Govt trying to swing GB voters with Grand Lucayan opening
As Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis prepares to ring the bell, his government is hoping to sway Grand Bahama voters by pumping millions of dollars into the March 25 reopening of the Grand Lucayan Resort.
However, preparations are not going as planned. The resort has been described by staff as “moldy” and “falling apart”, the roof of the hotel’s spa collapsed and the government spent $24,000 per month for a chiller that continued to malfunction. Consequently, another chiller had to be brought in.
Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar recently admitted he doesn’t expect high bookings when the hotel reopens next month.
However, employees tell the Gallery they would be surprised if the hotel gets any reservations as the government has no marketing strategy to promote the resort’s reopening to tourists who would face challenges flying into Grand Bahama as it is still plagued by reduced airlift more than a year after Hurricane Dorian devastated the airport.
Grand Bahama International Airport remains in a state of disrepair with passengers forced to wait under primitive tents.
It appears, the government is banking on locals to book rooms, which is unlikely to happen as Grand Bahamians struggle to recover from the twin disasters: Dorian and COVID-19.
Last year, the Grand Lucayan announced that its Lighthouse Pointe hotel would welcome guests beginning February 1, 2021.
That did not happen.
The all-inclusive hotel was expected to open with rates of $220.00 per person, per night and open 196 of the property’s more than 500 rooms.
Now, the government is desperately trying to get the hotel open in a thinly disguised attempt to dupe voters on the struggling island into thinking that Grand Bahama’s economy is on the rebound.
The government is trying to finalize the sale of the Grand Lucayan, which it purchased in August 2018 for $65 million.
The resort is expected to sell for far less.