The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

Prime Min­is­ter of Bar­ba­dos, Mia Mot­t­ley, ex­pects the new Beaches project at Hey­woods to play a key role in the Bar­ba­dian gov­ern­ment's plans to turn around the econ­omy.

Beaches is the fam­ily re­sort brand of San­dals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional, and Bar­ba­dos will be home to the first such ho­tel in the Eastern Caribbean. Dur­ing a visit to the project site on Oc­to­ber 26th, 2018 Prime Min­is­ter Mot­t­ley con­firmed that her ad­min­is­tra­tion would en­sure that all ap­provals were in place so that the project could get off the ground in time for the Jan­uary 2019 ground­break­ing.

She said, “I am deeply con­scious as was in­di­cated, that sub­ject to all of the rel­e­vant per­mis­sions be­ing put in place that this project will start in early Jan­uary for the ben­e­fit of both the own­ers and share­hold­ers of San­dals, but equally as im­por­tant to the peo­ple and work­ers of Bar­ba­dos. I there­fore am happy to be as­so­ci­ated here this af­ter­noon, and to say that I have every con­fi­dence that you are go­ing to be in a po­si­tion to start very shortly. The re­al­ity also is for us as we have in­di­cated that this is part of the light that is nec­es­sary to bring hope and to help Bar­ba­dos out of this very dif­fer­ent set of cir­cum­stances.”

Prime Min­is­ter Mot­t­ley also as­sured that her gov­ern­ment will re­spect all agree­ments that had been ne­go­ti­ated with San­dals prior to as­sum­ing of­fice.

“We ac­cept that those con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions which were made are those which we con­tinue to abide by, be­cause this is a coun­try who, above all else, abides by the rule of law. We want, how­ever, to al­low as many ho­tels as our fis­cal cir­cum­stances al­low to en­joy the ex­act ben­e­fits that you cur­rently en­joy.”

Mean­time Chair­man of San­dals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional (SRI), Gor­don “Butch” Stew­art is con­fi­dent that the planned US$400 mil­lion prop­erty will play a ma­jor role in at­tract­ing more vis­i­tors and air­lines to Bar­ba­dos, there­fore help­ing the Bar­ba­dos econ­omy to re­cover.

Mr. Stew­art in­di­cated that dur­ing the 27-month con­struc­tion phase, the re­sort will em­ploy close to 1,800 men and women, with some 700 to 800 per­ma­nent jobs af­ter com­ple­tion.

“This is eas­ily the most mod­ern prop­erty that we will have. It will be, in my view, the finest fam­ily re­sort any­where in the en­tire world.”

In fact, mere months af­ter San­dals opened its new­est ho­tel, the San­dals Royal Bar­ba­dos, the com­pany has al­ready in­vested in and is pre­par­ing to open 50 more suites at that prop­erty. Bar­ba­dian min­is­ter of tourism, Ker­rie Sym­monds, also wel­comed the new de­vel­op­ment and the im­pact it will have on po­si­tion­ing Bar­ba­dos as a key in­vest­ment desti­na­tion.

“I think that it sends a very pos­i­tive sig­nal to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see, that the in­vest­ment po­ten­tial of this coun­try is alive and well, and that there is still an elas­tic­ity of de­mand. I want to be very brief to­day, to say, 'Thank you very much Mr. Stew­art, we warmly wel­come the part­ner­ship,' and we are look­ing for­ward to build­ing on that as we go for­ward.”

Front L-R: Gor­don ‘Butch’ Stew­art, PM Mia Mot­t­ley, SRI Di­rec­tor of Cor­po­rate Ser­vices Jeremy Jones.

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