Thursday, April 21, 2011
Four Seasons Barbados' Saga Continues
If there is one thing that is consistent about this project for the last two years it's the never-ending promises of a restart date. There was much hoopla late last year about the Government's finally signing the US$60M guarantee some were saying would allow the project to restart in January or February of this year. Well, most people with half a brain knew that money was nowhere near enough to get anything restarted on Paradise Beach even if they didn't have to first settle outstanding debts. Part of that money was also supposedly to go to acquiring more land for the project - land occupied for half a century or more by storage tanks for an oil company. This blogger passed by yesterday and the familiar landmark oil tanks were still there and there was no sign of life on the job-site.
If we are being told the truth, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is really still onboard with this project, then we must credit them with having the patience of a Job. They must really want this Barbados project for some reason other than its location. And, that reason might just be the star-pulling power of the Barbados brand. Four Seasons would have pulled their flag a long time ago if it were not for the celebs who trek to our shores year after year. The Government of Barbados also is banking of these celebs to get the ball rolling again on Paradise Beach, but only last week we learned that it could only muster three of them to sign on the dotted line. Keep in mind that when the project folded back in 2009 less than half of the 36 or so villas were spoken for, so that means the vast majority of the celebs Government is looking to for getting at least the villa component of the project restarted is still sitting on the fence.
Four Seasons may be a Job and I don't want to be a Jeremiah on this one but it looks to this blogger that if anything gets built on Paradise Beach this year it probably will not be a Four Seasons resort and few if any celebs will risk associating their names with it. I hope I am wrong but if the antics of the last two years are any guide my guess is that this time next year we are going to be still looking forward to a project (of some kind) restart date on this site.