Tag Archives: Barbados Four Seasons

Inter-American Development Bank cancels $160m loan for Barbados Four Seasons project

barbados four seasons construction

Another monster project left to rot in the Bajan sun

The on again – off again Barbados Four Seasons resort project may have received its final coffin-nail with the IDB finally withdrawing from this decade-old debacle. (Nation News: IDB withdraws loan for Four Seasons)

How much taxpayer funding has the Barbados government poured into this mess? Are we allowed to know? Did the government transfer any of the National Insurance Scheme pension funds to the project developers?

Barbados Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has made all sorts of claims. In March 2013 he told Bajans that our taxpayer monies would be recovered on the sale of the Four Seasons. Well Mr. Sinckler? Where’s our money?

Back then, BFP’s readers were asked if Bajan taxpayers would recover all the monies that their government invested in the Four Seasons. 50% said we’ll never know the truth, 43.5% said there was not a chance that we would recover the monies. 6.4% said we’d get back all the money, (but that was probably Minister Sinckler himself sitting there for voting for hours.)

Former PM Thompson said that supporting Four Seasons could be “extremely risky” to the DLP Government, but Freundel Stuart went ahead and did it after Thompson died.

“Now of course the first objective is not for Government to give guarantees to projects of this type. So the Government is not available, generally speaking, for that kind of thing and I want to make that abundantly clear. It is extremely risky. It has brought down Governments in other countries and I don’t intend to let it bring down my government. And it can sometimes smack of an element of favouritism and once you start it, it becomes like a rolling stone that will gather moss…and therefore, we have to be very careful,”

February 2, 2010 – Prime Minister David Thompson in the Barbados Advocate article PM defends stance on Four Seasons

Hard Times have arrived in Barbados

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it…

1/ Shun debt. Shun expenses. Live as frugally as you can.

2/ Work hard, save what you can.

3/ Look after family and friends as you are able because you might need their help someday.

4/ Learn to grow food, repair your own car, maintain your own home. Repair clothes, repair everything. Don’t buy new anything: let some other fool pay the depreciation!

5/ Smile at the tourists, make them feel welcome but never pressured. Pick up the rubbish where you can and never do anything that takes away from the beauty of Bim.

6/ Thank God for what you do have – then get back to working harder than you ever have before.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Prime Minister Thompson said supporting Four Seasons could be “extremely risky” to the DLP Government

How much public money is exposed in the Four Seasons project?

In the year 2012 under the DLP government of Freundel Stuart, Bajans aren’t quite sure how much public money is ‘invested’ or ‘guaranteed’ towards the Four Seasons Resort project.

Is it US$52 million through the IADB loan that is guaranteed, and another US$60 million in National Insurance Scheme cash? Or is that the other way around? Or something altogether different? And what about infrastructure guarantees and construction costs coming from the taxpayers? We’ve heard so many different versions from government and the news media that we don’t think anyone in government or media can provide a definitive answer.

We at BFP think that the Four Seasons project support is out of control with the amount unknown – that the government will not, cannot, provide a comprehensive and accurate answer about how much Bajans are invested and exposed.

Today we found this old article in some old notes we made back in February 2010 while David Thompson was our Prime Minister.

PM Thompson’s comments at the time make for interesting reading. Perhaps our accidental PM Freundel Stuart should read them too…

“Now of course the first objective is not for Government to give guarantees to projects of this type. So the Government is not available, generally speaking, for that kind of thing and I want to make that abundantly clear. It is extremely risky. It has brought down Governments in other countries and I don’t intend to let it bring down my government. And it can sometimes smack of an element of favouritism and once you start it, it becomes like a rolling stone that will gather moss…and therefore, we have to be very careful,”

February 2, 2010 – Prime Minister David Thompson in the Barbados Advocate article PM defends stance on Four Seasons

Further Reading

Are we ever happy that we preserved a copy of the Barbados Advocate from February of 2010, because the BA’s online version of the article seems to have disappeared! What a surprise!

Maybe some of our readers are better searchers than we are, so if anyone finds it let us know the link and we’ll include it.

Meanwhile, here is our copy:

PM defends stance on Four Seasons

2/2/2010

By Regina Selman Moore

Government could not sit idly by and watch a player of the size and significance of the Four Seasons Resort, pack up and move away from Barbados.This was just one of the reasons why the present Democratic Labour Party administration intervened to lend its support to restart the stalled multi-million dollar Four Seasons Resort project. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Did Barbados taxpayers guarantee the new IADB US$52 million Four Seasons loan?

Is this new IADB loan on top of the $60 million NIS pension monies already ‘invested’?

It could be that we at BFP are just stupid or that we haven’t been paying attention – but can anyone tell us exactly how much public money the Barbados government now has invested in the ailing Four Seasons project? And how much more is guaranteed by the government?

How much did the Four Seasons developers owe the government when the project initially got into trouble?

Can anyone produce an accurate and comprehensive detailed list of what public monies are either already provided or slated for ‘investment’  in the Four Seasons project and how much more will be at risk due to government guarantees?

Can anyone assure that Bajan taxpayers that in the event of default or project collapse that Barbados is #1 on the list ahead of all others for getting paid with the Four Seasons assets?

Anyone? Hello?

The Barbados news media and the government always announce a new loan with celebration and joy – as if our creditworthiness is something to be proud of rather than a temptation to be resisted lest we sabotage and sell-out our country’s future.

Further Reading

BFP February 2, 2012: Four Seasons high profile buyers sue for deposits as Barbados NIS invests $60 million

Please read the following Nation story at their website, but unfortunately we have to reprint the whole article here because that paper has a history of deleting stories for political and other agendas…

US$52m loan in bag

BY TONY BEST | WED, MAY 23, 2012 – 10:03 PM

Sealed, signed and now to be delivered.

That’s the status of an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan of US$52 million for the Four Seasons hotel and resort project in Barbados. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Economy

Four Seasons Bahamas was a disaster for investors. Why will Barbados be different?

Hundreds of millions of dollars lost

My fellow Bajans, I could write for hours today to compare the 2009 failure of the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma with the recent calls to “invest” our NIS pension money in the on-life-support Barbados Four Seasons project.

But I’m not going to. Really… what is there to talk about?

At a certain point in time, there’s nothing more to be said.

The patient has been brain dead for months and no amount of heroic efforts will succeed. The resources are better used elsewhere. Pull the plug. End the suffering.

OR: Let it fail, then buy it at pennies on the dollar…

Say… that’s an idea! Why don’t we let the Four Seasons project fail, then purchase it for a good price? Why pump money into the project just to mitigate the losses of private investors?

OHHHHH…. I GET IT!

WHO ARE THE PRIVATE INVESTORS?

Now is the time at BFP when we juxtapose…

“(Four Seasons Barbados) is a viable project that can bring massive returns to investor and country, why on earth would Barbados want to turn its back on this project?”

Barbados Finance Minister Chris Sinckler in full bullshit mode as quoted September 28, 2011 in BFP’s Four Seasons Barbados wants your pension money

Tourist Drought Sinks Four Seasons in Bahamas

“We reluctantly had to control further losses,” Mr. Downs said. The property was on track to lose more than $5 million this year, as occupancies slipped recently into the 50% range, he said.

The resort, which contains a 180-room hotel, a marina and an 18-hole golf course, opened in 2003 and cost about $350 million to develop. The property is still on the block but now Mr. Downs says it will likely sell for less than $100 million. “The timing has been unfortunate,” Mr. Downs said. The starting rate for a room at the hotel was $495.

Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2009: Tourist Drought Sinks Four Seasons in Bahamas

Four Seasons worth the risk

“The potential high return justifies the risk, and the national interest will clearly be served if the Four Seasons project succeeds, and thus helps to restore confidence in the Barbados economy.”

Bob Verdun gives his opinion at the Barbados Advocate Four Seasons worth the risk!

Question for Mr. Verdun… Exactly how much NIS pension funds are you personally risking?

That’s what we thought.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Avinash D. Persaud working on Barbados Four Seasons Financial Rescue?

Potential Investment Management Fraud in Barbados?

The following was received anonymously. Is it an actual Facebook entry or faked? What does it mean?

And this with (I think) a comment from Dennis Jones of Living in Barbados blog…

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