Grand Lucayan Resort Sold
The Government of The Bahamas sold the Grand Lucayan resort on Monday, March 2, 2020 to a partnership between Royal Caribbean International and ITM (Bahamas Port Investments Ltd.)
The new owners are expected to make a $250 million investment in the hotel and the redevelopment of the cruise port. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in the property to refurbished 500 rooms in Phase One, and another 500 rooms along with 500 villas will be refurbished in Phase Two. Additional features will include a new casino, a water park and a new shopping, restaurant and retail center.
In addition, a new cruise port will be built in Freeport Harbour to accommodate three ships in Phase One and up to seven ships in subsequent phases. As a result of the purchase 3,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created in construction as well as in employment at the hotel and cruise port.
Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr. Hubert Minnis, described the day as a wonderful one as the government's intention was never to hold on to the property but initially purchased it to save jobs of Grand Bahamians and businesses. "As we stated at the time, it was our intention to privatize the property as quickly as possible.
"We wanted to ensure that we found the right buyer who shared our vision for the renewal of Grand Bahama. Our vision was the renewal and rebirth of Grand Bahama's tourism sector and product as an essential element in the restoration of this island's potential."
Minnis noted that discussions are currently ongoing to determine the best way to redevelop the Grand Bahama International Airport, which will require a major investment.
The nation's State Minister has indicated that the government will recoup the money it spent on the Grand Lucayan which was damaged by Hurricane Dorian in 2019. The government purchased the hotel from former owner Hutchison Whampoa in September 2018.