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Bahamas: We’Re In The Hotel Business . . . For Now

THE government has made a $10m down payment to acquire the Grand Lucayan resort at a price tag of $65m and expects to complete the purchase from Hutchinson Whampoa within the next 30 days, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis confirmed yesterday.

He spoke in Grand Bahama after touring the resort and the Port Lucaya Marketplace where he spoke to concerned residents struggling to deal with the Lucayan strip’s reduced economic activity following the resort’s closure in 2016.

He also toured the near-deserted International Bazaar shopping area which he views as a cautionary tale of how the closure of a major hotel harms surrounding businesses.

He did not give much details about the purchase or specify the government’s plans for the three-hotel property, saying he will make a comprehensive communication when Parliament resumes after its summer break next month.

However, he said once the government’s acquisition is complete, a concessions package will be available to prospective buyers of the hotel, the terms of which will be more favourable to Bahamian investors than foreign ones.

He said the government plans to keep the 196-room Lighthouse Pointe open, which reopened in November 2016, and is considering re-opening the 400-room Memories property.

The latter property would require some renovations prior to reopening. Dr Minnis said the government will assess the costs of reopening it before making a decision.

The government is not considering re-opening the 500-room Breaker’s Cay.

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