Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column – What is the Status of Beaches Barbados?

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge

The decision by the Sandals group to sell one of the hotels they either own or operate in Antigua to competitor Elite Island Resorts raises a number of questions. Like the announced Beaches brand that were ‘planned’ for Antigua and Barbados, both have been delayed and at least in the public domain no definite start date has yet been indicated. As sensitive as the subject is in some quarters, it does still raise a number of concerns as to, after receiving unilateral and still unique tax concessions for the former Casuarina property, what safeguards are there in place to ensure CPH Property Holdings, Grand Cass Management or whichever registered company now owns the property doesn’t suddenly decide to sell it off to another private sector interest after having already extracted a massive competitive advantage?

Again the taxpayer is left in the dark concerning the commencement of the proposed construction of a Beaches hotel on the current Almond Heywoods site. It certainly does not seem to be a Town and Country Planning issue, as Sandals seem to have received everything demanded or applied for in the case of the Dover location, seemingly in record approval time.

When interviewed by our local media back in February 2014, Mr. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart categorically stated ‘Beaches is straight on track. The plan is to start mobilizing construction the middle of April 2015’.

While we are left to speculate, could one of the issues delaying Beaches perhaps be the current shortage of water?

500 plus ‘one, two and three bedroom family suites’ each with a minimum of two persons, plus staff, would of course consume massive quantities of the precious resource, but clearly an onsite desalination plant is a real option.

Another unknown – has our Government actually been paid for the property by Sandals, as clearly the proceeds would help reduce the current vast national debt and interest burden. After being granted such colossal concessions, effectively in place for up to 40 years at the taxpayer’s expense, which no other private sector tourism player can obtain, surely it is not an unreasonable expectation for a spokesperson of the company or our Minister of Tourism to clarify publically the ‘status quo’.

While there has been endless discussion about increased airlift, until the number of rooms at Sandals Barbados are added and occupied, little if any additional seat volume has been created by this brand and it has been left to the remaining accommodation sector to fulfill this objective. And judging by the increased arrival numbers, they seem to be doing a sterling job.

Of course in absolute fairness, their mere presence has raised increased destination awareness and that must be applauded and eventually when the quoted ‘additional 220 rooms’ according to a recent Travelpulse article come on stream, theoretically that could help fill another 22,000 airline seats per year, based on average stay and room occupancy.

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31 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – What is the Status of Beaches Barbados?”

  1. Artax February 29, 2016 at 6:08 AM #

    No matter the grandiose plans Butch apparently outlined to the Barbados government relative to establishing the “Sandals brand” here, in my opinion the authorities should have taken the Four Seasons fiasco into consideration and be guaranteed of his commitment to the island, before granting that man “such colossal concessions.”

    Like

  2. David February 29, 2016 at 6:12 AM #

    Was some kind of a ‘performance bond’ requested from Butch’s companies?

    Like

  3. Bush Tea February 29, 2016 at 7:43 AM #

    Fool us once at Paradise … shame on Butch
    Fool us again now …. well..
    …only to be expected from the idiots making decisions ’bout here…

    Butch will very likely fool them YET again – just before elections – to the tune of another lifetime of free handouts from Bajan taxpayers….like his friend Bizzy…

    Wuh…somebody has to foot the bill for their campaign – and be repaid by taxpayers…

    Like

  4. lawson February 29, 2016 at 7:54 AM #

    I had a friend that got businesses started then would sell the lease he had negotiated because he found it more profitable than working the restaurant. What would a hotel lease with no concessions be worth on the open market if possible to transfer.

    Like

  5. David February 29, 2016 at 7:59 AM #

    The government has factored the development of Beaches in its tourism investment projection. So we wait!

    Like

  6. Artax February 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM #

    THE ADRIAN LOVERIDGE COLUMN – WHAT IS THE STATUS OF BEACHES BARBADOS?:

    “Like the announced Beaches brand that were ‘planned’ for Antigua and Barbados, both have been delayed and at least in the public domain no definite start date has yet been indicated.”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    According to Almond Beach Resort Barbados’ web-site:

    “Almond Beach Resort Operations extended though to June 2016”:

    “We wish to announce that Almond Beach Resort HAS BEEN GRANTED an EXTENSION on its OPERATIONS, and will CONTINUE to ACCEPT RESERVATIONS through to AUGUST 31, 2016.”

    (https://www.almondbarbados.com/news.html):

    <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Based on the above information as well as taking into consideration that the property has to be demolished in preparation for the new Beaches Resort to be constructed, the resort may be completed and ready for occupancy in late 2017 or early 2018 would be a more realistic expectation.

    Like

  7. Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 3:42 PM #

    Ah Butch, the saviour of tourism in, and air lift to Barbados.

    According to stuff I have been reading from the MoT and BTMI, Sandals has been leading the resurgence in arrivals.

    Sandals/Beaches are by far the largest tourism advertisers on television and newspapers in the Toronto market.

    Until recently Sandals Barbados was rarely the Sandals property being promoted, causing me to think that its occupancy was so high that it was not necessary to spend advertising dollars to fill its rooms.

    But, the Sandals Barbados property has been the subject of full page newspaper ads three times in the last couple of weeks – at probably $15,000 per ad.

    That has me thinking now, that it is not a full house at Sandals Barbados.

    And I am wondering if those arrival numbers can be trusted.

    Like

  8. David February 29, 2016 at 3:53 PM #

    A reminder that the CDB’s chief economist questioned the numbers presented by the Governor and Not last week.

    Like

  9. Prodigal Son February 29, 2016 at 4:06 PM #

    “After being granted such colossal concessions, effectively in place for up to 40 years at the taxpayer’s expense, which no other private sector tourism player can obtain, surely it is not an unreasonable expectation for a spokesperson of the company or our Minister of Tourism to clarify publically the ‘status quo’”………

    ………………………………………………………..

    These morons gave Butch Stewart a washpan of concessions while sticking the taxes on the middle class.

    Now we have a man like Donville Inniss who has sat in a cabinet with the Stinkliar and voted for every budget which has decimated the middle and poor classes, only now realising that they have to hear the cries of the people and ease some of the taxes levied on them.

    You give multi millionaires and billionaires every tax concession they could ever get and more than they asked for and slapped the taxes on us, take away all of the little allowances we had and now all of a sudden realised that ……..hey, we need to ease the middle class?

    Give me a break, Donville and spare me the so called concern. You morons dont care about us.

    Like

  10. Prodigal Son February 29, 2016 at 4:09 PM #

    David,

    The goodly doctor will soon be told to go back where he came from. You cannot disagree with this government even when you have no agenda!

    Like

  11. Hants February 29, 2016 at 4:10 PM #

    Sandals advertised “Barbados” to show they have a resort in what rich Canadians used to know as the best Tourist destination in the Caribbean.

    It also make sense since “CHUM Breakfast in Barbados” is on Toronto TV every evening.

    Like

  12. Prodigal Son February 29, 2016 at 4:27 PM #

    @ Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 3:42 PM #

    “According to stuff I have been reading from the MoT and BTMI, Sandals has been leading the resurgence in arrivals.

    Sandals/Beaches are by far the largest tourism advertisers on television and newspapers in the Toronto market.

    Until recently Sandals Barbados was rarely the Sandals property being promoted, causing me to think that its occupancy was so high that it was not necessary to spend advertising dollars to fill its rooms”…………..
    …………………………………………….

    I watch TV in the evening and often see a lot of Sandals ads promoting Grand Bahama, Turks and Caicos and St Lucia but I have never seen one promoting Barbados. I have often wondered why.

    I was in London last year and was pleasantly surprised to see a huge Barbados ad in a train station. What does this tell you?

    By the way, I was at the Almond Heywoods property during the Christmas period for dinner and was quite impress with the number of people who were there. Was it a bad decision to close down the place?

    Like

  13. Prodigal Son February 29, 2016 at 4:29 PM #

    Did anyone noticed the piece in a UK paper saying tht Barbados used to be the place to look up to in the Caribbean and now its economy is on the verge of bankruptcy?

    Like

  14. Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 4:42 PM #

    A bit off Butch topic, BUT

    Yesterday I stumbled onto the following Youtube video.

    UNNA Luxury Resorts and Residences

    As one who lives in what is probably the most ethnically diverse city in the world, and one of Barbados tourism’s largest source markets (Toronto), I find it distasteful at best and bad business as well.

    Look at the guests enjoying the pristine (public) beaches, and the luxury surroundings of Port Ferdinand and Saint Peters Bay – as white as the driven snow. And “our people in impeccable guest service” – not a white face among them. And no locals enjoying the pristine (public) beaches.

    Is the hidden message – not white – not welcome.

    Just bad – and sad

    Like

  15. Hants February 29, 2016 at 5:05 PM #

    @Due Diligence,

    This may brings things into perspective. High Net Worth.

    http://www.stpetersbaybarbados.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Buyers_Guide.pdf

    Like

  16. Hants February 29, 2016 at 5:09 PM #

    http://www.premiumadminsupport.org/downloads/HNWI.pdf

    Like

  17. Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 5:13 PM #

    @Hants February 29, 2016 at 4:10 PM #

    Sandals advertised “Barbados” to show they have a resort in what rich Canadians used to know as the best Tourist destination in the Caribbean.

    Rich Canadians stay at Sandy Lane, Westmoreland, Port Ferdinand etc.

    Sandals is targeting the regular Canadian tourist who is looking for “up to 65% off” WHERE EXCLUSIVE IS ALWAYS INCLUSIVE, and you don’t need your wallet and don’t have to leave the property and spend a bit of your hard earned not at local establishments.

    Like

  18. NorthernObserver February 29, 2016 at 5:18 PM #

    LOL……rates from $1400US/night…..that is what I pay to rent for a month in Florida!!!
    And houses? these are condos?

    Like

  19. NorthernObserver February 29, 2016 at 5:21 PM #

    @DD
    u mekking sport?
    all dem places target rich Euros.
    I see MECC place still en sell ….wuhloss

    Like

  20. Vincent Haynes February 29, 2016 at 5:27 PM #

    Prodigal Son February 29, 2016 at 4:29 PM #

    It was mentioned here as well.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/78403/brit-paper-debt-burden-region#sthash.humSzbEi.dpuf

    Like

  21. Vincent Haynes February 29, 2016 at 5:30 PM #

    Artax February 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM #

    ……….Based on the above information as well as taking into consideration that the property has to be demolished in preparation for the new Beaches Resort to be constructed, the resort may be completed and ready for occupancy in late 2017 or early 2018 would be a more realistic expectation.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    Hmmmm….interesting timing as it coincides with our elections.

    Like

  22. Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 5:32 PM #

    @Hants February 29, 2016 at 5:09 PM #

    http://www.premiumadminsupport.org/downloads/HNWI.pdf

    Thanks, but DD does not qualify as a HNWI, just a visitor.

    @Northern

    I think that MECC does not qualify as a HNWI either, unless Bizzy or Bjorn or one of her other business associates makes a call on her behalf

    Like

  23. Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 5:55 PM #

    Prodigal and Vincent

    Here is the full storey.

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/02/23/2154020/the-caribbeans-silent-debt-crisis/

    “The country’s finances are now a mess, and government debts has now ballooned to over 100 per cent of gross domestic product – perilously high for a small island state – despite the authorities sacking the equivalent of 1 per cent of the island’s population from the public payroll. Including the National Insurance Scheme the gross debt-to-GDP ratio is about 137 per cent.”

    But what does the Financial Times know?

    Cann’t wait to read Sinkler and Stuart’s rebuttal.

    Like

  24. David February 29, 2016 at 6:41 PM #

    @DD

    And it was not written by BU.

    Like

  25. lawson February 29, 2016 at 6:46 PM #

    DD you know that when blacks come home for the most part they stay at relatives so be lucky any one is coming there and not heading to Cuba. How long do you think it will be before cheap retirement homes for Canadians will be popping up there.

    Like

  26. Due Diligence February 29, 2016 at 6:52 PM #

    @David February 29, 2016 at 6:41 PM #
    @DD

    ‘And it was not written by BU.”

    And FT probably has a greater readership of potential investors than BU (and Nation and Advocate and BT)

    Like

  27. David February 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM #

    @DD

    Hope the yardfowls have gotten the point.

    Like

  28. David March 2, 2016 at 7:01 PM #

    Allow plenty of time to leave GAIA
    Feb 29, 2016, 4:01 PM

    I know there’s been a recent string re fingerprinting etc but just to add to debate from recent experience – allow plenty of time at GAIA.

    On arrival on Saturday 20 February we took half an hour to clear immigration which wasn’t a great start. OH wondered at that point why we’d returned. On leaving on 27 Feb, having checked bags in, we queued for over an hour to get through the boarding card check, immigration and security with the queue reaching all across the area with the check ins. It was much worse than last year which was pretty bad. We’d arrived more than 2 hours before our flight so were ok, although stressed and then had no time for shopping, food stalls etc but the plane had to wait for two people who’d presumably checked bags in then queued.

    Next time we’ll avoid the weekend but when leave is scarce, this eats into available time

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147262-i230-k9308090-Allow_plenty_of_time_to_leave_GAIA-Barbados.html

    Like

  29. David March 3, 2016 at 10:58 AM #

    This is not BU making this statement:

    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2016/03/03/barbados-could-lose-out-to-dr/

    Like

  30. Yatinkiteasy March 4, 2016 at 9:48 AM #

    I see some activity at the Harlequin site in Hastings… Someone is clearing the place and looks like they are tearing down the unfinished wreck of a building that has been an eyesore on the South coast for years. Does the place have a new owner, or Is Harlequin finally going to finish what they sold to several hundred investors?

    Like

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