Construction of west coast resort delayed
The start of construction on the highly anticipated Beaches Resort in Barbados has been set back.
Speaking to the media following a tour of the Sandals Barbados property this afternoon, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International –– the operator of the Beaches and Sandals brands –– said work on the property in Heywoods, St Peter had been pushed back due to the complexity of the project.
A year ago, he informed Barbados TODAY that construction would begin in the second quarter of this year, and would last for at least 22 months.
But Stewart said today that the work would not begin this year but “soon after”.
The Beaches brand is due to operate at the former Almond Beach Village Resort. The once popular 500-room hotel is currently being operated by MW Sun Hotels Inc, owned by Bernie Weatherhead.
“That is a complex project and Bernie Weatherhead is doing a really good job there of keeping the rooms opened, keeping the airlift working,” said Stewart.
The hotel magnate said the focus was now on expanding Sandals in Dover, Christ Church, and if they were “lucky”, construction on the adjacent property would begin “the middle of this year”.
“So we can get a bigger facility here, get a convention centre out of it and be able to provide a strong anchor for Barbados. And while Bernie is doing what he is doing over there, I am buying some time for our designs, etcetera. So I don’t have actual dates but that is moving along at great speed too,” added Stewart.
Under a memorandum of understanding, the Barbados Government bought the Almond Beach Village Resort from its Trinidad and Tobago owners, Neal & Massy Holdings, and leased it to Sandals to manage using the Beaches brand.