Tag Archives: Almond Resorts Barbados

Hotels and Resorts Part Two? Barbados government to purchase Almond Beach Village Resort – Government will compete against private tourist hotels

2013 Almond Barbados

Facility: Almond Beach Village Resort, St. Peter, Barbados

Location: Between a rock and a hard place.

Current condition: Closed, shopworn, A real ‘fixer-upper’, Needs much more than paint to be restored to even a 3 star status

Well, we almost can’t blame the government for wanting to do anything to open Almond Beach Village Resort again. The whole thing is so embarrassing when an apparently vibrant and heavily marketed resort closes down because of inadequate tourists and no profits.

But is this government purchase really part of a solution to our tourism and economic woes… or is it more of the same?

We don’t lack for tourist beds on this rock, we lack tourists to fill them. Almond Beach Village is a “mass market” resort that has to move the people in and move them out in great numbers to make any money. But the place was so run down with tourists swimming in their own sewerage that at the end even cut rate pricing couldn’t attract folks. That’s what happens when you feed off of an asset without maintaining it. It’s like when people don’t change the oil in their auto engines: you can save a fortune on oil changes and maintenance, but only for a year or two and then your car is junk.

Government might be better off to save the money and put it into serious efforts to upgrade our whole tourism product across the board. We have lots of empty beds at operating resorts. We should be trying to fill those first before the government goes into competition with privately owned hotels.

Adrian Loveridge will undoubtedly have something to say about this.

Previous BFP articles

April 16, 2013 – Harlequin and Almond disasters show we’re great at spin

April 2, 2012 – Almond Resorts: Failing because of poor TripAdvisor reviews?

The Nation News: Government to buy Almond Beach

Government has indicated its intention to purchase Almond Beach Village in St Peter and put it back into operation in the shortest time possible.

A press release from the Barbados Tourism Investment (BTi) stated that Government was not in a position to divulge the full details of the agreement as they are still in the final stages of negotiation with Almond Resorts International, the current owners of the property.

A press release today stated that this latest development would allow the 400 rooms at the Almond Beach Village to be put back in operation in a manner that will positively impact our tourist arrivals in 2014. “The increased number of bed-nights will also go a long way in assisting Barbados to achieve a targeted five per cent increase in visitor arrivals for 2014”.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Almond Resorts purchase – Were shareholders deceived?

(click image for large)

What is going on here?

Message from the Board of Directors of Almond Resorts Inc delivers a surprise!

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

A message published in the Nation and Barbados Advocate today, August 9, 2012, says that shareholders were asked to approve the sale of Almond Beach Club to Fairweather Holding Co., but it appears they were only acting as a nominee for Lazy Lagoon (Barbados) Ltd. This notice is the first time to my knowledge that Almond shareholders and employees heard that the purchaser was ‘Lazy Lagoon (Barbados) Ltd.’

Is this a newly formed company and where is it registered? I tried searching the CAIPO Corporate database but cannot find it.

Who are the shareholders of Lazy Lagoon (Barbados) Ltd and what is the commonality with Lazy Lagoon Limited which is as associate company of the Goddard Group (33 per cent sharholding) or Lazy Lagoon Holdings Limited an associate company of Neal and Massy Holidays Ltd (44.5 per cent shareholding)? Who now, are the owners/shareholders of Morgan Bay Hotel and Smugglers Cove, both in St. Lucia?

It would appear that this (possibly new) company, Lazy Lagoon (Barbados) Limited, has been allowed to purchase Almond Resorts at a knockdown price which may not be in the best interests of all the shareholders. The shareholders appear to have been misled when they were advised that Fairweather Holding Company (Elite Island Resorts) was purchasing the property.

I think questions have to be asked and answered.

Editor’s note: BFP made several major changes to the original article as submitted by Mr. Loveridge.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

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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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking