If you get beyond the hype (as it appeared in The Nation today and recently in other media) everything is not quite coming up roses at the Four Seasons project in Black Rock. For one thing, do not look for completion of the project anytime before 2011 - so much for "with a bit of luck 2009 - 2010" Michael Pemberton promise. Now we are learning that nearly half the villas are still unsold - good thing the number of them to be built on the site was pared down to 35/36 from the original 80 when the project was announced several years ago. Now that the bottom has fallen out of the real estate worldwide do not look for the remaining 15/16 unsold villas to find owners anytime soon no matter how many "very, very serious inquiries" they are supposedly getting. And, even if the inquirers are serious, they are undoubtedly looking for bargains (re: heavy, deep, substantial discounts). The bottom line is - Four Seasons will probably never bring into the island the mother lode of foreign exchange originally imagined.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the west coast hotels and guesthouses are already laying off staff and putting others on short time barely three weeks into the "high season." Almond Beach Village is down to just 400 guests from the 1200 or so that is normal for this time of year. The situation is no better on the south coast where even popular hotels like Amaryllis has had layoffs. The old people in Barbados used to say that if it rained on New Years Day it will rain all year. Well, we had a lot of rain here on the west coast on New Years Day and if the old people are right, a lot of people are going to get soaked in 2009.