2 PLUS 2 MUST BE FOR NOT FIVE SAYS CHESTER COOPER
The Minister of State for Grand Bahama on the sale of the Grand Lucayan
The Deputy Leader o
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Deputy Leader Chester Cooper says he does not trust the Minnis administration’s handling of the Grand Lucayan deal following its announcement two days ago that a letter of intent was signed with Royal Caribbean and the ITM group for ownership of the hotel.
Among his concerns are the government purchased the resort for $65m and incurred closing costs along with severance pay for line staff and managers among other things, but sold the resort to the new developers for the same price it was acquired.
Earlier this month, The Tribune reported the government spent $9.2m on operations and payouts to line staff since it temporarily took ownership of the resort. This broke down to $6m for operations and $3.2m to line staff who chose to separate from the hotel.
Ahead of Mr Cooper’s comments, The Tribune raised the issue with Lucayan Renewal Holdings Chairman Michael Scott. He said the government was expected to “break-even” with the sale, adding there were sweeteners in the deal that compensated for the purchase price.
An initial investment of $195m, which includes $65m for the purchase of the hotel, has been earmarked for the first phase of the development, which will take place over a 24-month period, it was revealed Wednesday during the signing announcement.
“The profit is going to come in the development. Don’t people get it?” Mr Scott told this newspaper.