NASSAU, BAHAMAS — For the second time in just under a year, Leigh Rodney, the owner of Compass Point on West Bay Street, has issued the government an ultimatum.
Rodney has demanded the government eliminate the “nonsensical” rules and regulations imposed on residents over the last few months or the restaurant will close for good on election day 2022.
In an advert, Rodney wrote: “Hurricane did not close Compass Point. The virus did not close Compass Point. The Free National Movement will close Compass Point.”
He continued: “I think most people would agree many of the decrees imposed upon us these last few months were nonsensical and stupid. The owner of Compass Point simply wants to discuss eliminating rules and regulations that are stupid.
“Why will the minister of tourism not meet with the owner of Compass Point?
“Why will the minister of tourism not even phone the owner of Compass Point?
“Compass Point will close of election day, if the stupid regulations the present government applies to its business are not eliminated.
“The owner of Compass Point is simply saying with three years notice, I quit.
“A year has been wasted since Compass Point first publicized its dissatisfaction.
“It is less than two years to the next election.”
Calls placed to Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar were not returned.
In a full-page ad in The Tribune in August 2019, Rodney threatened to shutter operations if the Minnis administration won the next election without acting on the promise made when the Free National Movement was elected in 2017.
Rodney said he wished to meet with the government to discuss how hotels were being regulated in the country.
The owner said the paid advertisement would be the “only thing Compass Point has to say publicly regarding the matter”.
“If the leadership of this country resorts to publicly distorting this request into derogatory statements, the owner of CP will not respond.
“The CP owner is not interested in making this a public spectacle, he is not running for office.
“He simply wants to make some positive changes that will benefit everyone in The Bahamas.”
At the time, D’Aguilar said he understood Rodney’s concerns related to the hotel licensing process, but disagreed with his position.
He said he stopped dealing with the owner after he sought to leverage and threaten the government with the ultimatum of closing down.
Last October, the government said it was satisfied with the overall improvements made over the past two years to address the ease of doing business, noting greater improvements are anticipated in the upcoming year.
The Bahamas saw a slight decline in its position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, dropping one spot to the 119th position out of 190 countries — a position held in 2018.