Daily Archives: March 3, 2013

Barbados hotels expect government to head off developing tourism disaster

empty seats Barbados

Empty seats a dangerous sign in High Season

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Having sat on the board of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association briefly, you get some idea of what a complex and challenging task it is for any Executive Vice President and the juggling act he or she has to perform on a daily basis.

Keeping everybody happy is, in my view, a near impossible task. On reflection I believe the BHTA and its members have been extremely lucky, with very few exceptions, to have attracted the calibre of people who have held the position of EVP.

When Sue Springer was recently interviewed by one of the other media outlets, you could sense the passion and genuine unease in her quoted words. Even the journalist prefixed her title with ‘frustrated’. I don’t believe that anyone should view her comments as alarmist, as she is reflecting the obvious concerns of the members.

The article was headed “Layoffs looming” and pointed out that “the sector may have to brace for problems if the current state of the industry did not improve this summer”.

Why are many of our neighbours bettering us in tourism?

Ms. “Springer warned that the first quarter of this year was already looking bleak” and this was clearly illustrated in the 8.2 per cent fall in long stay visitors in the peak month of January. Recently one of our returning guests to the UK reported that the ten rows of seats behind them were all empty and that one flight arrived with 24 people in economy. As loyal regulars to Barbados, I have no reason to doubt them.

‘We’ cannot go on thinking that this is a global problem affecting all our competitors. As already pointed out in last week’s column, almost all the rest of the Caribbean recorded strong growth last year.

The new administration has a very small majority and surely I cannot be alone in thinking that all the elected officials can pull together in the national interest. By the time this column goes to press, I would expect that a new cabinet is in position and we can only hope that the best qualified persons are placed in the positions where they can make a positive difference. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Beginning of the end for Harlequin Properties and Dave Ames? Court petitioned to freeze business and personal assets.

UPDATED March 14, 2013: Comments closed and redirected to latest article

Hi folks. After almost 1,500 comments on this story readers are getting a little tired of having to scroll through them all to continue a current discussion. So we’ve closed the comments on this post and redirect you to the most current Harlequin post as of March 14, 2013…

Harlequin Properties stunner! SIPP-Pension investors advised to act immediately

Prior Updates…

URGENT: Barbados Free Press under attack!

Some folks want to discourage discussion about Harlequin

Wednesday, March 13, 2013   1am Bridgetown

Friends, the number of comments on this story is over 1,300 – a new record for Barbados Free Press. Combine those comments with our other news articles about Harlequin and Dave Ames and there are almost 3,000 comments here at BFP.

The Harlequin discussion is carried on primarily by two kinds of people… desperate investors hoping to understand and get their money out somehow, and people who see no wrong by Dave Ames and Harlequin. Some of the second group use different names to post, like Dave Ames’ head of security who got caught trying to infiltrate the discussion without telling his true identity.

Now some people are using techniques to try and block the discussion here at Barbados Free Press. They are inundating us with spam comments trying to sell everything from ice makers to japanese dating sites. Then we have people calling themselves “Yorkiepoo” going for volume to dominate the discussion with garbage comments. This “Yorkiepoo” has to be more than one person because they are here for so many hours. This is way beyond trolling – this must be an organized group trying to stop investors from talking here at BFP.

So who would want to interfere with the Harlequin discussion? (He asked knowingly.)

We’ll do our best to remove asinine and irrelevant comments – but don’t be discouraged. Just talk ya talk and nevermind them others. In response to the attacks, we’ll post this at the top of the blog for a few days so you don’t have to hunt for this very active article. The more they interfere, the more articles we will run and the longer we’ll leave this at the top.

Chickens do come home and we be working on it!

BREAKING UPDATED: Harlequin pays off investors who launched court action!

Saturday March 9, 2013  7:20am Bridgetown

Echo News reports this morning that the Birmingham High Court bid to freeze Harlequin’s and David Ames’ assets was dropped yesterday when a settlement was reached.

Apparently Harlequin paid off six investors represented by Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal, who dropped the court case. Said Fatchett: “Our primary aim was for the return of these investors’ deposits. We now have 20 more investors seeking refunds due to missed completion dates.”

Meanwhile, the H-Hotel construction site in Barbados remains shut down after Harlequin laid off dozens of workers. We haven’t heard anything recently about The Merricks, but we’ll take a drive out of the city on Monday and let folks know.

Echo News: Harlequin Property freezing order bid ends after investors paid out

Here is BFP’s original story first published on March 3, 2013…

Will Dave Ames dodge SFO bracelets?

Will Dave Ames dodge SFO bracelets?

Financial Services Authority also investigating Harlequin and Ames

A high court action will start in Birmingham on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 against Harlequin Property and David Ames. This, according to investigative journalists Russell Myers and Sharon Churcher of the Mail on Sunday.

“Legal papers will be lodged at the High Court in Birmingham on Tuesday to freeze the assets of Harlequin Property and its directors in an attempt to claw back money for worried investors.”

The court could deliver a double blow to Harlequin and Ames: freezing all business and personal assets. Plus Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs pensions regulator will act – just as Barbados Free Press first reported several months ago.

As we say in Bim, de chickens coming home…   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues