$3 million to carry out immediate repairs to Grand Lucayan Resort

The Grand Lucayan Hotel.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Government has agreed to inject over $3 million to carry out immediate repairs to the Grand Lucayan Resort, and renovations are expected to begin before the end of the year, Senator Kwasi Thompson revealed on Monday.

Thompson, who also serves as the Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, said renovations will particularly focus on the hotel’s income-generating lighthouse pointe buildings, the convention centre, the breaker’s cay roof, and the central air conditioning system which services the entire resort.

“There will also be work on cosmetic renovations to the retail area and the exterior of the casino,” Thompson said. “We expect the process to begin before the end of the year.”

On Monday, ads were placed in a local daily by Grand Lucayan Bahamas, which sought request for tenders for: the hotel’s roof refurbishment, lighthouse pointe buildings, supply and assembly of a wedding gazebo, cooling tower refurbishment, building management systems, the supply and installation of an emergency back-up generator, fire alarm and life safety systems and refurbishment of the casino façade and entry areas.

Thompson, who was speaking at the signing ceremony for the refurbishment of the Garnet Lavarity Justice Center in Grand Bahama, also confirmed that the Ministry of Tourism is promoting the resort to generate additional room occupancy in partnership with Bahamasair, American Airlines, Balearia Caribbean and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines through summer 2019.

Airlift to Grand Bahama, Thompson said,  is being addressed by the Board of Bahamasair, which expects delivery of a 727-800 series jet aircraft in Spring 2019, for utilization in a summer airlift program that will offer 4-night rotations from several US gateways commencing May-August, 2019.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation through its efforts with tour operators expects the summer airlift program to deliver a significant number of passengers to Grand Bahama Island,” Thompson said.

While addressing the media on the latest tourism figures last Friday, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar revealed that more than 20 persons had expressed an interest in the purchase of the Grand Lucayan Resort and the government is hopeful that the resort will be sold by the second quarter of next year.

“We have hired a company called Colliers to manage the process for us to go out to market and get the proposals in [and] to sift through them and to make a recommendation to the government on which one we should accept,” D’Aguilar said, adding that some 11 or 12 persons have signed non-disclosure agreements to obtain information about the hotel.

The government purchased the Grand Lucayan Resort for $65 million, paying $30 million up-front.

A resolution was passed in the House of Assembly for the government to borrow the balance from Hutchison Lucaya Limited and Bahama Reef Limited to facilitate the purchase.

The sale of the Resort was executed on September 11.

The sale included 405 acres of land; seven buildings containing 7 million square feet of space; 1,271 rooms and suites; 19 restaurants and lounges; 15 meeting rooms; 45,000 square feet of meeting space; three pools; an 18-hole golf course; a casino; a spa; and a fitness centre.

Michael Scott was appointed chairman of the special purpose vehicle charged with finding a buyer for the resort.