Tag Archives: Four Seasons Barbados

Class… discuss!

Barbados Economy

What will be the Return on Investment? When?

A UWI friend sent us the above photo cartoon, but to us it looks like a fight over an empty bucket.

If we had that kind of money, where should it be allocated?

And please… don’t use the word “invested”, because there’s no investment being talked about here.

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by | December 9, 2013 · 10:43 am

Barbados Finance Minister says taxpayers’ money to be recovered on Four Seasons sale. Do you believe him?

Barbados Investment Four Seasons

We don’t believe Chris Sinckler… Do You?

Chris Sinckler says that the Government of Barbados is about to sell the disastrous Four Seasons project and that Bajan taxpayers “should be walking away from it with all of its monies intact.”

I’ll believe that when I see the books and the reports that you know we’ll never see. Bajan politicians and governments don’t allow public accountability when it comes to massive losses resulting from government foolishness.

I don’t believe Minister Sinckler. There have to be losses to taxpayers. This fiasco has been going on too long and there’s too much public money into it… We just don’t know how much of our public money is into the Four Seasons because the government doesn’t allow us to know. Former Prime Minister David Thompson said that the Four Seasons project was “extremely risky”. Now his old political friends are saying it’s no problem.

Why is the truth and transparency so difficult to find on this island?

That’s easy: because the political elites like it that way so they won’t pass Integrity Legislation or Freedom of Information.

Do you believe Christ Sinckler?

Further Reading

Nation News Seasons switch

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Signs of recovery, but many Caribbean resorts are “not viable” – and never will be

Will Barbados National Insurance investment in the Four Seasons be lost?

“Of the 25 projects “In Construction” my projection is that only 9 will open within two years.”

… Caribbean hospitality industry expert Robert MacLellan

In his second major article for Barbados Free Press, Caribbean hospitality industry expert Robert MacLellan looks at the slate of unfinished and planned resort projects throughout the region – many of which were all too optimistically started during the 2007/2008 ‘bubble’. Here in Barbados we have our own selection of unfinished concrete bones bleaching in the sun, and there is much pressure to use public money to continue construction.

As I read Mr. MacLellan’s current article, I see that in some cases using public money might not be a wise move. In fact, it might be a predictable disaster and throwing good money after bad. I wish I had confidence that our elected and appointed public officials already know that the tourism business has forever changed and that they are making good plans to save viable resorts…

… but after reading Mr. MacLellan’s article I’m convinced that our leadership continues to fly by the seat of their pants – hoping for the best and basing their decisions on ‘feelings’ and what used to work.

This article, along with Mr. MacLellan’s previous offering Cruise ship industry a ‘Trojan horse’ to Caribbean small island economies, should be required reading at the Barbados Tourism Authority and for every Member of Parliament.

Caribbean Resort Development – Optimistic yet realistic outlook

by Robert MacLellan

This month’s Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) is promoted on the basis of predicted resort development growth across the region in 2012, but the actual situation is more complex and not as positive as first appears.

The leading travel research company in the States (STR) undertakes the great challenge of identifying and recording Caribbean hotel projects from the earliest development stages through to completion – the “pipeline”- a very difficult task, given the number of islands and jurisdictions in the region. However, with 80% of my work across the Caribbean over the last 15 years being development oriented, I felt qualified to further evaluate that pipeline. My research suggests that only 19 of the 69 projects, listed in the pipeline report, are likely to open within the next two years.

I believe that the 15 projects listed as “Abandoned” and “Deferred” are unlikely to be resurrected at all – at least, as previously envisaged. Within a two year window, I estimate that only 1 of 6 projects listed as in “Preplanning” , 5 of 12 in “ Planning” and 4 of 11 in “Final Planning” will make significant progress towards opening. Of the 25 projects “In Construction” my projection is that only 9 will open within two years. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments, Tourism

Reader: NIS should invest in Barbados Four Seasons project

Lest we forget some of the reasons for this project…

Submitted by BFP reader WL

Me thinks that people have perhaps become a little too bogged down in the trees of politics and grandstanding and everyone is tired from looking at this too long to see the forest – hopefully this might refresh people’s memories of why this journey began in the first place.

Why has the project taken so long to restart?
Why should the NIS invest?
Why would the Four Seasons project be good for Barbados?
Why does Barbados need Four Seasons?

Did you know…?

1.        Four Seasons predict that this will be one of their premier resorts – great kudos to Barbados

2.       Four Seasons themselves are investing in the project as a sign of their belief in the project and Barbados – they usually never invest in the development stages of resorts.

3.       In the US alone in 2011, over $137 billion was spent on travel  and one of the fastest areas of recovery in this sector is luxury travel so the sooner the Four Seasons project is up and running, the sooner Barbados will be able to tap into this market.

4.       The new company, Paradise Beach Limited have put into place the following social initiatives Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Offshore Investments

Another half-billion dollar Barbados resort announced with standard fanfare, concept paintings etc.

Memories of Four Seasons – but this time it’s different. Really.

Announcing a Canadian – Barbados joint venture for a new mega condo resort and residential development, this time at Foul Bay.

That’s good, I guess. If it is finished. If it doesn’t blight the coast.

If it doesn’t run out of money. If the developers have put up real hard cash and are not relying upon hype, investors and deposits from potential buyers to use as leverage for yet to be found finances.

I wonder who the “Barbados partners” are. I wonder if any government officials have a piece of the action. I wonder if any government resources will be diverted “unofficially” to construction. I wonder if the environmental concerns were really addressed and if they will be enforced in our headlong rush and desperation for new foreign investment.

I wonder about a lot of things as I read the news. Bajans are getting very jaded about such projects and that is no wonder.

Good luck to Ecoterra International Corporation

Good luck to the Ecoterra International Corporation in the development of their new five-star Pure Beach Resort & Spa. I pray they succeed, and I desperately hope this isn’t the start of yet another set of concrete bones bleaching in the sun.

One final, important message to the developers and our all-too-eager government: Bajans must have easy access to the beach and there must be nearby parking – because without the parking that’s the end of local access, isn’t it? That’s usually the end result of these projects and we’ve had enough of that.

New Luxury Resort for St. Philip

Barbados’ economic stewards have received some welcomed news amid the protracted financial gloom.

As efforts continue to attain finance to jump-start the stalled Four Seasons Project, a Canadian company and its Barbados partners will next week break ground to signal the start of a massive $541 million residential development in St. Philip.

The people behind it say it will be a five-star beach-front residential and brand name hotel development constructed on land valued at a whopping $119 million.

Barbados TODAY learnt that the Pure Beach Resort & Spa, which will be located on the coast at the picturesque Foul Bay, received approval from the Town and Country Planning Department in April this year, after Canadian company Ecoterra International Corporation submitted the necessary master plan application in May 2008.

“The Master Plan consists of a total of 300 plus units of luxury residential villas, condo, penthouse suites, boutique hotel suites, luxury spa. The amenity rich Pure Beach Resort & Spa boasts boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, and bars where stunning panoramic view of the ocean awaits you,” the developers stated in an outline of the project.

… continue reading the Barbados Today story New luxury resort for St. Philip

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Offshore Investments

Peter Boos warns about NIS “investing” in Four Seasons

NIS fund should be most jealously guarded.”

“…The fact that we are in a deep long term economic recession should not lead to a relaxation of the legal and socio economic principles governing the manner in which the NIS fund is allocated and invested. On the contrary…

I am of the firm view that it is precisely in times such as these that the integrity of a fund in the nature of the NIS fund should be most jealously guarded. 

The fund is not a commercial or development fund. It is a social security and pension fund, which should, for obvious reasons, be invested on a conservative basis to meet long-term liabilities.

Some may recall that CLICO failed essentially because it strayed from sound investment management practices as mandated in the law under insurance regulations, and took on several speculative investments, which eventually it could not support financially. Looked at objectively CLICO and the NIS have something very important in common: CLICO derived and the NIS derives large volumes of cash from insurance premiums, pension contributions, investment income etc.

As a corollary to that, the people whose money was held by CLICO and is held by the NIS were/are depending on receiving the benefit of those funds. In many cases those funds are the only savings and retirement planning provision made by such people.

Against this background some important questions arise on the appropriate use of NIS Funds by Government…”

Read the entire article at Caribbean360.com – Is an investment in Four Seasons development appropriate?

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy

Four Seasons Barbados wants your pension money

UPDATED: October 11, 2011

“Dear BFP,

Would you please comment on Finance Minister Sinckler’s insistence that NIS invest millions of our dollars in the Four Seasons project. Is this another CLICO in the making?” (from BFP reader “E”)

BFP says:

Hi “E” We sure will comment on this!

Our Minister of Finance came out yesterday with some very disturbing statements about the Four Seasons project disaster. Minister Sinckler told the press that the “government gives its word” that the project will be completed.

Put down your Coke before reading this or it will go up your nose…

Sinckler was in “full bullshit mode” (pardon our French) and says…

“Massive Returns…”

“Now if the Inter-American Development Bank [IDB] and others with their extensive expertise and expansive due diligence and investment analysis have looked at this project inside out, and have determined that it 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?”

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler as quoted in The Nation: Government’s word

For Mr. Sinckler: Lesson 101 – Private sector investment vs. “investing” our tax money

The private sector walked from the Four Seasons “investment” because it is not viable. Now Sinckler and the DLP Government want to “invest” OUR PENSION MONEY in a project that the private sector has abandoned.

NO. Not one more dollar of public money, Mr. Sinckler.

This is an election issue. It might be THE election issue.

Not one more dollar. Mr. Sinckler and Prime Minister Stuart are badly misreading the public on this. We have nothing left to give and I’ll be damned if I will let you place my grandchildren in debt over this.

Name all the investors that our tax money will rescue! How many politicians or close family members are already invested in Four Seasons, Mr. Sinckler? Who are we bailing out?

Not one more dollar of public money. Not one dollar of our pension money.

The line is drawn.

Original story published September 28, 2011…

It’s called the “American Standard” investment!

Mega-project wants a public money bailout with no sure way to assess the future value or success.

“Do any current or previous members of government or their family members have a stake in this project? I want full disclosure before one more dollar of public money is placed at risk.”

Dear Barbados Free Press

The executive chairman of Paradise Beach Limited, Professor Avinash Persaud, wants $80 million of Barbadians’ pension funds to get the “stalled” Four Seasons project going again.

He says the company could go to outsiders for the funds, but as a special favour to Barbados, he’s letting us in on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to…

… To pour more public funds into a major project that can’t find private funding in a recession where tourism is tanking? To shore up underground caves that should have been found before the project started? (See Barbados Today Project push for Four Seasons Resort)

That’s quite an opportunity.

The Barbados government on our behalf has already guaranteed a $120 million bank loan on the project and that really made a difference (guffaw, cough, cough). Now they want more or else I suppose we’ll lose our $120 million dollars.

It sounds like that old story where if you owe the bank some money, the bank owns you – but if you owe big money you own the bank.

Only in this case, Paradise Beach Limited owns our pension funds and future. The government is already so far in that big money is already at risk. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments