NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The list of companies vying for the chance to own and operate the Grand Lucayan Resort in Grand Bahama has been significantly narrowed down to less than five potential owners, according to tourism minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.
D’Aguilar made the announcement to reporters outside of Cabinet office on Tuesday morning.
The government recently revealed that approximately 60 companies were vying to be selected as the owner and operator of the resort.
The tourism minister revealed yesterday that government has been able to slash the list of 60 potential buyers down to three or four bidders.
“I’d say we’re probably focused on three or four,” D’Aguilar said.
“We’re negotiating quite closely with them; so, I’m quietly optimistic at this time.”
Due to the sensitive nature of current dialogue with all parties involved, the minister said he was unable to give specific details about what discussions have entailed so far.
“We’re in the negotiation phase so we are being very careful with what we disclose, but it’s for a reason,” he said.
“We are negotiating; so we do not want to show our entire hand in the press.
“I know you are anxious for information, but we are doing the best that we can to negotiate and to keep you as informed as we can.”
The government purchased the Grand Lucayan Resort in 2018 after the resort owners, Hutchinson Whampoa, pulled out.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis publicly announced that government would purchase and operate the resort until it was able to find a suitable owner to take over.
The government purchased the property for $65 million dollars.
In a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online, D’Aguilar said: “while government sifts through its list of bidders, it also remains cognizant that the sale will have to be beneficial for the government to ensure that it is able to recoup its investment and make a profit on the sale of the resort.”
Still hanging in limbo are voluntary separation packages for a number of managers at the resort.
In that same interview, dated February 26th, D’Aguilar confirmed that negotiations are ongoing and that all payouts should be completed before the resort is sold and handed over to its new owners.
The tourism minister confirmed yesterday that negotiations regarding the payout packages for managers at the resort are still ongoing.
He revealed that he recently had dialogue with the union’s representative, Obie Ferguson, and noted that discussions are progressing smoothly.
D’Aguilar was still unable to give a projected date of when that matter will be finalized.