Vincentians among new Buccament resort investors

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

Naturalised Vincentian businessman Kelly Glass, along with Barry Ferdinand, who is originally of Rose Hall, and Jonathan Mills, a Scot, are the new investors in Buccament Bay Resort, which has been closed since December 2016.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon during a media conference.

He told the hastily-organised media briefing that the investors signed earlier that day a heads of terms of agreement (memorandum of understanding) with Brian Glasgow, the trustee in bankruptcy for Harlequin, owners of the resort.

“We had a long session this morning — about two and a half hours — with all the persons involved in the Buccament matter — the investors,” Gonsalves said.

He said that Mills and Glass are involved in two tourism projects in Bequia.

Those properties are Plantation House, a hotel, and a tourism development at Adams Bay.

“And they are branding them under a particular rubric,” Gonsalves said, noting that Glass also owns Blue Lagoon, a hotel in Ratho Mill on St. Vincent’s south western coast.

Advertisement

“So he and his group will be among the leading hoteliers if not the leading hotelier in the country,” Gonsalves said and reiterated his invitation for other Vincentians to invest in the tourism sector.

The prime minister said that while Glass is among the prospective owners of Buccament Bay Resort, “we have to dot some I’s and cross some t’s.”

“There are some other issues which are involved because there are about 2 acres of beachfront land for the government. We are seeking to come to terms as to how we work those out — those two acres.

“There are some other things which we undertake to do in respect with another parcel of land, because it was a very complicated property with different sets of owners and complicated practically and legally. That’s why it has taken so long and the negotiations have been so difficult between the new investors and the trustees in bankruptcy.”

Part of the resort is built on land belonging to the government, while another section is located on land belonging to two private citizens, according to evidence led during a civil action that the resort owners had brought against a previous service provider.

Gonsalves said another meeting is scheduled for Friday.

“We do some tidying up on some things. Hopefully, we can come to some financial conclusions about a couple matters between the investors and the state on Friday morning at 10 o’clock. So, I’m gonna ask the press to be on standby for about 11, 11:15 or thereabout so that you can meet these new investors, assuming — and I have confidence that we will solve the problems, the remaining difficulties.

“But you never know. It’s never over until it’s over, or, as they say in baseball, until the fat lady sings — whatever, I don’t know the origin of that particular expression.”

The prime minister said he was happy that two of the investors are Vincentians, even as he noted that Glass was born in New Zealand.

Gonsalves said Mills is also involved in tourism projects in Scotland.

He said that Ferdinand was born in Rose Hall but spent many years in the United Kingdom, where he was a property developer.

“So it is good to see two Vincentians inside of this mix. And we are proceeding apace with the activity at Mt Wynne for the state,” he said, referring to the 250-room hotel that he said his government will build there.

Gonsalves further gave insights into the second hotel that Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, said earlier this month the government plans to build.

“It will be an airport hotel. The idea is to have it built on five, seven acres of land at Diamond, just before you turn the corner to go up to Kings Hill. The idea is to have a Holiday Express, but have a little extra feature to it, swimming pools and so on, so that Vincentians can go on weekends, holidays and so on,” the prime minister said.

Tuesday’s announcement comes exactly two weeks after the prime minister told the media that the resort would not reopen this year, as the government had hoped.

“… the legal work is moving slower than he would have wished,” he told an Oct. 2 press conference.

The resort, which has the largest number of rooms of any tourism facility in St. Vincent, was forced to close in December 2016, when the state-owned power company cut its electricity supply over non-payment of bills.

This followed several weeks of protest by workers over the non-payment of wages.

Since then, the government has brought fraud and tax evasion charges against naturalised Vincentian, Britain-born Dave Ames, the main principal behind the resort, who fled the country in June 2017 as prosecutors moved in on him.

29 COMMENTS

  1. 1. We have signed several memoranda of understanding — non-binding agreements of an interest by two or more parties in possibly engaging in some mutually agreeable activity or the other — over the past several years, only one of which (Black Sands Resort and Villas at Mt Wynne with Pace Developments Inc of Toronto) may bear any any fruit (see https://www.iwnsvg.com/2016/03/29/investing-in-st-vincents-tourism-industry/).

    2. After two years of trying to raise the Lazarus called Buccament Bay Resort back from the dead all we have been able to attract is a ragtag gang of three bush league investors who will quickly replicate the Dave Ames scenario or end up at each others throuts fighting over the scraps of the resort that remain.

    3. Meanwhile, it has just been announced that the first Waldorf-Astoria in the Caribbean is going to be located in Antigua, and is one of 15 new hotels that have been approved for construction in Antigua and Barbuda (https://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/10/05/first-waldorf-astoria-in-the-caribbean-one-of-15-new-hotels-approved-in-antigua-barbuda/).

    The Waldorf Astoria Collection is a Hilton Worldwide luxury hotel and resort brand and is the flagship brand within Hilton’s portfolio for hotels that offer the highest standards of facilities and service.

    4. We are simply bottom feeders, and will always be bottom feaders, in the highly competitive global tourism industry.

    • I have met Kelly Glass, climbing our volcano with his wife and kid. He actually offered me a ride as I trudged up the road to the start of the trail, in a BMW X5. I’ve never been in one, and that was my only experience. He said, you couldn’t pay me to buy this car. I really didn’t understand that at all and it really piqued my curiosity. I didn’t know who he was then. I was very impressed with him, and I’m a fairly good judge of fast horses, very talented man, hardly ragtag, hardly bush league. That’s just insulting, not good journalism at all. If Kelly Glass is involved, it usually works. There are obviously factors beyond his control, but he almost has a Midas touch, and he cares about people, even animals. We passed a cow beside the road, tangled up in its leash. He stopped the car, asked his son, what say we untangle that poor cow? Son wasn’t interested, so we drove on.The day was quality time with his son. Before you insult someone sir, you need to know them, and spend time with them..

      • What is journalism?

        Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities.
        Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, they are what make it indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have. (Source: https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/journalism-essentials/what-is-journalism/)

    • You are way off base. You want to become slaves again to the 1% really wealthy in the world? Why?.I’m sort of a tourist, poor Canadian, mostly a climate refugee and eco tourist. I come from a huge very wealthy country, and I have witnessed such poverty here, so much suffering. I really like St Vincent. Mustique is bad enough. Even Bequia is no longer affordable, and there really isn’t much to do there. Don’t just look at dollars. Look at what is good for the island. A Waldorf Historia is a really desperate proposal, as in sell your soul to the devil. I like most of your prolific writing, but not this column. Do you want more money, or do you want a better quality of life? They are different.

  2. Any more work for Mrs Gonsalves the interior designer? Or some catering concessions for Mrs Gonsalves the caterer and cafe owner?

    • …and what is wrong with Mrs. Gonsalves providing a service and being paid for it?

      Jolly Green, you appear to be green with envy.

      Perhaps you can consider entering the interior decorating area and establish yourself as one of the best so people will have more choices in choosing interior decorators.

      • I can understand this perspective …….give others a chance plus this can be view as conflict of interest……besides honestly the design decor work is average to fair.

  3. This is good news because it will create jobs for local people. About the Mt Wynne hotel project, why build a hotel of only 50 rooms? Why not build a hotel of 100 rooms?
    The ULP government appears to be working hard on tourism development in SVG, which is a good thing. It looks as if the ULP are finally doing their homework and listening to some of the many complains of the people.
    We have a beautiful country. Our sister islands are some of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, That too has to be managed properly or at least managed better than now. We should not sell off these lands to foreigners. Leasing these lands for a finite period would be a better deal.
    We have a unique product (32 islands)and we have much to offer in terms of ecotourism in SVG.
    Good work Dr. Gonsalves. Now, do the much-needed work on the capital, clean it Kingstown, fix all the roads, restore our historical sites. Make it beautiful again. A well-developed capital city should be a priority for any good government.

  4. Does the equity of the former employees factored into the arrangement?

    Is the union looking into the equity of the former employees?

    The former employees are also stake holders why is it the media do not ask Mr PM these questions?

    The Vincys who work there are voters remember that.

  5. elections are right around the corner ………ULP strategies will pay off ………given all these potential jobs to be gain in the near future if all these hotels projects becomes a reality , I hope that whatever government has power that they past legislative laws to protect the local workers that would be working in these hotels . fare wages, health benefits , insurances , equal opportunity against foreign workers, and making sure they get paid without delay . Im not sure if SVG has a workers union for the hotel worker industry but if not its very much needed . But the gov. on the other hand needs to play its roll to pass laws that makes it illegal to violate the rights of our working citizens . Maybe the NDP can advocate for the workers which in return would maybe get some votes

  6. Real people with real wealth, both Vincentians, Barry Vincentian by birth, Kelly by the trammelling hands of the personally owned and administered Gonsalves Citizenship by Investment Scheme [2001 to present day].

    I am unsure if Barry Ferdinand has a close relationship with Gunzi but Gunzi certainly has a close family and business relationship with Kelly Glass. All kinds of intriguing entanglement most of which but not all is open and visual. I will of course as time goes on illuminate the situation and the hip-linked association.

    My Belgrave/Knightbridge neighbour and friend. Barry is a self made British/Vincentian entrepreneur, a very successful character and is approved by me as worthy.

  7. Here are my concerns, questions and issues with this arrangement:

    1. Who is Kelly Glass? What do we know about him?

    2. is Kelly Glass a personal friend of James Mitchell and Ralph Gonsalves?

    3. Does Eloise Gonsalves have a business at Blue Lagoon, a property that is owned by Kelly Glass? Is this not a CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

    4. Does Storm Gonsalves have financial and Real Estate dealings with Kelly Glass?

    5. Is Kelly Glass a friend of a John West?

    6. Does Ralph Gonsalves have companies registered outside of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that is doing business with the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

    7. Why does the Prime Minister of a small country like St. Vincent and the Grenadines need to have some 87 security persons at his disposable?

    8. Do the People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines understand the consequences of some what Ralph has been doing and continues to do?

    9. Is Ralph Gonsalves an ELITIST SWINE of the highest order?

    10. Why did Ralph amend and or change the Mustique Company Act?

    11. How many acres of Prime Real Estate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that have been sold and or continues to be sold to outsiders without full disclosure pursuant to law?

    12. How may favours did James Mitchell grant Ralph Gonsalves while he was Prime Minister?

    13. How many corporations are registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that is ripping off the treasury?

    14. Why do we continue to sell prime Real Estate such Peter’s Hope, Mt Wynne and Buccament to our demise?

    15. What is the expense account of the Prime Minister Residence?

    16. What is the entertainment expense of the Prime Minister’s residence?

    17. Should Ralph Gonsalves and members of the ULP serve time at Belle Isle should the evidence reflect same and the court proceedings be so agreeable?

    18. Is Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP using St, Vincent and the Grenadines, the same way, Suharto did to Indonesia for 27 years?

    19. Will NDP and Godwin Friday be any different than Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP with respect to some of questions raised in the above?

    Buccament was a rotten deal from the beginning. It continues to be a rotten deal. We are selling out our birth right, to the highest bidders.

    Petit St. Vincent is Vincentian Real Property. Mustique is Vincentian Real Property. Canoun is Vincentian Real Property.

    Kenton Chance, I appreciate you my brother and friend.

    A PERSONAL NOTE

    I have been calling into Radio Programmes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since the beginning of such programmes. I have been making written submissions to IWNSVG , Caribbean News Now and others for a longtime. I have a YouTube channel: The Venting Vigilante. I have been called names. I have been verbally abused by supporters of Ralph and the ULP. I have been called a YARDBOY and amount other unsavoury names. I have been asked to cease and desist my online activities.

    They have been attempting to isolate, destabilize, demobilize and demoralize me for sometime. I believe in justice, Freedom and Democracy, and my God. One of my favourite verses in the bible is from the Book of Joshua, Chapter 1, Verse 9.

    I am not a member of any political party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    I have NO desire to CEASE and DESIST my purpose and will continue with my representation of satisfying the cause and purpose. It is believed that Ralph has, his unofficial ambassadors and operatives, everywhere, interfering in and with Law Abiding Citizens lives. I AM VERY FEARLESS.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

    • Your rhetorical #19 sums it all up.

      “All a dem a de same” is what I have always preached.

      Why de a*s would anyone ever enter politics in the poorer countries of the Caribbean where interventionist polices always backfire? Their only motive is personal gain.

    • Big Youth you are right, when Mrs Richardson who Ralph calls by her name of endearment to him “Wanky Janky” married Kelly Glass he became Vincentian because he was then married to a Vincentian, albeit from somewhere else, herself Vincentian by marriage.

      WJ cooks curry whenever she can for Ralph and delivers it to him. You see how close the relationship is between the Glass’s and the Gonsalves.

    • Jolly Green is the reincarnated Peter Binose, a white Englishman married to a Vincentian woman, who knows very little about the country but nevertheless has a deranged hatred of the Comrade.

  8. Here is the problem with Mrs Gonsalves benefiting from a deal approved by her husband the Prime Minister.

    Ralph Gonsalves negotiated and approved the original Dave Ames deal and Mrs Gonsalves got a contract to interior design and furnish the first handful of show bungalows/sheds. Investors, suppliers, the State of SVG, Vinlec, the peoples , just about everyone lost money, except the Gonsalves who benefited.

    Now the resort has been sold to a conglomeration among who are the Gonsalves personal friends and people they have already established business’s with. The receivers are disposing of the asset and still everyone loses money except the new investors who gain from the previous losses. For the Gonsalves to again make a gain when everyone else in SVG has made a loss does not sit right with what I would consider decency and it does look like a conflict of interests.

    https://kentonxtchance.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/eustace-objects-to-governments-hands-off-approach-to-buccament-resort/

    http://www.caribbean360.com/opinion/peter-binose-is-it-true

    http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/opinion-is-the-reopening-of-buccament-a-second-chance-of-an-earner-for-someone/

  9. Did you all forget about this which was awarded to Kelly Glass’s company earlier this year?

    The Vincentian newspaper of June 1, 2018, under the caption: PARLIAMENT GETS UPDATE ON GEOTHERMAL PROJECT, wrote, “According to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the contract for this phase of the project was awarded to Kelectric Company Ltd. and signed on May 16, 2018.
    “The civil works include the construction of a water supply system with up to 1.5Km of pipeline from the Rabacca River to the drill pad site.”

    Simon obviously forgot because he commented

    Simon June 8, 2018 at 12:51 PM
    So Kelly Glass’s company got the contract, interesting to say the least.
    How many bidders were there and how was the Kelectric company selected? Have they ever done such a project before?
    Perhaps Julian Francis should tell us why Kelectric was selected.
    https://www.iwnsvg.com/2018/06/08/will-st-vincent-benefit-from-a-geothermal-energy-plant/

    Wake up Simon

  10. Cronyism exists when the appointer and the beneficiary such as an appointee are in social or business contact.

    Often, the appointer needs support in his or her own proposal, job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken his or her proposals, vote against issues, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.

    Politically, “cronyism” is derogatorily used to imply buying and selling favors, such as: votes in legislative bodies, as doing favors to organizations, giving desirable ambassadorships to exotic places, etc.
    Ref: Daniel Garza (March 12, 2012). April 2012 “Government Cronyism is Back”

    When a politician to surrounds him- or herself with highly qualified subordinates, and to develop social, business, or political friendships leading to the appointment to office of friends, likewise in granting government contracts. In fact, the counsel of such friends is why the officeholder successfully obtained his or her powerful position; therefore, cronyism usually is easier to perceive than to demonstrate and prove. Politicians with representatives of business, other special interests, as unions and professional organizations get “crony-business” done in political agreements, especially by “reasonable” and lucrative honorariums to the politician for making speeches, or by legal donations to ones election campaign or to ones political party, etc.
    Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cronyism

Comments are closed.