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Briland Economy in Trouble
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Page 1 of 2Total of 27 messages
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Posted by:Jun 3rd 2009, 02:10:59 pm
BonefishThey are next in Receivership....
Posted by:Jun 1st 2009, 02:51:00 pm
ColinSo how are those folks at Ramora Bay and at Valentines faring?? I assume the higher end places are faring fairly well. Let us know!
Posted by:May 31st 2009, 08:55:46 pm
BonefishBimini Resort In Receivership

The Bimini Big Game Resort and Yacht Club is in receivership and up for sale. It is located in Alice Town, Bimini and comprised of 51 rooms, 2 restaurants, a gift shop, and a 78 slip marina capable of berthing vessels up to 120 feet. It is situated on 3.6 acres of land and 4.8 acres of seabed.

Posted by:May 20th 2009, 08:57:02 pm
The PartymanRumour has it that Amway International will buy the Four Seasons Exuma property. They also own Cape Eleuthera.
Posted by:May 19th 2009, 04:56:22 pm

Hotel revenues plummet

Guardian News Editor

There was a 23.9 percent decline in total room revenue among major hotel properties in the first three months of 2009 compared to the same period last year, according to figures compiled by the Ministry of Tourism.

Those figures underscore the dismal climate in which these Nassau/Cable Beach and Paradise Island properties have been forced to operate in the face of a dramatic global economic downturn. All Kerzner International properties on Paradise Island experienced a decline in earnings.

Revenue at Atlantis Resort dropped 26.5 percent – from $57.3 million in the first three months of 2008 to $42.1 million in the first three months of this year.

The decline was even greater at Harborside Resort. According to preliminary calculations, revenue at that Paradise Island property dropped 56.7 percent - from $1.47 million in the first three months of 2008 to $636,499 this year.

The report noted that Harborside's performance reflected hotel visitor allotment, and not Harborside's overall performance.

Harborside and Atlantis collectively laid off more than 1,000 workers last Novem-ber. Kerzner's exclusive Ocean Club Resort experienced a 17.9 percent drop in revenue; the Reef Atlantis experienced a 33.4 percent drop and the Cove Atlantis experienced a 22.5 percent drop.

Revenue at Comfort Suites dropped 34 percent in the opening months of 2009.

While the Wyndham Nassau Resort experienced a 28 percent drop in revenue between January and March, the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort, which recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation, experienced a 5.6 percent increase in revenue.

Revenue at the Wyndham, a Baha Mar property, dropped from $5.7 million to $4.1 million. Revenue at the Sheraton, also a Baha Mar property, increased from $6.2 million to $6.6 million.

The Sheraton had 550 available rooms this year and 337 available last year. While the Riu Resort experienced a 21.6 percent fall-off in revenue, the Paradise Island Harbour Resort saw a 24.5 percent drop.

Revenue was up 6.4 percent at Sandals and 4.4 percent at Breezes. The average room rate in the first three months of this year was $255.65 compared to $282.04 last year.

The falling revenue trend continued in April, according to the figures. In April 2009, compared to April 2008, Atlantis experienced a 15.3 percent decline; there was a 2.1 percent decline at the Cove, a 19.4 percent drop at the Reef and a 12.6 percent drop at Ocean Club. The Hilton Resort saw a 32.3 percent drop in revenue last month and Nassau Palm Resort saw a 36.1 percent drop.

An 8.3 percent drop in revenue was recorded at the Wyndham Nassau Resort last month while a 36.4 percent increase was recorded at the Sheraton.

Over the last nine months, major hotel properties have let go hundreds of workers due to dwindling tourist arrivals and declining revenue.

In its latest economic report released earlier this month, the Central Bank reported that the weak tourism trend that started in the second half of last year continued in the opening months of this year.

"Indications are that tourism output contracted during the first quarter of 2009," said the report titled "Monthly Economic and Financial Developments 2009."

"...In the hotel sector, the projected outcome featured lower room night sales and effectively discounted average room rates.

"Despite the sales fall-off, preliminary assessments in-dicate that average occupancy rates exceeded early bookings expectations due to favourable last minute travel decisions.

Nevertheless, major properties remained under significant operating strains and continued to make staffing and other adjustments."

Given that prospects for the Bahamian economy in 2009 remain weak, the report said tourism will remain moribund in 2009.

Both women said that as far as what will happen in 2009, "we just will have to wait and see."
Posted by:May 17th 2009, 03:10:13 pm

Emerald Bay Resort to close

Guardian Senior Reporter

NASSAU — Nearly 500 workers at the Four Seasons Resort at Emerald Bay Exuma will soon be out of a job when the property — which has been in receivership for more than a year — closes its doors.

A small number of employees will be kept on, according to officials.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham advised in a statement yesterday that Mitsui, a Japanese insurance conglomerate that acts as the receiver for the development, has informed the government that it has taken the difficult decision to close the property.

The resort will close on May 26, according to its website.

Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said nearly 500 workers were informed yesterday that they will be let go when the property closes.

"I was apprised (Tuesday) that the hotel will be closing in about 10 days — May 26 is the day — and that the employees would have been informed (Wednesday)," Foulkes told reporters in the Senate building in Parlia-ment Square yesterday.

The Cabinet Office statement that came late yesterday afternoon said the closure of the development, including the luxury hotel resort, is expected to be temporary.

"It is likely that the resort will reopen under new ownership," the statement said. "The government has been advised that Four Seasons, managers of the resort hotel, will oversee its orderly closing. The hotel will close to guests on May 26 and the majority of staff will leave within the following 30 days."

The hotel has a staff count of more than 500 — 83 managers and 442 line staff — 26 of whom are expatriates.

The statement added: "The government has been assured that all severance payments due staff will be settled in accordance with the law and employee contracts."

"It is expected, however, that some staff will be retained for the transition period to new ownership," said the statement. "We are also advised that during the temporary closed period, critical amenities at the development, such as the water plant operations, will continue unaffected."

Mitsui had signed letters of intent with one party and entered into formal contract with two other parties during the past 14 months, according to the statement, although it added that none of those efforts were successful.

"The receivers have advised that they are already commencing consultations with various parties that had previously signalled an interest in the development," the statement said. "The government is committed to working with the receivers to identify the best investor group to acquire and reopen the hotel, golf course and marina, and to complete the full development planned for the Emerald Bay site."

Foulkes said that the government is unsure how long the closure will last.

"We do not know (when they will reopen) but we are thinking more short-term than long-term," he said.

Foulkes said that the hotel's closure will most likely have a "very negative impact" on Exuma's economy, as it was that island's largest employer.

"The government will do whatever we can to make it easier for Exumians, especially from a social service point of view, and also our unemployment benefit program that we've just introduced. So hopefully the impact will be softened by the initiatives that we have taken," he said.

Yesterday, President of The Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) Roy Colebrook said that the workers at the property were recognized by the union but due to the company being in receivership a new contract was in the process of being negotiated.

"The fact of the matter is that the property is facing some difficult time and they want to close for a period. I think what is important for us to do at this time is to ensure that all persons who would be affected are to be taken care of in accordance with the law," he said. "There are arrangements that are being made now for us to do that in Exuma to deal with this whole situation as we speak."

Colebrook said the union will do its best to assist affected employees.

"We're just continuing to do what is in the best interest of all the members of the hotel workers union," Colebrook said. "Even though we are in the process of having a contract completed for that property, we will still stand up for the rights of those individuals who are affected at this time at Emerald Bay."

Over the last year, hotel properties across the country have laid off staff in the face of dwindling tourist numbers. The largest exercise occurred last November when the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island sent home more than 800 workers.

Posted by:Feb 8th 2009, 05:10:29 pm
BonefishPrime Minister Hubert Ingraham new year's address to the nation :
"Our disappointment was acute when a number of projects, which we had anticipated moving forward during the past year, stalled.

These include the Ritz Carlton project on Rose Island; Ginn at West End, Grand Bahama; the former Royal Oasis property in Freeport, Grand Bahama; Royal Island Resort off North Eleuthera; the Aman Resort at Norman’s Cay, Exuma; the sale and redevelopment of the Walker’s Cay Resort in the Abacos; Kerzner International’s second Marina Village and Time Share Resort at Hurricane Hole, and the Bahamar Project in Cable Beach. All have been adversely impacted by the current financial crisis.

I should point out that each of these developments was being undertaken by reputable developers with sound financial credentials and yet they have seen their financial capacity and capability diminished by the current circumstances."
Posted by:Feb 8th 2009, 04:40:43 pm
BonefishCitigroup Cancels… Kerzner Worse Ever
The Caribbean news website has reported that Citigroup Inc has cancelled a convention planned by its Primerica Financial Services unit in Atlanta, along with a trip to a Bahamas resort for the insurer’s top agents, as the bank cuts costs after receiving $45 billion of taxpayer money. The biannual convention, which was scheduled for June 17 to 20, had attracted 55,000 people in 2007, a Primerica spokesman said. The Bahamas trip was scheduled for later this month at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, the spokesman said. This announcement comes on the heels of an exclusive interview with Sol Kerzner, the owner of Atlantis, the top Bahamian property and the engine of the tourist economy here. He told the press that this is the worse he has ever seen it. He does not think that the situation has hit bottom yet. The Atlantis property has laid off 1000 members of staff in the last year
Posted by:Dec 14th 2008, 11:16:28 pm

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Sandals Resorts International is laying off 650 Caribbean hotel workers in response to a decline in tourist bookings, the company said Friday.

Posted by:Dec 3rd 2008, 11:18:47 pm

Standard & Poors Rating
The rating agency Standard and Poors that international investors look to as to whether or not to invest in a country has now downgraded the investment rating outlook for The Bahamas to negative because of the down turn in the economy here, dependent as it is on the US economy.
Posted by:Dec 3rd 2008, 11:09:20 am
Fig Tree News TeamEditorial, I So Vex Bahamas

Proposed suspension of Bahamian $300 duty exemption made by Charles Klonaris

Charles Klonaris, chairman of The Nassau Tourism & Development Board (NTDB) in a front page article of the Tribune Business section dated November 13th, called on government to suspend for one year, the $300 customs duty exemption allowed to Bahamians on goods brought back into the country, in and when accompanied by their luggage, as a means of stimulating the economy by ensuring more persons shopped locally.

This is not the first, second or third time in which I have read in the dailies, Mr. Klonaris' call for some action or other regarding the Bahamian $300 exemption.

Mr. Klonaris was quoted as saying, "…..we need to stimulate the economy, and that means more money in circulation. The Government is telling Bahamians: 'Go to Miami' and spend, because you can bring back $300 worth of goods duty-free twice a year. There's an outflow of money going to the US, and there is very little left coming into the Bahamas. I think that the $300 exemption should be suspended for at least a year until we see the economy turnaround so people spend more at home. I felt that should have been part of the whole plan (PM's address to nation Nov 11th) to help us compete in these rough times."

To quote the Tribune, "By suspending the duty exemption, Mr. Klonaris said it would give retailers belief and confidence that the Government cared about their plight, because the overall economy was" (quoting Klonaris) "having a serious negative effect on retail downtown".

Some nerve!

News flash Mr. Klonaris! The overall economy is having a serious negative effect on retail East St. north and south, retail Carmichael Rd., retail Blue Hill Rd. north and south, retail Robinson Rd., and retail Market St. etc., right down to the Mom & Pop stores in the Grove and Bain Town. The overall economy is having a serious negative effect on everybody not just retail downtown as you put it.

Do these over-the-hill retailers and citizens not need the belief and confidence that the Government cares about their plight as well? Is not and should not the Government of the Bahamas, regardless of what administration is in power, represent all masses of society?

It is quite easy for Mr. Klonaris to suggest the suspension of the $300 exemption which is needed by the small man to ensure his dollar stretches further. After all, he thinks it is good for our country.

However, Mr. Klonaris thinks nothing about the massive customs duty exemptions which may amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars on building supplies/materials/office fixtures etc., extended to the Bay St. merchants or dare I say 'boys' to revitalize their properties on Bay St. This of course is excluding the other tax incentives which will be given for e.g. no real property tax levied for I believe 10 years coupled with business license credits.

Tell me Mr. Klonaris; why not call for these merchants/property owners to shop locally for their building/renovation supplies? To remind you of your position, would not these exemptions if utilized, represent an outflow of money going to the US, and if spent locally, would not these hundreds of thousands of dollars help us compete in these rough times? Would this not provide greater stimulation to our economy and create jobs – more so than a mere $300 exemption ever could? After all, building supplies are sold and can be bought locally so why the need for import duty exemptions? Is it not for the same reason why the measly $300 exemption is needed by the poor man; to get more for your money? Or should the poor man be damned as long as their $2 is spent on Bay St. or with their associates?

Better still Mr. Klonaris; why not urge the government to rethink their generous bail-out package to merchants/owners who allowed their properties to fall into such a state of disrepair that rejuvenation is sought on the backs of the poor and middle class? Yes on the backs of the poor and middle class because they more so feel the pinch from the effects of the tax and import duty increases as at 1 July which had to be levied by government to offset the Bay St. concessions & exemptions.

This is the reason why government was so quiet on the topic of economic crisis for these many months. That is of course, until now when Atlantis took the decision to lay off almost 10% of its staff members and the Government felt it best to finally state the obvious. Any sensible economist knows that increasing taxes in an economy that's softening only takes us there faster.

It was very evident given the state of the US economy from the start of the year and definitely before 1 July that we would feel the ripples. Yet Government said nothing because its intent was to increase taxes and import duties as it had to recoup the revenue which would be lost due to the exemptions and other concessions given to the Bay St. property owners. Hence, Mr. Klonaris, I expected Prime Minister Ingraham to announce that such increases as at 1 July would be repealed but alas we know why this cannot be done.

So much was given that the scales are tipped. Yes merchants may need to improve their properties for the sake of our tourism industry. But how much is too much? After all, Government to my understanding had agreed to business license credits as well as the suspension of real property tax. Is not import duty exemptions a bit too much? What message does this send and what measures will be implemented to ensure these merchants maintain their properties such that our children in 20-30 years will not have to bear the cost of another rejuvenation?

In my opinion, the persons who will gain the most are the merchants from the high rent they will see for years to come. As a part of this generous incentive given to these property owners, why did the Government of the people of the Bahamas not mandate that to foster Bahamian entrepreneurship and creativity in tourism, these merchants who received a free for all would be mandated to offer reasonable rental rates to such persons interested in straw and craft work etc? Or is our place in the straw market?

Perhaps this is difficult for Mr. Klonaris to fathom seeing that he stands to directly benefit from these concessions/exemptions as according to at least two front page articles written this year in the Tribune Business section, he and his brother(s) have acquired the former Moses Plaza on Bay St., which will be transformed into Elizabeth at Bay. Does nobody see anything wrong with this picture?

Can it be said that Mr. Klonaris used his position as chairman of the NTDB, a position which he has held for many years and information gained from his position for his personal benefit? After all, he would have seen before hand the direction in which the revitalization of Bay St. was headed and privy to the 'private sector' report which apparently made the recommendations for the exemptions/concessions. With this information in hand, would a person not be inclined to 'eat-up' or so to speak, the properties directly affected? We all remember the ordeal of Martha Stewart.

In this instance, should Mr. Klonaris not be urged to resign from the chairmanship of the NTDB? What I would like to know is precisely who makes up this so called 'private sector'? Wouldn't it be interesting if they primarily comprised Bay St. merchants who stood directly to gain? Hmmmmm - food for thought.

Are you vex Bahamas?
Posted by:Nov 30th 2008, 06:28:02 pm
ash12i had about 150 to 200 watermelon when was time for picking them, alot were gone! and the rest were there with wholes in them but eaten out from the inside. thats what the full time farmers are going through now
Posted by:Nov 30th 2008, 05:19:13 pm
brilandbeautyRacoon Souse?
Posted by:Nov 29th 2008, 11:12:36 pm
ash12lets just hope and pray it does,nt get any worst than it is now. i have a lovely farm growing all sorts of veggies,,bananna,s. we always can eat racoon they,re terrorizing farmers on the mainland we can trap them.As long as we dont get fished out ,,thats a good food sorce
Posted by:Nov 29th 2008, 09:54:12 pm
brilandbeautyit's a gamble agreed but if all else fails and we have to be self sufficient...i'd find it conforting if we at least had "some" means of surviving! This maybe an overly dramatic thought but what if there was nothing to import as a result of the current financial will we as a people survive. I bet the sun won't be too hot then!
Posted by:Nov 29th 2008, 08:25:44 pm
ash12how many things you think we can grow or make that can sell on an open market worldwide! firstly we have to think,ve self sustainability. taking care of ourselves locally before we purchase from other countries first. that has been a challange for years! its been proven over and over that it cant work! when you look at farming the average bahamian does,nt want to labour in the sun. thats where the problem comes in! we have yards. if we can grow our veggies,fruits and any other greens you can grow, it would make things much easier. its been tried with the bananna, in only a month they had to lift the moritorium . we have alot of guess coming in so you have to have the products first on an high level of production to accomodate the demand. you have to look at acreage for farming (LAND MASS)remember this is the same land some governments want for foreign investors. an to think about it bahamians aren,t that interrested in farming anyway in my veiw. tamatoes, green peppers, hot peppers,collie flower,spinach,time,it can grow but can it sell fast enough and can it sell on an open market? has it been tried yet? its a gamble in my veiw,,,i may be wrong
Posted by:Nov 29th 2008, 07:30:48 pm
BrilandkidThe Bahamas Government under the pindling Government negated to diversify, When at that time there were many investors in waiting to invest in it's development this I know has facts. Instead again they opted to train the young to wait on tables and put all their eggs in the tourist basket. They 9Government) lack creativity Fish farming, organic fruits and vegetables just to name a few could have long been developed and established in the market. Lack of creativity by greedy Government Ministers left this country so the dogs could eat our lunch. kalik, kalik. Greedy, greedy and selfish.
Posted by:Nov 29th 2008, 07:00:16 pm
brilandbeautyI don't think the issue here is about illegal immigrants taking jobs that should be for Bahamians. I think the Bahamas need to realize that an industry based on "service" is simply not sustainable. We need an industry based on "production". Other countries build, assemble and create things...why can't we? The global economy is many people you think have taking a vacation to the Bahamas on their minds? We need to keep more monies in the Bahamas and to do that we need to produce things that people can purchase, instead having to resort to other countries for purchases. The Bahamas needs to revisit this whole plan of "Tourism...Our Number One Industry"!!!!
Posted by:Nov 27th 2008, 04:41:52 pm
ash12i did already, they came on my lil job where i have all bahamians! that waisted so much time! the guys got away from the other jobs where the illeagals were! thats something to see aye? its so amazing
Posted by:Nov 27th 2008, 02:35:05 pm
Abaco GirlHey, Ash12
You don't know how to get rid of them aye?
Get their names, call immigration and check if they have permits and then if local immigration doesn't do anything call Nassau and report it

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