Sandals Resort International, which on Wednesday signed a deal for the acquisition of the former Buccament Bay Resort, has asked the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines not to disclose its timeline for opening the new property.
“Sandals has shared a timeline with us. But they have asked us not to disclose it at this time, given the uncertainties related to COVID,” Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves told iWitness News at the signing ceremony on Wednesday.
“Sandals, as you may know, just opened a resort in the Bahamas two weeks ago and had to close it today (Wednesday) because of the cancellation of flights in the United States,” he noted.
“So in the spirit of uncertainty, they don’t want to publicly disclose a date and then miss that date for matters related to COVID.
“I will say that in Grenada, Sandals LaSource, which was also a former hotel that was rehabilitated and expanded, became a 250-room hotel in a space of 10 months,” Gonsalves said.
“And there’re obviously a number of similarities between Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but for the start date, it requires on Sandals’ part, sufficiently frequent flights for all of the experts to be able to come in and do some additional design work and for the movement of products through ports in a sufficiently seamless way that they can do their work.
“So they’ve given us an indication, but the variable is COVID. And they’ve asked us therefore not to put out a date in the public. That is uncertain.” Buccament Bay Resort closed in December 2016 when its electricity supply was disconnected. Workers had been protesting for a month before this over the non-payment of wages.