Barbados government continues to pour good money after bad into GEMS Hotels fiasco

The Nation newspaper says the Government of Barbados now has $150 million into Hotels and Resorts – otherwise known as the GEMS scandal – after pouring in another $3 million.

I’m not sure I believe the Nation. I think it’s a lot more than $150 million of our tax money has been poured down that hole in the ground – and that’s not counting all the “free” marketing and subsidies that have been thrown at GEMS over the years through the Barbados Tourism Authority budget. (Oh… they thought we stupid taxpayers missed that trick for hiding the expenditures!)

Wouldn’t it be nice (or at least useful) if citizens could put in a freedom of information request to learn how much of our money has been put into this failed business model?

What do you think folks? Is $150 million a believable figure for how much we’ve lost through GEMS Hotels or is there more to it?

Nation News article: $1.1 million Arch Cot bill


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government

17 responses to “Barbados government continues to pour good money after bad into GEMS Hotels fiasco

  1. reality check

    Well try and see what the NIS has “INVESTED” in this gem on behalf of the citizens of Barbados and that will definitely be part of the equation because you can bet your bottom dollar it hasn’t been written down to fair market value.

    I’d loved to be proven wrong but alas we have no ITAL.

  2. Jason

    150 million? That is way too low. What happend to all those hotels that they bought, fixed up with our cash and then sold off to friends? Are any numbers available for each hotel? (Cost, renovations, total investment, and then sale price) ?

  3. I have not run this release since it is more of the same from before, it seems whichever Gov’t is in wants Graeme Hall to die.

    I also feel Allard & Heaslet are a bit prideful – they should do what they can to keep GHNS alive, regardless!

    I believe the only way Bajans will know what is gone is by keeping it open, reduce the fees for entry and stay with the Skeleton Staff (IMHO: In My Humble Opinion)…

    The BLP/DLP Machinery is strangling Barbados; there needs to be a truly viable Alternative Party – if I did it, I would be assassinated for planning to maintain voting promises, sigh!

    (EG; Sell CBC and allow two more TV stations – one truly Independent and another for whichever party {three voices: ruling/opposing/indifferent}, allow competition for both Water & Electricity, fast-track Freedom Of Speech, appoint Adrian Loveridge as Jr Minister of Tourism, bring VAT to 8% but across the board – regardless of BHTA, this paves the way to remove ridiculous duty on jewellery & cars, import Sprint & Verizon to scare Digi & LiME, make for cell numbers to be carried over to any network, etc.)

  4. Roger

    A friend told me that a hotel room in one of the GEMS properties was quite inadequate.

    Toilet not working, water heater not working properly.

    General maintenance not satisfactory.

    Quite impressive for a money suck.

  5. BFP

    Ian old friend,

    If you’d declare yourself as an independent candidate – we would throw what time and money we have behind you and so would many others.

    How much would it take to run a proper campaign for Ian Bourne – independent candidate?

  6. Adrian Loveridge

    Add to whatever the eventual deficit is, 32 CLOSED hotels and the employment, revenue generation implications of those closures.

    Another $3 million to GEMS.

    $25 million to entire rest (160 plus other hotels)of the tourism industry (Tourism Industry Relief Fund) to help it through the recession.

    $85 million to Caves of Barbados Inc.
    Thats 1.7 million people paying an average of $50 increased entrance fee BEFORE any operational or marketing expenses or repayment of interest and capital.

  7. Adrian Loveridge


    TripAdvisor ratings (out of 109 hotels)

    #55 – Savannah
    #56 – Blue Horizon
    #64 – Time Out (53% do NOT recommend)

    How we love to reward people for failure.

    ‘setting new standards on the south coast’
    Chairman of Hotels and Resorts Ltd

  8. BFP


    I think Allard has proven that he has the money to keep 10 Nature Sanctuaries alive and kicking. He did so for many years. It’s hard for ordinary folk like us to comprehend that someone has so much money that they are able to pour 35 million into a conservation project. Money is not the problem. The problem is that the Barbados elites waited for Allard to clean up the swamp and make something of it – then they changed the law so they can develop and profit from the land around the sanctuary. This developement and their overt actions with the sluice gate etc. is designed to chase him away and take his investment.

    Allard took it for about ten years and then called them on it. As a result, Barbados will now face international scrutiny which doesn’t do us any good. The investment sector is starting to notice too.

    ie: Investment Treaty News

  9. NOT bfp

    Allard offered Barbados an AIDS/Cancer hospice for the dying worth millions of dollars. The government told him to piss off so he did and gave millions to Africa.

    I don’t know what is wrong with our government that talks about attracting philanthropists but then kicks them in the face when they do invest. I think the whole racism thing comes into it. It you read Barbados Underground they usually refer to Allard as white and that’s why he’s evil.

    Dont forget BU, they called the murdered canadian woman “white trash” and left that up on the BU blog too.

  10. passin thru

    That Investment Treaty News story is a bad thing for Barbados.

  11. 103

    On the matter of Gems , you should realize that Barbadian smart- men and smart-women are not very creative in the way they waste the tax payers money. They keep using the same methods.

  12. The Truth


    All the more reason for new intelligent educated blood to run for office. Just think what some smart, astute, knowledgeable young people could do for Barbados. This doesn’t mean stealing but creating value for every citizen.

  13. anonlymouse

    Like Harrisons Cave?

  14. Barbados will remain racist. Racism is tought from an early age and most of all at the university.
    Stop looking at colour and look at the individual.

  15. Donald Duck, Esq

    check out the following article on a wage freeze in the hotel sector in the bahamas.

  16. LOVE

    Donald Duck, Esq
    February 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    So Donald Duck,

    After you have read the story about Bermuda economy……you now realise what an impressive team of DLP leaders we have in this country .

    Who’ after all David Estwick is not a Minister in Bermuda !

    Who’ after all David Thompson is not the leader in Bermuda !

    So you must realise that Estwick’s ” wage freeze” call was a genuine call to put our economy in order before it is destroyed.

    Note as well, that it is the workers in Bermuda who have called for the wage freeze.

    That is how responsible people behave…..!

    The hallmark of 90% of Barbadians…OR put another way……only the 10% BLPites would do OTHERWISE ( including Donald Duck).

  17. When will we ever learn?

    In a headline headed ‘Developer sees spinoffs’ in the 22nd February 2010 issue of the Barbados Business Authority, a director Sapphire Inc., attempts to justify the demolition of Dover Convention Centre over a decade ago, stating that ‘in its former state, this property generated little or no taxes, VAT or rental income’.

    As VAT was not introduced into Barbados until January 1997, that is not suprising, but the remainder of the statement is absolutely untrue.

    The Dover Convention Centre generated significant income for many accommodatiion providers in the area, car rental companies, taxis, restaurants and the whole gambit of tourism providers.

    It is interesting that the partners with Government include Hotels and Resorts Limited and Consumers Guarantee Insurance.

    What is (or was) the common link?

    Who are the current directors of Consumer Guarantee Insurance and who is (or was) the Chairman and another common director of Hotels and Resorts Ltd.

    Is it prudent to include one of more Directors of Hotels and Resorts who have been responsible for the millions of Dollars of losses by that company in ANY other joint venture?