Wednesday, 18 October 2017 12:43:40 (AST)
 

National·Business

Buccament resort should reopen ‘early 2018’ — Tourism Minister

Buccament Bay Resort in its former glory.

The Buccament Bay Resort could reopen in early 2018, after a full year of closure, Minister of Tourism Cecil “Ces” McKie told parliament on Thursday in response to a question submitted by opposition Leader Godwin Friday.

The resort, which began operating in 2011, closed in December 2016 after its electricity was disconnected.

The state-owned power company severed the resort’s connection over non-payment amidst weeks of protest by workers over the non-payment of wages and complaints by guests about the declining quality of the service.

After the closure of the resort, Dave Ames, a British born businessman who is a naturalized Vincentian, and the main person associated with the resort, fled St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the government moved against him on tax evasion charges.

The question submitted by Friday last week said that the resort was built amidst promises by the government of jobs for the Vincentian people and a boost for the tourism industry.

The opposition leader wanted the Minister of Tourism, Cecil “Ces” McKie to “report on the status of this large and therefore important tourism facility, including plans, if any, for its reorganisation or sale and the prospects and timeline for its reopening”.

McKie told Parliament that when it was operating, the resort had

80 per cent occupancy right up to its closure, the loss of which has impacted negatively on the tourism sector, particularly from the United Kingdom.

“Mr. Speaker, it is also public knowledge that the facility is in the hands of the trustee in bankruptcy. As I understand it, the trustee has received various submissions of interest. This is an on-going process and the court would have to give approval to the entity which would eventually operate the facility,” McKie said.

He told Parliament that the government receives reports on an ongoing basis and is thereby kept up to date at all times.

“We have been advised the doors should be reopened and operations should commence early 2018,” McKie said.

IWN Conversations

3 thoughts on “Buccament resort should reopen ‘early 2018’ — Tourism Minister

  1. james says:

    who will pay outstanding wages? Workers are all severed…..

  2. C. ben-David says:

    The Resort could never re-open in the near or distant future.

    The government has never come clean with the public about all the debts owed by the Resort and Dave Ames to various parties in SVG. These run in the millions of dollars and include: monies owed to past employees and those who lost their jobs when the resort closed; large sums owed to contractors who were either never paid or are still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars; suppliers of food, drink, and other items who were also not paid or still owed monies; millions owed to Vinlec and the CWSA for unpaid utilities; millions owed to the NIS, the tax department, and perhaps other government agencies for money collected by Ames on their behalf but never transferred to them.

    Either the government or the new management would have to accept all these liabilities for the Resort to re-open.

    Meanwhile, Ames is currently facing three counts of fraud in Great Britain totaling $EC 1.37 billion which might go on for year but may have to be settled before the Resort could open.

    There has also been no word on any re-opening by representatives of the multiple creditors and owners of the villas.

    With all this in mind, I simply don’t believe McKie’s statement that, “We have been advised the [Resort’s] doors should be reopened and operations should commence early 2018.”

  3. j prendergast says:

    the monies that was awarded by the courts(compensation)should be shared out with all investors,that lost there money and investments,ie TWO RIVERS,deposits were taken and not used as they should of been,i put £13,000 in a sipp with guardian and they have taken 9,000 out in fees an i am unable to withdraw the money,and if it drops below £1000 i have to top it up,its a disgrace

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