemorrhaging Stop?

The author’s name withheld by request

A penny saved is a penny earned!

“A stitch in time save ninety nine “

Money spends like water when you are in government, after all it is not yours. You don’t have to account for it  far less pay it back. Imagine a metallic claptrap spawning the highway by BET head office building costing $255,000 ? A real dignified stop light sign ….money burnt  and burnt well… or a $500,000 Citizen Inauguration ceremony, including the bringing back of a stalwart and his spouse for the occasion. Really, what was that all about ? Caswell, you were wrong…no GG was as purported.

Why the need for the spend then, and the timing?  Bad enough when the citizens of this country are feeling the pinch and hollering for blue murder daily, begging for relief. Little people must learn little fortitude thru sheep husbandry and goat rearing. Leave all big spending to those who know how.

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Saving Almond Beach Village At What Cost

Almond Beach Village beachfront

Neal & Massy (52% shareholder) delivered the Almond Mess lo Barbadians last week which has knocked CLICO from the front page of the Nation newspaper for the moment. A scan of that paper’s front page this morning should create some concerns for Barbadians. Bjorn Bjerkham is mentioned as one of about four parties bidding for the 30-acre beachfront Almond Beach Village property in St. Peter. If Bjerkham gets his wish a small island is about to be divvied up between COW Williams and himself with CLICO’s significant land holding currently encumbered as a result of its publicised demise.

In the case of Bjerkham Barbadians may want to sit up and take notice. If he is able to acquire the Almond Beach Village property, he gets control of the greatest portion of St. Peter coastline – he already owns St. Peter’s Bay in the Road View area. Remember he is currently working on redesigning the Six Mens area with the Port Ferdinand marina project. For those who are familiar with the area try to visualize if Bjerkham is able to acquire Almond Beach Village property with its vast beachfront.

Officially our government boasts that there are no private beaches in Barbados but if Bjerkham is allowed to acquire Almond beach front it is akin to creating a private beach front in Barbados by effectively blocking off access at both ends. Whether by accident or design our laws of public beach access in Barbados are being circumvented by those who have deep pockets.

So what is new anyway!

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The State Of Villa Stock In The Caribbean

The video summarizes a Wall Street Journal article which made the rounds this week – Caribbean Getaways Ensnare Buyers. It explains the current state of the villa market in the Caribbean which does not bode well for the Paradise Beach Development (Four Seasons Project). With many similar projects on the skids in the Caribbean this translates to a reserve of villa stock  in a bear market.

Let us wish the professor, NIS Board and Barbados good luck with the project at Paradise.

Financial Meltdown, How Would It Effect Our Fragile Investment In Four Seasons?

Submitted by Old Onion Bags

Greece’s political leaders struck a historic deal Thursday to make deep cuts in government jobs and spending to help save the country from a default that could shock the world financial system.

Greece needs the bailout by March 20 so it will have enough money to redeem €14.5 billion worth of bonds coming due. If it doesn’t make that payment, it will be in default. Financial analysts fear that could set off a chain reaction similar to the financial meltdown triggered by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.

What would be the implications should the worse happens? What about our already fragile investments in Four Seasons? Shouldn’t we be more prudent and at least wait for the March 20th deadline before swinging another cent . Make “cents” to me, what do you think?