Beaches Resort still on-PM

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne with Chairman of Sandals Resorts International Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart(second left) and Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Adam Stewart (second right) at the 35th meeting of Heads of State & Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). (Photo from JIS. File photo)

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that the on-again off-again Beaches Resort will still be built under his government.

He told supporters at a ceremony last night that “Beaches will happen as soon as we able to resolve the court issue with Halcyon Hotel.”

“We already committed to give the Halcyon property to (Gordon) Butch Stewart to do a Beaches Hotel,” the prime minister announced.

In 2015 the government, by way of resolution, sought to acquire Halycon arguing that there has been a “decline in the physical infrastructure, difficulties with making lease payments and a significant number of complaints.”

But since then the acquisition process has been tied up in the courts.

Beaches, Cayman Islands

In 2013, Sandals Resorts International (SRI), parent company for Beaches Resorts  announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the then government to build the resort in Long Bay.

Since then, there have been uncertainty about whether the hotel international brand will ever come to Antigua & Barbuda.

Meantime, the Prime Minister announced the expansion of an existing Sandals property here following a meeting the Sandals Chairman Stewart.

“He said to me, within a matter of weeks he will sign an agreement with my government to do an expansion of an existing hotel.

“And that will see the construction of an additional 128 rooms.”

He also denied an acrimonious relationship with Stewart saying relations with the investor are at an all-time high.

“But Butch Stewart has to respect us. When we said to him he had to pay the ABST he had to pay and he is paying.

“And today butch Stewart has nothing but full respect for my government,” the prime minister said.

The Gaston Browne government is under pressure to complete hotel investments that it promised would become a reality in its first term.

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