Grant believes tourism product could only get better after opening of castle.
Owner of the Sam Lord’s Castle property Thomas Grant is confident the island’s tourism product will take off following the opening of a 450-room hotel at the St Philip location, as well as other hotel room additions in the coming years.
Speaking to reporters following a walk through of the Sam Lord’s Castle yesterday evening with other officials, Grant said he was pleased that the once majestic Castle would be rebuilt and a hotel constructed.
Although expressing sadness at the current state of the property, which was significantly damaged by a fire in 2010, the businessman, said he was pleased with the overall tourism product and believed it could only get better.
“I am one of the pioneers that opened up the industry to Bajans because, as you know, [years ago] we as Black people couldn’t venture into hotels, but as soon as I took possession of this I opened the doors for Bajans. Now I see that everyone is following suit. So I have made a mark in this country already in terms of looking after our people,” said Grant, with whom Government is negotiating to acquire the Sam Lord’s Castle property.
“The only things we are lacking in are rooms [but] it is very good to see Sam Lord’s being rebuilt because we had a number of hotels close in Barbados, which surely has affected the industry. While all the other countries were growing we were lagging. But I think we are getting there again with Sandals coming in and the Castle rebuilding and I am sure the other properties will follow suit with the Government’s intention of giving them the [concessions] that Sandals got. So we should have a good stock in a few years to come.”
Meanwhile, resident and operator of the D&A Minimart in the neighbouring community Keimario Anthony told Barbados TODAY the opening of the property would mean more business for him and “a lot of life” in the community.
“Basically, it will bring more tourists to Barbados. As for business, it will be good as it will bring customers, workers and all kind of people passing through. I feel happy because I had wanted this to happen for a long time even before I opened here . . . More than one tourist came to me and complained that the Castle should never have gotten like that, so it is a joy to me,” he said.