State wins five year battle for Halycon Hotel lease – gov’t

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The lengthy court battle challenging the government’s decision to acquire the Halcyon Hotel lease has ended in favour of the state, Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has told Cabinet.

A Cabinet statement says the matter was “successfully litigated” although no details about the judgement have been made available to the media.

“The Government, always the owner of the hotel, now has judgment in its favour,” the statement said.

The battle for Halcyon began in 2015, after government announced it would compulsorily acquire the hotel.

By way of a parliamentary resolution, the prime minister pointed to a “decline in the physical infrastructure, difficulties with making lease payments and a significant number of complaints.”

He said portions of the property was “totally derelict” and created “a problem for the image of our tourism product.”

At the time, the intention was to hand the lease over the hotel mogul Gordon Butch Stewart but over the years, those talks broke down.

In recent weeks Browne indicated that another investor will be taking over the property.

The government says this move will improve the standard of service which a hotel at Dickenson Bay ought to offer.

“A Four Star or Five Star property will likely take the place of the hotel that no longer reflects the high standard to which the hospitality experience in Antigua is geared. Certain handover arrangements are to be put in place.”

The owners of the property have not yet commented on this development.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Good move. Hope the investor is not Barrett.
    It would be nice if the name Halcyon is retained. PM should consider speaking with Butch Stewart again it’s business not personal.

  2. Real sad for a case to take that long to go through the court system. And this is not even a criminal case.
    And Giselle want us to believe is she alone has to wait that long.

  3. By the way Mr. PM just quickly sign a new lease with Sun Wing. We need more Canadian tourist here. Too much dependence on the Americans. And more and more students are going to study in Canada. Sun Wing has the best assets to bring tourist here. They have there own planes no need to wait on some airline to bring their guests here. And they will give Butch a good competition next door.

    • Competing against yourself makes sense to you? Why should hotels in Antigua compete against each other?

      If Sandals leave Antigua it’s hundreds of jobs, social security and medical benefit will suffer and all the related affiliates.

      Think before you speak

      • Always look at the bright side of live. Why think about the worst case scenario. By the way a ‘small’ hotel cannot pay for the marketing to bring the tourist here. It cannot negotiate with the airlines a good deal. We need large players in the market to bring the tourists here. That is why you see Sandals can do what it does. They have the money to spend millions in ads on CNN and other Cable News Networks in the USA and in South America. If you have the rooms you can even bring in charters. Just look at Santa Domingo. They have very large hotel groups owning several large hotels and bring plane loads of tourists from Europe.

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