DPM: Grand Lucayan sale “finalized very shortly”

DPM: Grand Lucayan sale “finalized very shortly”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Despite the sale of the Grand Lucayan Hotel “taking longer than projected”, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest said the agreement will be “finalized very shortly”.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News on the sidelines of a press conference at the Bahamas Development Bank Thursday, Turnquest said all of the major points in the proposed deal have been finalized and now it’s just a matter of “putting it all in writing”.

“The Grand Lucayan continues to progress,” Said Turnquest.

“It’s just taking a little longer than we anticipated it would but, we see signs of significant progress and we hope to have this wrapped up and the heads of agreement (HOA) finalized very shortly and that is where we are at this stage.”

The Grand Lucayan hotel closed for repairs in October 2016 and never reopened.

Last December, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that a letter of intent (LOI) had been signed between Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and Canadian real estate development company Wynn Group for the sale of the Grand Lucayan.

At that time, he said that the approval stage and formal discussions with the Wynn Group would “be completed within the next month to two months”.

Turnquest noted yesterday that the government “has a new date in mind” for the finalization of the sale, but would not reveal the proposed date.

“We have agreed all the major points and now it is matter of putting it all in writing and getting the parties to sign off…,” Turnquest explained.

“We have a date in mind and we are hopeful that we will make that date. We anticipate that we will and everyone will be pleased with the final results. We are looking at an exciting project that will bring the excitement to Grand Bahama.”

Turnquest, who is also Member for Parliament for East Grand Bahama, said the government is also looking beyond hotels and tourism to revitalize the nation second city.

“We are not just looking at the tourism sector but we are trying to see if we can get the entire community to fire on all the cylinders that we have,” he said.

“As you know during this economic downturn in Grand Bahama, the industrial sector carried us and we have done very well but we want to get the tourism sector up and we want to get the medical sector finally launched, we want to get that second home market up in a big way and we want to get the technology hub up in a big way so that we can attract the diverse pool of business and talent to grand Bahamas which makes for a wholesome community.