Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

Report: Neal and Massy planned disposal of Almond for past year. No wonder the tourists were swimming in their own sewerage.

CEO talked about “the deteriorating quality of the product”

by Fisherman’s Doxie

A news article by Sandra Chouthi in the Trinidad Guardian reveals that the closure and disposal of Almond Hotels was planned long ago.

That would explain why Neal and Massy were content to have Almond Beach tourists swimming in their own sewerage for the last few years. Hey… if you’re going to sell, why bother to fix the sewerage problem? Just tell everybody you’re about to spend 10 million on renovations. That will keep them quiet for a while, and so it did!

And if you need to dispose of filthy hotel garbage, why not just pile it on the beach? It’s cost effective, that’s for sure!

Neal and Massy Holdings acquired 51% of Almond after its takeover of Barbados Shipping and Trading in 2008. It was all downhill from there and at this point it doesn’t matter whether it was poor management or an economic downturn that killed Almond Resorts: it’s all over but the crying. In 2008 some folks wondered what Neal and Massy was doing getting into a business where it had no track record worth talking about. I guess those folks who had doubts should have been listened to.

I have to wonder what economic and tax concessions that Neal and Massy squeezed out of the Barbados government along the way. These big shots aren’t stupid. Ordinary folks often can’t see the benefits to doing what the corporate world does, but that’s only because we’re on the outside looking in.

The are one or two buyers on the horizon including Sandals and Butch Stewart, but unless these new owners are willing to sit down and read the sad and embarrassing tourist reports on TripAdvisor, and then hire and fire as necessary – new ownership won’t solve the problem. Read the tourist reports online and you’ll see why Almond Resorts failed…

– A deteriorating physical plant.
– Uncaring staff who made tourists feel like they were an inconvenience to the hotels.

Any new owner who doesn’t address these two primary failings is doomed to repeat the disaster.

Further Reading

Guardian: N&M CEO: Almond hotels sale to wipe out US$75m debt

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