Barbados Almond Beach Village: Two very different reports, what’s the truth?

Why close “for renovations” in the middle of the High Season?

On January 13th, West Coast Blog described Almond Beach Village as a near ghost town (ghost town is our term), laying off staff and having trouble paying the remaining ones.

The next day, (January 14th) there was an announcement that Almond Resorts will invest $10 million (unknown currency) in refurbishing Almond Beach Village and is “partnering with the Barbados Tourism Authority” for the Celtic Festival coming next May. Nothing about when the “investment” or renovations will start.

Aside from wondering what the real situation is with Almond Beach Village, I’d love to know how much of the “partnering” with the BTA involves using government tax dollars to directly support a private profit making venture like Almond Resorts. I’d love to know how much of our tax dollars are directly subsidizing low end all inclusive mass tourism, and how much it works out to per room or client night at each of the big hotels. The little hotels and B ‘n Bs get nothing yet but I’d bet that they do far more good per visitor in terms of bringing dollars into the economy and surrounding community.

We have to have our large resorts, and I know that they employ many people, but as with the cruise industry we’ve never seen a serious accounting and bottom line figure about how much return we’re really getting for our tax dollars.

So what is the truth about Almond Beach Village?

Is closing for renovations in the middle of the high season really about renovations? Or is it about the place isn’t making money anyway in the middle of what should be the best times?

West Coast Blog has some ideas…

In yet another sign that all is not well in the tourism business despite the recent upbeat forecasts on Barbados tourism coming from the Central Bank, the Ministry of Tourism and the media which could all be just another smokescreen to cover up the dire reality, rumours circulating in Speightstown are that one of the major players on the west coast is about to close up shop.  There is no question that Almonds Resorts is struggling terribly, particularly its flagship property in Haywood, St. Peter – Almond Beach Village.  At what supposedly is the height of the tourist (winter) season ABV just had a major staff layoff and occupancy is hovering around 300 at a property accustomed to hosting well over a thousand guests at this time of year – even having to walk some customers next door to Port St. Charles and other nearby hotels when business was really booming.

Lately (Almond Beach Village) have had problems paying staff (on time) and settling debts with suppliers.  There is a rumour that they have stopped taking bookings and that the hotel will shortly be closed for renovations.  Why you would want to do something like that at the height of the season boggles the mind.  However, we do know that the owners (the Trinidadian firm Neal & Massey) are in town and the fireworks have begun.  One rumour is that CEO Ralph Taylor (who is also chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority) has already been “reassigned,” whatever that means.  Apparently, he is being blamed for under-performing properties in St. Lucia (particularly Almond Smugglers Cove) and stretching the company too thin with the acquisition of the Casuarina Hotel on the south coast which some have described as a “money pit.”

…continue reading West Coast Blog’s Is Almond Beach Village Closing?

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8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

8 responses to “Barbados Almond Beach Village: Two very different reports, what’s the truth?

  1. solution

    Stop dissing and disparaging people like Adrian Loveridge who have their own livelihood on the line and know how to get people in through the doors
    and satisfied.

    Its difficult to move a boat forward unless everyone is rowing in the same direction.

  2. WTF?

    There is nothing in this article that disses Adrian Loveridge.

    ????

  3. Research Factor

    When media service providers start to carry out research on the important subject of touirsm, for example, what competing destinations are doing from planning to the delivery of the tourism experience we be in a position to stop the talk about tourism , and move to the next level of tourism development.
    When research is carried out to ascertain the ‘experts’ in industry ( across segments) and you expand the commentary about tourism matters, this will signal a move in the right direction. Let us not dicuss the same topics and position the same people, come 2012.
    Place research high on your agenda this year.

  4. Capt. Nobody

    @ Research Factor

    Ehmmm ..can someone translate what “Research Factor” is trying to say, thanks! “Come 2012”? End of the world? Mah…

  5. travler

    Barbados has become just about the most expensive tourist destination out of North America that when it is advertised, which is seldom, people can make a choice of. Check out the pricing of Cuba, the Dominican, Mexico, cruises and then Barbados. Factor in the fixed currency of 2 Barbados dollar to 1$US and compare that to the other destinations and you might conclude this is another very large contributor to the high net price of tourists visiting Barbados. Then factor in a large VAT tax, even larger importation duties on jsut about everything that will be consumed, the costs of fuel to the destination and you will come up with a cost for a family of 4 to take a weeks vacation in Barbados of close to $8000. Cuba is perhaps $3000.

    So how to proceed is the question. In all businesses if your not making dust you will be eating dust. BTA needs to come up with a plan…..and a blog that works

  6. solution

    “There is nothing in this article that disses Adrian Loveridge”
    True—nothing in this artile— just 5 years of bashing Adrian on this and other blogs

    Why waste money on more research by unaccountable bodies who have none of their own money on the line. The BTA should consist of owners of the hotels not appointed people with nothing to lose. Government has miserably failed at owning and mismanaging the GEMS project to bail out failed politicians/wanna be businessmen.

    Sell the Hotels and stop the bleeding.

  7. ru4real

    Gotta lose the arrogance and take it or leave it atitude towards tourists.
    Otherwise they will leave it Barbados aint the only island in the Carribean.

  8. travler

    soloution@…hey, the market place will take care of the matter if the management can’t or won’t..always has and always will.,,,i.e. Sam Lords….and a few others.