Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beaches Heywoods Being Pushed Back

Have the ghosts of Paradise Beach Club already landed in Haywoods?  Are we now seeing emerging one of the reasons why Sandals' Butch Stewart recently out of the blue bought Almond Beach Village outright off the hands of the government of Barbados at bargain basement?  It is suspected that the other reason had to do with the nascent calls from the operators of the section of ABV that's open for the entire St. Peter property to be turned over them for a quick and cheap re-opening.  Now that Butch got his way, any deviation from announced plans the question must be asked whether he is beginning to put ABV on the ice as much he did to PBC a generation ago:  

"The much talked about construction of the Beaches Resort at the former Almond Village property in St Peter could be delayed.
Although not saying how long the setback was anticipated to be, Gordon Butch Stewart, chairman of the parent company Sandals Resort International, said it was unlikely that the planned multi-million-dollar project would get off the ground in the first quarter of next year as initially announced.
In February, Stewart told Barbados TODAY that the plan was to start construction in the middle of April 2015, with an expectation that it would be completed in about 22 months.
However, when asked last Friday if the plans were still on course, Butch would only say: “We are working towards that [date, but] it is probably a bit further down in the year . . . We are juggling a lot of things right now and there is a lot of work taking place on that Beaches design.”"

Source: http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2014/08/19/work-on-beaches-resort-could-be-delayed

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

No Sugar In Sugar Hill

Click image to enlarge

"His £3million Algarve farm and his £6million plantation-style villa in Barbados are his pride and joy. He spends more time there than he does at the apartment that was raided yesterday, which he bought in 2008.
He shrugged recently that he spends 'a week here, a week there' in Britain and it has been revealed that he is not even a UK resident any longer as he spends so little time in the country. He is domiciled instead in Barbados, where he spends each winter."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2725318/I-ll-bachelor-boy-s-way-I-ll-stay-His-bandmate-s-wife-Sue-Barker-rumours-sexuality-Sir-Cliff-Richard-s-love-life-apparent-lack-thereof.html#ixzz3AcQa8teE
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jetty Saved In Speightstown's Twin-City

Jetty Saved In Speightstown's Twin-City - Charleston, SC. Is anyone paying attention in Barbados? Click here for more - http://j.mp/19WVWmX.

From Wikipedia:
"Speightstown has been twinned with:
England - Reading, Berkshire, England (since 2003)
United States - Charleston, South Carolina (since November 1997), the original parts of which were based on the plans of Barbados's capital city Bridgetown. Many dispossessed indigo, tobacco and cotton planters departed from Speightstown along with their slaves and helped found Charleston after there was a wholesale move to adopt sugar cane cultivation in Barbados; a land and labour intensive enterprise which helped usher in the era of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the British West Indies."

Click here - http://j.mp/StownJet - to sign the petition for the restoration of the Speightstown Jetty.
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ramshackle Catspradled

"The popular Ramshackle Bar in Mount Standfast, St James, has closed its doors, leaving 15 workers jobless.

According to co-owner Maxine Depeiza, the closure resulted from her business partner’s decision to pull out of the business and the owners of the land not wishing the operation to continue.

Ramshackle closed at the end of November and Depeiza said many of her former employees were mothers of young children.

She spoke to the SATURDAY SUN yesterday as she oversaw the removal of materials which she had added to the wooden structure in 2010 after leasing the property from owners who lived overseas."

Source: http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/bar-closed/
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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Techno Jetty

Sign petition to have jetty repaired here -http://j.mp/StownJet

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Monday, November 11, 2013


"The Barbados government has granted millions of dollars in concessions to Jamaican hotel magnate Gordon “Butch” Stewart who recently signed an agreement to operate a Beaches Resort and Sandals hotel there.

According to an article written by Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief of the Barbados Nation newspaper, for the next 25 years, Beaches and Sandals will be exempted from paying all import duties, taxes including VAT, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on the importation or local purchase on all capital goods needed for the equipping, operation and promotion of the hotel, as well as on all food and beverages. 

When that tax holiday period is over, Sandals will only be required to pay half of the “applicable rates and taxes prevailing” for the next 15 years. 

The details of the concessions were contained in a letter dated Tuesday, November 5th, 2013, and signed by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler.

The Nation newspaper said the tax holiday period began on Tuesday, the day before Sandals officially began operation in Barbados and encompasses the period before the start date of the commercial operation of the hotel, and while it is being acquired, expanded and developed. Sandals in Barbados will be managed by Josef Zellner, who once managed Beaches Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Barbados Minister of Finance further advised that the letter was only interim approval which shall remain valid until replaced by a permanent letter together with the appropriate statutory instrument to be issued by him.

What the newspaper describes as a “sweetheart deal”, includes the waiver of:-

(a) all import duties, taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever, including Value Added Tax, on the importation or local purchase of:

(i) all capital goods such as building materials, articles of hotel equipment, furniture. furnishings, fixtures, fittings, construction machinery, boats, watercraft, vehicles for the Hotel's use, televisions, computer equipment, telephones, software, hardware, shrubs and plants, garden and agriculture equipment, promotional and marketing materials for operating the Hotel and for the cyclical re-furbishing undertaken from time to time in order to maintain the Hotel to the standards of the Sandals brand;

(ii) consumables for the operation of the Hotel, including but not limited to operating supplies, soft furnishings, printed materials, guest supplies, spa supplies, paper, stationery, books and spare parts for equipment; 

(iii) food, alcohol and beverages;

(b) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on all vehicles required for the operation of the Hotel including vehicle assigned to senior managers;

(c) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on personal and household effects and vehicles for senior staff (as outlined in (b) above) who are contracted to work in Barbados and are not citizens or permanent residents of Barbados;

(d) Value Added Tax on the provision of services that directly relate to construction works or cyclical refurbishment of the Hotel undertaken from time to time in order to maintain the Hotel to the standards of the Sandals brand;

(e) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on all vehicles required for the operation of the Hotel including vehicle assigned to senior managers; 

(f) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on personal and household effects and vehicles for staff who are contracted to work in Barbados and are not citizens or permanent residents of Barbados.

Jordan Samuda, group manager, procurement division of Sandals International, said the conglomerate was delighted with the terms of the concessions, which he described as competitive.

“The product that we will put out in Barbados will be one of the best that we put out anywhere in the Caribbean,” Samuda told the Nation via telephone from Jamaica.

Samuda said he did not think Sandals would have been able achieve the excellence their brand represented without the concessions, and noted that the tax breaks would allow them to able to keep their product in tune with the times.

“They allow you to put a product out for your guests that can compete with anybody worldwide. . . . Duty free concessions allow us to up the ante on the food and beverage product. You have the physical aspect which you can continue improving and continue investing in, you also have the daily food and beverage product that you are able to provide. 

The Sandals executive praised the efficiency of Sinckler and the various civil servants, Customs and Port Authority for facilitating the group to swiftly get the relevant documentation and materials processed between the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Government on October 18 and the hotel’s opening on Wednesday.

He was particularly impressed with Sinckler, the Barbados Minister of Finance, saying: “Obviously the minister understands and can see what this level of investment in Barbados can do and will do.”

In his recent ministerial statement on the MOU between Government and Sandals International, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy said the arrival of Sandals marked a “seismic shift for the tourism industry in Barbados” in its effort to capture a bigger share in the very competitive global tourism market.

“It is expected that these two properties will contribute annually in net terms, that is, the money to be retained by the taxi drivers providing transfers, the farmers; the 1 500 workers; the utility companies and others an amount in excess of BDS$100 million to the Barbadian economy.”"

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Is that a glimmering light at the end of the 4Seasons tunnel I see?

Clearly, if the PM and the Minister of Finance are hiding from you, and you are being schmoozed by the St. Lucy MP (no offense intended), we already know where this deal is going - if it goes anywhere at all.  All debts, including all political debts, must be paid before this project ever sees the light of day again.  Click here to read about it all. 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Just when we were beginning to think the ABV miasma couldn't get any worse, it just did ...

Rump Almond


Before Sandals takes one step into St Peter, Barbados will get another taste of Almond.

Well placed sources have revealed that the Ministry of Tourism has selected MW Sun Hotels Inc., owned by wealthy businessman Bernard Weatherhead, to reopen and operate the now mothballed Almond Beach Village at Heywoods, St Peter, for at least one year.

In fact, in correspondence obtained by the SUNDAY SUN, Weatherhead explained to chief executive officer of Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI), Stuart Layne, that with an injection of $5.1 million from Government and speedy movement by Government’s operatives, they could have 138 rooms and related facilities ready to receive guests in mid January, missing only the first few weeks of the 2013-2015 winter tourist season. BTI is looking after Government’s interest at Almond Resorts.

Government is anxious to get the once popular 500-room all-inclusive resort reopened again, but recognize that even with the agreement with Sandals of Jamaica to take over the property, bulldoze and rebuild it as a family resort, its doors will not be thrown open until 24 to 36 months after construction begins – and the date for that could be as much as two years away, sources said."


As Alice said, "this gets curiouser and curiouser"

The Mad Hatter, apparently, is in charge of plan A; plan B, and also plan "maybe". What a fantastic "mortar"...replete with two pestles, and endless of "possibilities" therein!

We could of course, retain the Almond at ground level, and then build the Sandals, on level two...with a lovely view. On the roof-top, a heliport would allow for Virgin Atlantic passengers, to be swiftly ferried to and from GAIA...a first in the Caribbean! To facilitate a smooth transition, (if our patience is rewarded this time around), we could coin a catch-all brand: "SANDMONDS". Get the URL registered now!

Mr. Editor: you sure you ain't pick up de wrong end of de stick?

I know we have people in Barbados that
can get that hotel going.
I don't trust Stuart as far as I can see him.
Always remember Paradise hotel. Now he would
like to tie this one up also. I agree that it can be back in operation and bring in some money for the country. MR. Weatherhead I know you are going to do a good job. May God be with you and your team"

Source: http://www.nationnews.com/index.php/articles/view/almond-again/
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