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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8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

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

  1. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 UP TODAY A ND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,

    Same old fraud games ,,,,

  2. 189

    We need to feed our self , and stop looking for outsiders,
    We have more than we need to live , we look like good fools in the end ,, We the People pay for it , look at road taxes

  3. FearPlay

    BFP, you may be better able to get this information than me. What was the building cost of Haywoods (Almond Village) to the Barbadian taxpayer, and how much was it sold for eventually? The business geniuses from T&T now want Barbados to buy it back and at what price? Is this a plan to debunk the old saying that “Bajan smart”?

    Secondly, “Mr Butch” from Jamaica expressed an interest in purchasing the property. Is this the same “Mr Butch” that purchased Paradise Beach Hotel and allowed it to run to ruin for many, many years before selling it to a bunch of “pie-in-the-sky” billionaires? The ones that stripped the land of all the trees and vegetation and left construction skeletons in its place? It seems that Government needs a firm commitment with financial penalties for non-comliance before allowing the sale of this property. Commitments in writing done in a law office and not on a business jet over champaign.

    If Trini and Ackee pull this one off, can we expect that we will next be threatened with the closure of Arawak Cement Plant in the north unless taxpayers buy it back for millions more than it was sold having sold it for millions less that it cost to build originally?

    Smart Bajan indeed!

  4. Blunt

    And so it becomes ever more apparent that Barbados cannot afford itself!

    Barbados sold off its Barbados “National Bank” to whoever could afford to buy it.
    Barbados Shipping & Trading sold out to whoever could afford what they needed.
    Old story.
    And Trinidad has the ready cash, so guess who buys the distress sales??

    An equally old story is that when buyers obtain such distress sales,
    they often keep the good bits and let the flaky bits fall out!
    Obviously, Almond was one of the flaky bits: others may soon become apparent.

    Outsiders aren’t buying up Barbados….
    Barbados is selling itself in order to stay alive
    … a bit like prostitution but not quite as personal.

    Barbados now belongs to Trinidad: we are a satellite, as is Tobago.
    Bajan Pride doesn’t like to countenance that reality
    but maybe if we put as much INDUSTRY as we put PRIDE (national motto) into our affairs
    we might not be where we find ourselves today.
    No’ socialist’ economy of 300,000 kinda-workin people
    on a land mass of just 166 resource-less square miles can survive for long!

    It hasn’t been half-century since alleged independence, and all fall down!
    We should simply sell the whole goddam mess to T&T,
    change up both flags, adopt their far nicer national anthem
    (ours is a DIRGE!),
    get an energy pipeline coming up the Barbados Ridge from Tobago,
    and chill out…happy in the knowledge that Trini still likes us
    even as we love to hate them.

  5. watcher

    $1.00 US=$6.37 TT or $2.00 Barbados
    Fixed currency equate to higher costs. Investors and tourists mostly go to places of highest return and best value. In these economic times value and rate of return on investment is everything.

  6. 32535834/24346-C66

    Watcher…what are you SAYING?
    That we should devalue The Almighty Barbados Dollar?
    OFF with your head! lol

    Sooner or later dah gyne happen, but doan say nein.

  7. Mac

    Just heard from a friend of mine who was due here this week to stay at Almond Beach, St. Peter. He said he was told, as it is closing he was being shifted to St. Lucia. Is that how N & M look after Barbados? Mr.Kellman is that also the BLP’s fault? Were there no other under occupied hotels in Barbados??

  8. Newbie

    When elected persons and appointed persons refuse to do what they are selected and paid to do then pray tell me why should the lowly working person break his/her ass to do what they are selected and paid to do. Herein lies the problems that are befalling Barbados and it is being reflected in the tourist reaction to our tourism product, keep up the good work Barbados, we shall reap our reward.