Whatever the government does, however it structures the process to purchase the Grand Lucayan properties, the challenge goes out for full transparency to be the order of the day. The people of Grand Bahama deserve as much.
The financial numbers, all of them, for outright purchase, inclusive of legal costs; refurbishment; stocking; furniture, etc., should be disclosed so that Bahamians in general and those who are closer to the situation, the people of GB, could have the fullness of the picture.
It does look as though the government is going ahead with its plans, out of desperation, to buy the Grand Lucayan Resort, inclusive of the main facility, the Lighthouse Pointe and Memories.
Economic stability in an island, and the wider nation to a significant degree, is at stake.
Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar puts up a worthy argument, which is similar to that of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest.
“We have to do something for the economy of Freeport, so what we decided was probably the best decision, the best of a bad choice. Governments have to act and we have to act to make an attempt to save the economy of Freeport and that’s what we are attempting to do. And, trust me when I say, we recognize more than anyone that we don’t necessarily want to own and run a hotel but we feel compelled that we must step forward and do something,” D’Aguilar was reported to have said.
Of course, it is clear that he and his leader and government colleagues are gun shy. Understandably, they are in a place of discomfort. It looks like a no-win situation is staring them in the face.
About a year ago, in this space, we pointed out how important it was for the government to ensure that the Grand Lucayan opened so that thousands of Grand Bahamians could be impacted positively in time for the Christmas season.
Well, Christmas of 2017 came and left. The unemployment line remained significant and the economy lagged further. Here we are, just a few months from another Christmas season. One could understand the feeling among the government power brokers.
“Something must be done for the people of Grand Bahama.”
That’s the defense of the government for the decision to purchase the Grand Lucayan. The government is going down this purchasing road, because, obviously it did not do enough to keep the Wynn Group and Grand Lucayan owner Hutchison Whampoa at the table, talking.
Going forward, the full details must be made public. The more the people know, the greater the likelihood they would relate to whatever unfolds following the purchase.