This past Monday, Senator Kwasi Thompson, the Minister of State in the Grand Bahama Office of the Prime Minister, continued the recent trend of the government, to put forth encouraging words about proposed investment projects, earmarked for the island.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, without giving a lot of details, but with a lot of gusto, told the nation that the Carnival Cruise Port investment is on stream. We hope to see the rapid unfolding of the development process in East Grand Bahama, and scores of jobs as a result.
Then on Monday, Senator Thompson, in speaking to The Freeport News, had a lot to say that was encouraging about the negotiations towards a heads of agreement (HOA) with Royal Caribbean and its partner the TRM Group, for the purchase of the Grand Lucayan Resort from the government.
“Negotiations with Royal Caribbean and ITM regarding the sale and renovations of the Grand Lucayan property are progressing. A team (local) recently travelled to Miami and met with the RCL/ITM representatives to view the updated plan for the property,” stated the senator. The chief of the GB Office of the Prime Minister has been particularly vocal, on behalf of the government, regarding the Grand Lucayan.
However, as the months go by, the signoff stage of the deal has not been reached. Very quickly, yet another Christmas period is approaching. It would be the third of the Dr. Minnis administration. When the government came to power in May of 2017, there were promises made that a deal was soon to be done, with a former investment interest group, out of Canada.
That never panned out.
Then, the government got caught up in a no man’s land, an indeterminate place regarding the Grand Lucayan property, and decided to purchase. There was a loud outcry from those who warned against the government getting into the hotel-owning business. It was a tough position the government found itself in.
The PM and company came down on the side of purchasing the property and seeking new buyers. Eventually, Royal Caribbean/ITM came to the table. That’s where they still are. There is just one signed document thus far, the letter of intent (LOI).
What does a LOI mean?
It is simply an indication that ongoing talks would be conducted. A LOI is definitely not a commitment to purchase.
So, we are, still waiting for the deal to be made. Senator Thompson says the signs are indicative that closure will come soon to the negotiations, and a HOA will be in place.
Hopefully that happens to be the case.