The Buccament Bay Beach Resort. (Photo: Harlequinproperty.co.uk)

ST. VINCENT:- Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has made three demands of developers and contractors at the Buccament Bay Beach Resort after the emergence publicly of a dispute between the two parties two weeks ago.

All construction workers at the EC$250 million, 1000-room project were sent home earlier this month after what Gonsalves described as a “challenge, difficulty, and disagreement” between the contractors and Harlequin Resorts.

“You have a project of this type, it is expected that you would have difficulties from time to time,” he said then, noting a similar situation between the investors and a previous contractor. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)

Gonsalves said last Thursday that he had since met separately with both sides and their lawyers.

“The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is concerned about three things centrally: That whatever disputes exists between them must be settled, whether through the law courts, though arbitration or by voluntary agreement; that the project must continue, and continue uninterruptedly in all its phases, until completion in 2012, in time for the opening of the Argyle International Airport; [and] whatever we do down there, as in every other part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we must conduct ourselves consistent with public order,” Gonsalves said last week.

“Those are the issues and they have accepted that these positions are reasonable,” he added, even as he said there were “certain proceedings in the law courts”. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)

He said that while the development will affect the soft opening of 100 room slated for July, work on the project was ongoing.

“I met the foreman separately and I am keeping an eye on what is happening.”

Gonsalves said the resort owners have commenced the interviewing stage of recruiting employees.

“Clearly, because of this development, the soft opening of the first 100 rooms has to be postponed to later this year with 300 in December or January,’ he said.

“These times require creativity and they require a lot of energy and they require tremendous optimism and ability to see through the challenges and the problems. This is not the time for negativism. This is not a time for people who are unsure of themselves. This is a time for firm leadership,” he added.