Caribbean Splash Waterpark Developer Says Barbados Government “Cannot Back Out Of The Deal…”

barbados-waterpark-kerins.jpg

Is There A Signed Memorandum Of Understanding?

Hey… we thought we heard from some in the BLP that there was “no deal” (backroom or otherwise) on the proposed Caribbean Splash water park , but Mathew Kerins, the developer and principal of Caribbean Splash Inc. apparently said otherwise at the recent town hall meeting.

From a comment by “Blizzard”, an anonymous poster on this blog…

The abrasive Mathew Kerins claims to have invested “two million dollars of my hard-earned money” on this project. It would be interesting to see this itemised. It would be no surprise to see that a couple hundred thousand dollars had been spent on technical surveys and there was a large proportion unexplained which might have gone to help “persuade” decision makers. It is naive to think this does not happen in business life. It is our duty and right to see it did not happen here.

More frightening was Mr Kerin’s threat that government cannot back out of the deal unless they can prove the project is not viable. There was an outcry at the meeting when he said this.

Read Blizzard’s full comment here.

Did anyone else hear this at the town hall meeting? (I wasn’t there and I can’t contact our source right now)

GOOD POINT BY A READER

One of our readers commented…

“Cannot back out of the deal” says Mr. Kernins.

Is there a memorandum of understanding signed by the Gob? (Government of Barbados)

And yet another regular reader comments…

Mr. Kerins sounds like a man who has a written agreement with the Government of Barbados. Would anyone invest 2 million without at least a piece of paper?

Excellent point. Well – how about it? Is there a memorandum of understanding signed by the Government of Barbados and Mr. Kerins?

Better watch out, Mr. Kerins… those “consulting fees” you have been paying won’t be worth a penny if the government changes because they are being corruptly paid and you know it. Not to mention that the citizens are mobilizing.

Our bet? We think that the citizens will win this one and that Matthew Kerins will have to kiss that 2 million dollars goodbye.

Above photo from The Nation News article “Not Here” by Trevor Yearwood. (Excellent article well worth reading… Marcus)

Link to all BFP water park articles here.

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24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Environment, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

24 responses to “Caribbean Splash Waterpark Developer Says Barbados Government “Cannot Back Out Of The Deal…”

  1. BFP

    Another anonymous (no email) reader, Ross, posted this on a previous article…

    I attended the meeting and I heard the developer say that they had been directed to the Graeme Hall site by the Government. Who in Government had the power to do such a thing? If it was not the PM or Mr. Nurse, then who was it?

    Surely if you are a prospective investor and the Government directs you to a site you must have some expectation that you will get the relevant permission for that particular site. Is that so difficult to deduce?

    I have no problem with a water park but not at Graeme Hall. We still do not know what other sites were considered and why Graeme Hall was chosen by the Government as the best one.

    READ THE COMMENT IN CONTEXT AT…

    https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2006/07/11/town-hall-meeting-learns-barbados-pm-owen-arthur-ordered-waterpark-built-on-sensitive-watershed/#comment-3093

  2. Qwerty1

    “Cannot back out of the deal” says Mr. Kernins.

    Is there a memorandum of understanding signed by the Gob?

  3. West Side Davie

    Mr. Kerins sounds like a man who has a written agreement with the Government of Barbados. Would anyone invest 2 million without at least a piece of paper?

  4. Mr.Kerins has probably developed a model for a water park that is not Site specific.

    The Barbados component of the 2 million dollars is probably less than $100,000.

    It is up to the Government to tell the people of Barbados the truth about this entire situation.

    I would be more inclined to believe the Government than an Investor.

  5. Read this.

    http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/NewViewNewsleft.cfm?Record=26811

    If this is what Mr.Kerins said then there is no problem for the Government.

    “And I feel that I have already invested $2 million of my money without an approval. If the Government decides for me not to do this project then I lose $2 million and I walk away”

  6. BFP

    Hi Hants

    Yes, if Kerins will just walk away, that would certainly be preferable to any sort of lawsuit. I don’t mind a water park at all if it is not at Graeme Hall, and if there are appropriate safeguards and deposits in the event of a project failure.

    Mr. Kerins is probably getting a bad taste in his mouth about doing business in Barbados, which is really too bad.

    The questions remain though… Did the government point him to Graeme Hall as “the only” acceptable location? Is there a written agreement with the Government? Did he meet the PM and what was Kerins told?

  7. william duguid

    Again this is a misrepresentation Mr. Kerin said if the project is not approved that the town planner would have to prove to him why it was not approved. I believe his is mistaken on this point as there are a number of reasons why, but that is what he said. Nothing whatsoever was said about backing out of any deal.

  8. william duguid

    You must understand I was right infront of the man and heard very clearly every single word he said.

  9. Mr.Kerins called Brasstacks from New York today. He told David Ellis that he has been working on this project for 3 years.

    He also said that one of the strong points of the Graeme Hall site was that he could negotiate a LEASE of the land from the Government as opposed to most of the 21 other sites he looked at. He said the cost of purchasing the land at some of these locations was prohibitive.

    It seems that this project is not viable unless the land can be leased. The land at Graeme Hall is owned by Government.

    He also said the Graeme Hall area was going to be rezoned as a Tourism area in the Barbados development plan.

    I think a Waterpark could be a good addition to the Tourism product of Barbados but not in or near Graeme Hall swamp.

    Barbados needs a few protected Nature sites.

  10. BFP

    Thanks for that report, Hants.

    Very crucial information that has been missing from the debate… that the waterpark might only be viable if it is on leased government land…. OUR land.

  11. BFP

    Thank you Dr. Duguid for your information. I was not at the meeting myself (Robert here), but I understand from our chap who attended that much was said after the formal meeting by Mr. Kerins and his friends.

    Apparently, the rum was first rate, also!

    🙂

  12. BFP

    Another Poison Pen Letter To Barbados Free Press…

    Some accuse us of being DLP, but this chap thinks we are, well, I don’t know… maybe a “senior government official living on Graeme Hall Ridge…” or an “elite”…

    Hey Shona… where shall we dine tonight, my love? Will that be champagne or a martini?

    Here is the email from a fellow who wants to remain anonymous. He actually does make a point that a waterpark would be good for the economy and employment etc.., but we think he has a very short-sighted view that will actually undermine the island’s long term ability to attract tourists.

    Here is his letter…

    I attended the meeting of Caribbean Splash and was aghast at your blogs which are full of total misrepresentations. (Editor’s Note: We only have this one blog. Haven’t a clue what other blog he is speaking of.)

    I can only sumise that it is skewed and guided by certain individuals to benefit the elite few at the expense of the Bajan people and economy. If I own land, do I own the view ?.

    Apparently if you are a senior government official living on Graeme Hall ridge you do own the view. Eventually this mentality leads to a toxic business environment that permeates to everyone, including possible downgrades in our government debt ratings. I can only strongly urge that people read the PM’s report to Parliament which shows a proactive
    government dealing head on with serious issues that face us today and in the
    future.

    Instead I see incriminations based on falsehoods for political gain.

    Heaven help us all !!

  13. ross

    “Eventually this mentality leads to a toxic business environment that permeates to everyone, including possible downgrades in our government debt ratings” – What mentality? As far as I can see the Government is doing a effective job of destroying the business environment on its own. Somebody or bodies from Government directed the Splash people to the Graeme Hall site. It is those foreigners who took the licks for this, not the Government. What an embarrassment. Whoever in Government caused this should be ashamed and should be held accountable.

    And speaking of toxic – Are people aware that the emergency dumping site for the proposed water park is the same one as that of the sewage project i.e. the lake at the Gareme Hall swamp/sanctuary? Do people know that the sewage from the leak which caused the closure of the Worthing beach some time ago went into the swamp?

    YES, Heaven help us all!!!

    If it is available the video will not lie. CBC showed parts of the meeting. Perhaps they have the video. Show the video for everyone to see.

    Unfortunately, only those who were present for the refreshments know what was said there.

  14. The results of the Town Meeting are supposed to be given to Town and Country Planning as part of the Application process. One speaker asked for these Minutes to be made available to all those in attendance, but the promotors seemed reluctant to do this- possibly because of the cost.

    However those attending are entitled to see what feedback they give, and it can be done cheaply and effectively on the Internet, or in the press.

    I am only sorry a vote was not taken to see if there was anyone present who was in favor of the project. It certainly seemed like unanimous condemnation of the project at this site.

  15. RE LEASE- Yes, indeed, a “peppercorn” (nominal rate) lease from Government would indeed mean a bonanza for Mr Kerins. The 700,000 sq. ft he seeks at Graeme Hall would cost $1.4 myn if it could be bought at @2 p. sq. ft. which would be hard to find these days.

    Very generous to get a $1.4 myn gift from Government of prime agricultural land, in a prime location, put to crassly commercial use.

    No wonder Kerins can’t afford to look elsewhere, and no wonder he is so blue at the prospect of losing the fix.

  16. John

    pandora

    You are out of touch!!

    There is a piece of land opposite the Texaco gas station on the ABC highway that is advertised for $5M. It is about 6 acres. Its at the next roundabout from the Water Park proposed site.

    The $1.4M you quote should probably be well above $15M!!

    Now that is generosity.

    …. but we are known for generosity and hospitality towards our visitors.

    The land could be bought as agricultural land at $1.4M and then approval for conversion would net a purchaser a windfall.

    Thank goodness that any land to be taken out of agriculture which is more than 2 acres must be referred to the Minister responsible for Town Planning, and is taken out of the hands of any minor functionary such as the Chief Town Planner.

    We can see the result this had on agriculture.

  17. Pat

    Hants said:

    “Mr.Kerins called Brasstacks from New York today. He told David Ellis that he has been working on this project for 3 years.

    He also said that one of the strong points of the Graeme Hall site was that he could negotiate a LEASE of the land from the Government as opposed to most of the 21 other sites he looked at. He said the cost of purchasing the land at some of these locations was prohibitive.

    It seems that this project is not viable unless the land can be leased. The land at Graeme Hall is owned by Government.

    He also said the Graeme Hall area was going to be rezoned as a Tourism area in the Barbados development plan.

    I think a Waterpark could be a good addition to the Tourism product of Barbados but not in or near Graeme Hall swamp.

    Barbados needs a few protected Nature sites.”

    In fact, the government of Barbados owns nothing. The land is owned by the citizens of Barbados who elected the government of Barbados to act on their behalf and in their best interests. Not the interests of rich foreigners. I hope you all remember that in the next election!

    Leasing land at below market values, while asking people to work until they are 67 years old in order to collect a ‘contributed’ pension is heresy. It seems to me that Mr. Kerins and someone in government will be the beneficiaries of this endeavour NOT the general public.

    On a secondary matter, I notice Bajans refer to the “tourism product”. Having worked in small business for many years which is part of the tourism sector, I was under the impression and am still under the impression, that ‘tourism’ was and is part of the “services sector” and as such a service industry. This NEW and REMOVED ‘service’ to a product is probably why Barbadians are confused about production, products, goods and services. Or is it me who is confused?

  18. bruce

    I am reading with interest the controversy over this proposed waterpark and am disappointed that no one in Barbados seems to be aware of a second waterslide by another local Barbados company that is much smaller in scale, more environmentally friendly and more economically viable. The smaller waterpark proposal seems to be overlooked by all.

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