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Buccament Bay Resort during its heyday. (Photo: Harlequin)
Buccament Bay Resort during its heyday. (Photo: Harlequin)
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Buccament Bay Resort, which has been closed since December 2016, is unlikely to reopen before late 2020.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, speaking at a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday, said the December 2019 target date that the new investor gave in March is not going to be possible.

“This will have to be sometime next year. Sometime next year and I will think the amount of work which is going to be required to be done, I don’t know if that is going to happen before the next tourist season,” he said, adding, “It is complicated.”

In October 2018, Gonsalves announced that Glass, a naturalised Vincentian, along with Barry Ferdinand, who is originally of Rose Hall, and Jonathan Mills, a Scot, are the new investors in the resort.

In March, Glass told iWitness News that the acquisition was going  “quite well” but there are still some legal matters to be resolved.

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Glass had said the investors would have liked to see all the legal issues sorted out within eight weeks.

He said that after that, there would be a “significant amount of repairing of infrastructure and central facilities.

“The infrastructure has to be redone and a lot of the interiors have to be repaired, pools — top to bottom,” he told iWitness News.

He said that in addition to that, the new investors would be expanding the resort.

Speaking in the same interview, Ferdinand emphasised that the December 2019 date was only a target.

“We can only target it. Target is based on a number of things like completion — practical completion has not even been done. We’ve exchanged so we are going through a due diligence process. A target date is December. That was our target. Make sure you quote target date, because targets are moveable.”

In his comments on Tuesday, Gonsalves said he was glad that the investors had come on board. He told the media he did not think that the investors would be deterred by the delay.

“I don’t want to comment adversely on any party in the business but I don’t think so.”

The prime minister said he was disappointed that the process was taking so long.

He said there were “several legal issues and when you have the investors, KPMG, the entity dealing with the entire liquidation and individual players outside of those down there and the government, it is a highly complicated set of legal issues.

“It’s a matter that has to be looked at very carefully and we have a good lawyer in the Attorney General’s chambers under the direction of the honourable attorney general dealing with this matter. And as much as I am disappointed in the slowness, I want to make sure that everything is done properly,” he said.

19 replies on “Buccament Resort unlikely to reopen before late 2020”

  1. David Ames age 67 celeb-backed Caribbean scheme ‘cheated investors out of £390M’ the court was told in 2018. Moreover, up there in the UK we learn in March 2019 that £125m was “Paid Out To Harlequin Resort Investors”

    Indeed, up there in the UK their “Consumer watchdogs have lifted a veil to give some idea of the financial chaos they are sorting out that was left behind by sunshine island resort firm Harlequin.
    The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has paid 2,900 investors around £125 million compensation after they lost money in the scheme relating to the mis-selling of hotel and resort accommodation”.

    The question for the moment is has the UK authorities now finished with their investigations and have now settled the matter all together. See KPMG report of November 6, 2018

  2. Why young guys back in the days never used to be doing things like these these guys of today is bad mind they have they want their hands and feet break up and leave them like that

  3. Lets for Gods sake be told the truth instead of a bleached version.

    Half the site does not belong to the receiver. The other half the receiver has control of has a number of first call financial encumbrances on it. People and others who have first call on whatever is paid for the development, and if it is sold for less than what is owed to these people with court awards the receiver will have to pay the balance from his own pocket. Unlike all the others and Vincentians these people have first call on the money, not a rate on the dollar but everything they are owed.

  4. If we equate this to the Argyle airport. The Cubans took a three year project and took ten years to finish it. In the 4th year and each year after that we were told it would be finished in the next year, these were little more than lies devised to tell the Vincentian people what they wanted to hear.

    I think you will find this is the same kind of telling the people what they think we want to hear.

    The shame is even intelligent Vincentians are dumb enough to continually believe these deceptions.

  5. All of this can easily be sorted-out before December but due to total incompetence it may take until December 2021. C. Ben David had said the December date will not happen. I do not agree with C. Ben on most other topics but on Tourism he knows his stuff better than anyone. The SVG Government has proven over and over again to be administrative idiots that love red-tape and move like snails because they are incompetent and lazy. Even with all the red-tape they will still manage to screw it up. Then you have the element of corruption. There is always “connected” entities that want a piece of the pie, so it will also end-up costing more than originally planned.

    1. There are a group of investors who took the matter of having invested money in Buccament with an undertaking that they could get full refund of their investment. Took the matter to court and was awarded the repayment of their investment with ongoing interest until fully repaid. Because they got this judgment prior to liquidation it takes preference over all other claims. Therefore the liquidator is responsible to paying them in full, not cents on the dollar, their full claim. Their claim takes priority.

      Should the liquidator sell for less than the amount owed to these protected investors, he will be required to pay any shortfall from his own funds. So he will not be doing that.
      The only way out is for the government to forfeit what they are owed for the Vinlec bill, NIS, VAT, tax and other costs. Then to pay the liquidator any shortfall in paying the secured creditors.

      There is a real possibility that the secured creditors may end up taking over the project if the liquidator is unable to pay them.

      Thinking about it, the only person to have been satisfactorily paid at Buccament was the Prime Ministers wife who right at the beginning of the project was awarded the contract to furbish and furnish the first half dozen beach front sheds, allegedly for a vast amount of money. There must be questions about how she was awarded this contract by Harlequin and did anyone else have the opportunity to bid for this contract. This is a matter that should be fully investigated under the auspices of transparency and possible corruption. Who can do this? No one that I know of, because I believe the setup in SVG is such that the regime and dynasty control the police and I personally believe to a greater or lesser extent the judiciary.

      1. Very Good Jolly Green and I agree. Is there no entity, such as these rich investors that can take a hit by paying-off these creditors in exchange for a repayment as the resort starts to make money. You and I suspect that the government of SVG will not allow this but instead want a big chunk of money immediately and off the top before anyone else sees a cent.
        We end up with a resort that just sits there year after year doing nothing because the greed of the few (particularly our government) will not allow the investors to get justice under the motto “government first”.

  6. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Yada, yada, yada. More slippery excuses. Drum roll please: “The infrastructure has to be redone and a lot of the interiors have to be repaired, pools — top to bottom.” Who would have known? Listen, is “repairs” they are talking about, you know. Now ask, when did they start the repairs?

    In October 2018. Ralph was disappointed that it was not going be opened by December 2018. It was to be opened in 2018.

    I dare say he was “disappointed,” but I am sure he was not surprised. One would like to think you cannot fool this prime minister so easy.

    And I am equally sure he is just as unsurprised with the 2020 date. Aside from “repairs,” Buccament is an unbounded legal nightmare and Comrade is a lawyer. He would know. “It is complicated” is sellable; cute and palatable, too. But mostly, it is to evoke empathy and, hopefully, sympathy.

    2018 get kick to 2019. 2019 get kick to 2020. And what you think would come in 2020? If there was ever a case of kicking the can down the road, this is it.

    Ah, but for a touch of due diligence at the beginning, it would not have been this way. Then again Ames’s son, Mathew, would not have had a Lamborghini.

    1. Of course they are not working on it now, they cannot get title to it, and may never get title to it.

      Patrick, Dave Ames son Mathew Ames was also renting a fully manned villa on Mustique for $35,000 US a week, and was eventually imprisoned in the UK for a multi million UK Pound fraud against investors in a scheme he devised.

      The regime and dynasty was warned early of Dave Ames being called out for alleged land and property deal fraud in Australia and Brazil. Everyone knew about it, the internet was full of it. Yet he was still sold the Buccament Rasta farming area for a song and a little dance perhaps.

      The BBC alleged Gonsalves took a suit case full of cash from Ames. Despite Gonsalves vehemently denying that, there has never been a public or judicial enquiry into the matter.

    2. Patrick as you are a comparatively young man [compared with the comrade] I doubt you actually ever watched ‘The $64,000 Question’ American game show. You may have been a baby or a toddler.

      Keep on trucking bro!

  7. Amos Greaves. says:

    Jolly be careful when you state people ‘say name if you cannot prove it. There is a tort called defamation. When I write I am very discreet with my writing so that no one can sue me.

  8. Of course I can prove it otherwise I would not have written it, it is in the public domain already and well documented.

  9. In October 2018, Gonsalves announced that Glass, a naturalised Vincentian, along with Barry Ferdinand, who is originally of Rose Hall, and Jonathan Mills, a Scot, are the new investors in the resort.

    Simply another porky-pie on the part of one Phatt Pratt. I doubt a cent has been laid down by anyone because a clean title is not available. These people may be prospective investors, but to describe them as investors simply is not true.

    Mr Glass, can I ask you this? If you and your group eventually are able to buy the resort, will Mrs Gonsalves get the contract to refurbish and refurnish it or any part of it?

    Just asking out of interest, having carefully followed Harlequin, Blue Lagoon and Bequia Plantation.

    1. Mike you may like all the corruption in SVG […] The rest of don’t because it hurts everyone, especially the poorest among us.

  10. Back in February 2013 Jolly, Kenton had given us an initial report of the then noted BBC encounter between PM Ralph Gonsalves and those BBC investigative reporters, who were there as we understand it, to report on the David Ames affairs for a BBC T.V programme.

    The question for the moment is, is there ever rising smoke without there being a fire in the vicinity? Just asking? by the way, was there ever a filed litigation against those BBC Investigators by the man who loves to file litigations? Just asking again?

    As to David Ames, we read on the12th December 2018 that in London; “Millionaire couple made bankrupt amid £390m property fraud probe” and as they say, the rest is history!

    1. James Buccament is a prime example of stupidness in business.

      Ralph Gonsalves as far as I have always been concerned is an educated idiot, that is my opinion. He lacks common sense and street wiseness. In a business community where he had to earn his money on his own astute decisions and ability he would be broke even before he started. Broke like Julian was for years scrounging cigarettes because he did not have the money to buy a packet.

      Being in control of other peoples money and suddenly being in charge of finances whereby you can spend what you want on whatever you want, when ever you want, is something totally different.

      Dave Ames and Dave was brought to Gonsalves by a Vincentian and a well known Barbadian contractor, a wealthy man. Dave Ames had a background of alleged fraud in Thailand and Australia. He had also a record of bankrupted companies in the UK. Gonsalves took Ames without proper due diligence otherwise he would have known that Ames was iffy, to say the least. If Gonsalves did proper due diligence and still accepted Ames as a bonafide resort developer, that may even be worse.

      They proceeded as a group of four partners. Ames started selling Buccament off of artist impression drawings. Selling to British retirees, pensioners who were generally not rich people.

      Ames wanted to change how the site works were to proceed with a big cost cutting scheme which affected the engineering of the site and its integrity and safety aspects. The three partners were side-lined by Ames who now was banking millions without telling the other three where is was being banked, certainly not in SVG.

      The Vincentian and the Barbadian partners now wanted out, and were paid off by Ames.

      That James is the beginning of the end, I have the whole story down to fine details, from several contradictory sources, even the truth from a now dead lawyer.

      Was anyone on the take, was corruption involved, that will eventually be a story to be told.

  11. In all of this the staff has equity in the property. Who is looking into the equity of the staff members?

    It seems as if the government has no interest in ensuring the staff get their due.

    This is most telling because the government’s top priority ought to be its people.

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