Buccament Bay Resort during its heyday. (Photo: Harlequin)

Buccament Bay Resort “will definitely reopen in advance of the 2018 tourist season”, after a three-month process of rehabilitation to the existing facility.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday that the bankruptcy trustee has indicated that the final management agreement is expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

In delivering the Budget Address, the finance minister said that the December 2016 closure of the resort has had “an undeniably negative impact on tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom, which were flat regionally on Brexit-related concerns”.

He said that in 2017, stay-over arrivals from the United Kingdom fell by 29 per cent, “due in no small part to the absence of the resort”.

“Further, over 200 talented and hard-working Vincentians were forced to find other jobs and endured great difficulty when the Resort was abruptly shuttered. Many of them are still owed wages from their work at the resort.”

The minister’s comments may have been euphemistically put given the tumultuous weeks leading up to closure of the resort, which came when the state-owned power company disconnected its electricity connection for non-payment of fees.

For weeks, workers had protested outside of the resort over the non-payment of their wages and salaries.

Dave Ames, a Britain-born naturalised Vincentian businessman who is the most well-known principal behind the resort, fled St. Vincent and the Grenadines as prosecutors moved in on him on tax evasion and theft charges, related to the non-payment into the state coffers of monies deducted from employees’ pay packets.

Ames has also been brought up on corruption charges in the United Kingdom to which he fled after leaving St. Vincent for St. Lucia via speedboat from the north-western port of Chateaubelair.

The finance minister said that initially, the government was given “unduly optimistic estimates” about when the resort would re-open.

“Those estimates were based entirely on our conversations with the principals involved in the legal proceedings to navigate the hotel through the bankruptcy and insolvency process.

“However, today, I can report that the investors and creditors of the resort, in communication with the bankruptcy trustee, have approved a plan for the management of the Resort and are currently fine-tuning the details of management proposals from credible and competent entities with excellent track records in hotel management,” Gonsalves said.

The minister also said that Blacksands Resort, a multi-million dollar development in Peters’ Hope that broke ground in January 2017, has obtained the necessary first-phase planning permissions and will commence construction this year.

The project consists of 40 villas, totalling 160 rooms, and a 200-room hotel.

Post-construction, the resort is anticipated to employ 300 Vincentians when it is fully operational, the minister said.

He further reiterated his government’s plans to build a state-owned, private-sector-managed hotel or hotels to add 200–350 rooms to the current stock.

“This model is common throughout the region, with the Barbados Hilton, the Trinidad and Tobago Marriott and the Saint Kitts and Nevis Marriott being just a few of the many state-owned facilities that are managed by major international brands.

“Thanks to a recent fruitful conversation with bilateral partners, I predict that the Government will be breaking ground on a new hotel, hopefully, in the fourth quarter of 2018, that will employ over 200 Vincentians,” the minister said.

13 replies on “Buccament Resort ‘will definitely reopen’ before 2018 tourist season”

  1. As they say, talk is cheap but seeing is believing. My own view is that this is all pre-election (if the petitions are successful) rhetoric.

    1. Ain’t you the same guy, that said the Argle international airport wouldn’t get avaition approval? I think your employed by a regional government to divide Vincentians more.. How much they paying you? I think it’s time for you to stop talking.. Your credibility is void.. retire..

      1. I never wrote anything that remotely said that. You are mistaking me with the that purveyor of invented information, Peter Binose, now calling himself by several other names because he was proven so wrong about all he wrote about the airport.

        The Prime Minister is single-handedly responsible for the Buccament resort mess by approving its construction and marketing by a man like Dave Ames, a person with a checkered past and with no capital, expertise, or experience in the hospitality industry.

        Buccament resort is failure and will continue to be a failure the same way Argyle airport has been a failure and will continue to be a failure.

  2. So what about all the hard working Vincentians who are owed for their hard work? They have equity at Buccama, those 200 workers should be first and foremost.

  3. Richard James says:

    St. Kitts Marriott is not owned by the State.
    The Property (Land & Buildings) is owned by Vittorio “Vic” De Zen, a Canadian businessman who also has St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship and managed by Marriott International so please don’t induce us in this,

    Proud Kittitian

  4. The only hotel of the three mentioned that I found any evidence of government ownership is the Barbados Hilton which is earmarked for sale by the government because it has lost money most of the years the government has owned it.

    The government of Jamaica during the socialist Michael Manley era bought up a lot of the on north coast, ran them into the ground, and was forced to sell them back to the private sector where they again became profitable.

    This story about the government of SVG building a hotel is pure nonsense.

    1. C. ben, you certainly do know more about this topic than many that attack you. I do not agree with you on other topics but you certainly have been the most accurate about our tourism industry, and what is connected to it. Geopolitics intertwined with economics can be seen like playing a card game for money. It is a rule that if you want to win, you play your strongest hand. The strongest hand for SVG whether we like it or not is Agriculture, in spite of our mountainous terrain. We are economic losers because we play Tourism as our strongest hand when it certainly is not.
      Whenever government attempts to take over parts of the private sector’s business it always flops. Ralph Gonsalves likes history but he always fails to learn the lessons of history.

  5. This doesn’t seem many jobs in exchange for ruining large stretches of our beautiful country with crap hotels. Such a shame we simply try and emulate what other countries are doing / have done and have no fresh ideas of our own. ?

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