There are increasing signs of disrepair at Buccament Bay Resort, seen here in mid June 2018. (iWN photo)

If Buccament Bay Resort does not reopen by the end of the year, it will be a disappointment for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

The resort, which has the largest number of rooms of any tourism facility in St. Vincent, has been closed since December 2016.

The resort was finally forced to close when its power supply was cut, after several weeks of protest by workers over the non-payment of wages.

IN PHOTOS: BUCCAMENT BAY RESORT, ONE YEAR LATER

“From the discussions which we had today, I will be disappointed if we don’t have Buccama opened by December. Now, it’s tight for all of us to work together but I think we can make it,” Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Thursday.

“You know you are writing a hard exam, you are preparing for it and you are confident that you are going to pass it and, therefore, if you don’t pass it, you feel disappointed?” Gonsalves said in contextualising his expectation.

“But you have to work hard for it.  That’s the point I want to make. Because I don’t want anybody who never build anything in their life and who don’t understand anything to say, ‘Oh, Ralph says it’s opening in December.’ I am telling you what we are working towards.

“But the trustees in bankruptcy, the people who are going to get the operations to run, we have to all work together and the idea which they are presenting is to open 100 rooms first and to build it out.”

Gonsalves also used the opportunity to update the nation on a number of proposed tourism facilities across the country.

He said the US$65 million Black Sands Resort consisting of 40 villas at Mt Wynne is underway.

Projections are that the first 10 villas will be completed after the second half of next year and then work will begin on the 200-room hotel the next year, with an estimated completion date of the end of 2020.

“So that’s 400 rooms,” the prime minister said.

He said his government is also planning to build a tourism plant at Mt Wynne.

“… we have selected two groups of international architects,” he said, adding that one idea is to build a hotel that will be built on each side of the stream at Mt Wynne, and a higher level hotel of about 75 rooms on the ridge between both beaches.

To help finance this, the government has secured a soft loan from Taiwan.

“Of course, you can build villas higher up, because it is plenty land,” Gonsalves said.

He said that Invest SVG is talking to a firm about investing in the hotel on the ridge.

“Other people have expressed interest, but the hotel business, constructing it, you have to sift, make sure you get the right people and you have to make sure you do it properly.”

Gonsalves said this means US$65 million being invested by Black Sands, US$50 million by the government-owned hotel to be run by a brand.

“That’s a US$115 million investment in a small area geographically; over 300-and-something million Eastern Caribbean dollars. And the idea is to have these in construction, finishing or almost finished by the end of 2020.”

He said that he knows people will say that he is planning things to coincide with general elections at the end of 2020.

“I dun know the talk. But it’s fortunate that I am informing people all the time about what is happening,” he said, adding that it is the same way that people said he was building the international airport for elections,” said Gonsalves, whose Unity Labour Party will seek a fifth consecutive term in office.

16 replies on “PM would be ‘disappointed’ if Buccament remains closed in December”

  1. Read between the lines: Buccament Bay Resort is certainly not going to re-open by December.

    As far the the government’s pie-in-the-sky plans for a hotel complex at Mt. Wynne, the mention of a stream suggests that this project is for Little Bay because I don’t recall a stream at Big Bay.

    I may be wrong about the location but if correct, this would mean a total refurbishment of the Little Bay area which I would welcome even as I have doubts about the viability of the two projects.

    Hopefully, there would be easy accommodation for local people. But if not and if, by some miracle, both projects are a success I would not object even though I regularly bathe at Mt. Wynne. This is because I accept that meaningful jobs are more important than an occasional sea bath at this locale.

  2. C. Ben-David says:

    The Comrade said, “that people said he was building the international airport for elections.”

    Yes, I have said that dozens of times.

    Does that make it false especially given that the ULP has won the last three elections — and is destined to win the fourth — on the back of his brilliant decision to build AIA?

    Please tell me, why else do politicians around the world build useless facilities except to win elections?

  3. The PM is working hard and as a nation let’s unite and build SVG regardless of party lines so one day we can look back and say look what we came from and what we did together.
    NDP sorry to say but the future looks bright under ULP forecast….. Unless you have a better forecast on the horizon but if you can’t beat them as the phrase goes, ” join them” lol .
    As the man say…. Work hard for what we want but some expecting things to just fall I’m our arms.

    I welcome all the responses lol

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Hard work is never enough. You need something — a potential that is not being actualized — to work on to make it a success. If we had the potential to build a large and thriving mainland tourism industry, it would would have been actualized decades ago by previous regimes and even earlier by our British masters. This potential actually exist in many of parts of the Caribbean which is why it was actualized years ago and are still growing.

      1. Ben…. Over and over I have always said and will continue to say that the only how the tourism industry can be successful is by doing one thing…… That is to tie together the Grenadines market with the mainlands. RENEGOTIATE those bad deals that was made decades ago with the private lease holders, on the basis of national interest. So it an be done!!!!
        The next point to make this a success is the infrastructure which is now completed with the building of the AIA which you can’t accept for some.only God known reasons..
        Things are not gona happen on its own or without HARD WORK!

  4. Black Sands Resorts? Has anyone heard a longing for black sand beaches by those (tourists)who actually create the aura of a desire for white sands? You have hotel currently in bankruptcy, so why not use available resources to pay off debt and acquire its assets? To throw money into another hotel project is nothing short of nonsensical!

    1. Duke DeArment says:

      You are mentioning things that others seem to have missed regardless of how obvious. You are right. Why would the government be building a “tourist plant” when other facilities are in a state of failure? Those of us in SVG have walked barefoot on Black sand on a hot day but not for very long. Tourists with even softer feet will spend even less time on those beaches. I do not understand much of the thinking of our government. There must be something in the water. Why is the government going into the hotel management business in the first place?

    2. There are thousands of owners of the assets at Buccament Bay resort. The government can’t just walk in an take it over. If it tried to exproriate the resort, no other investor would ever come here again.

      1. Like any investment,there are a multitude of stakeholders[ creditors and investors,]but the interest of these parties is guided by a board that must act in good faith to indemnify these vested parties- wherein possible. So, in an effort to meet its fiduciary responsibilities, it [board of directors] can make the decision to sell off assets… That the BB Resort is in bankruptcy,I am willing to wager the investors and creditors alike” would be willing to recoup pennies on the dollar.

  5. I’m unaware, could you bring me up to speed on the latest episode? The PM said the government would not be managing the hotel. Folks need to pay attention before they speak, I’d listened to the entire press conference that was held last Thursday at the PM’s Office in Kingstown. Most of you are unaware of two existing hotels that are state owned, Cobblestones Inn, Kingstown, and the Tamarind Beach Hotel, Canouan island. These properties are being managed by private sector, not the government.

    1. You are quite correct that the government manages few of the many properties it owns via National Properties Ltd.

      But the government built neither of these hotels. It renovated the still rusty Cobblestone and helped rebuild the Tamarind Beach Hotel after it went bankrupt using a public/private partnership.

      The venture at Mt. Wynne would be its first attempt to build a hotel from scratch at a site of questionable tourist appeal.

      That the government is alone managing the AIA white elepahant speaks volumes to its inability to secure top notch professional outside management.

  6. Norris Bullock says:

    We will be disappointed too if this beautiful project is left to idle for longer, as every day it stays unopened its costing money, Why not ask Sandals, or put together a group of local business people, assisted by Government to reopen this project, because it is also holding up other areas of the overall development.

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