#Nassau, September 21, 2018 – Bahamas – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Mininis in his Contribution to the House of Assembly Debate on a Resolution to Guarantee the Purchase of the Grand Lucayan, September 20, 2018 stated,
“I rise in support of this Resolution, a necessary and critical step in the rescue and renewal of Grand Bahama.”
He said, “The redevelopment of Grand Bahama is essential for the ongoing economic recovery and development of the economy of The Bahamas.” During his Contribution he spoke at length of the benefits of purchase of the resort, versus the trickle down dismal impact of not doing so.
Giving details of the purchase, the Prime Minister said: “Here is how the payments are structured. The Government of The Bahamas financed the initial $30 million of the Purchase Price for the Grand Lucayan properties, by an advance from the Contingency Fund authorized by the Minister of Finance pursuant to Article 133 of The Constitution.”
The Resolution “authorizes the Government of The Bahamas to guarantee the loan to Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd., in the said sum of Thirty-Five Million Dollars ($35,000,000.00) for the purpose of paying the balance of the Purchase Price of the Properties pursuant to the Sales Purchase Agreement…,” the Prime Minister said.
The Grand Lucayan includes three distinct hotel properties: Memories, the Lighthouse Point and Breakers Cay. The assets of the Grand Lucayan that are being purchased includes approximately 1,270 hotel rooms and suites, several restaurants and lounges, several meeting rooms, pools, a golf course, casino and a spa.
To clarify any misunderstanding there may be in the public domain, the Prime Miniser noted that The Lighthouse Point property is currently open. Often speaking of the common good, the Prime Minister said it means acting in the interest of all Bahamians, not just the interests of the residents of New Providence.
“We must be equally committed to the needs of our Family Islands and the needs of Grand Bahamians, who are an integral part of our Commonwealth,” he said.
The Prime Minister also noted the sentiments of Michelle Dorsett of the Commonwealth Union of Hotel Services and Allied Workers who represents the line staff at the Grand Lucayan, who said of the government’s stance on the Grand Lucayan: “We have to pull together, we cannot be divided.” She went on to say: “We have suffered for too long and I thank the government from the bottom of my heart for what they have done”
According to the Prime Minister: “Under no circumstance could this FNM Government in good conscience allow Freeport or Grand Bahama to sink economically.”
He then stressed, “Let me make this point clear, the effects of the full closure of Grand Lucayan would be catastrophic, with a severe effect on Port Lucaya Marketplace and Marina and over 50 businesses located in Port Lucaya.
“Millions of dollars would be lost from the economy of Freeport and Grand Bahama with the full closure of the Grand Lucayan property.” This would include economic displacement and loss for taxi drivers, straw vendors, restaurant owners and the many ancillary businesses that rely on the hotel, the Prime Minister pointed out.
“This Government is acting to secure these employees and these small business owners, the future of their children, and the future of Freeport and Grand Bahama,” he said.
The Prime Minister then said to all the employees, businesses, taxi drivers, straw venders and to the entire island of Grand Bahama that, “a new day is truly beginning in Grand Bahama.”
By Lindsay Thompson
Photo Caption: Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis in his Contribution to the House of Assembly Debate on a Resolution to Guarantee the Purchase of the Grand Lucayan, September 20, 2018.
(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)