Leading hotelier warns against condos
One of the country’s leading hoteliers is advising against the promotion of “straight condominiums” here, contending that this form of accommodation did not help the economy.
Chairman of the Mango Bay Group of Companies Peter Odle declared he was “fundamentally opposed” to condominiums unless they were run differently.
“[I am] fundamentally opposed to having straight condominiums and not having them run in a sort of structured way like a hotel. I don’t feel that straight condominiums are good for Barbados,” Odle said Wednesday while delivering the feature address at the Annual General Meeting of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados (IHB) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The local hotelier made reference to Spain where the government has introduced legislation to facilitate the imposition of taxes on condominium owners who do not rent their complexes when they are not in use.
“What is happening is that people are having the units there and they are locking them up. They stay for three months and then they go away.
“It is not good for the economy of the country, and then what you start seeing happening is that people start taking prime real estate – and Barbados is a small place – they start taking prime real estate and cutting them into straight condominiums and start locking them up. That is not good,” he insisted.
Odle is one of the principals behind the multimillion-dollar The Sands Barbados beachfront property on the south coast, which is expected to operate as a cross between a condominium and a hotel.
He described the concept as “revolutionary” and predicted it would become a model for the industry.
“Basically what Sands is doing is that Sands will sell off the majority of the units and we have a structure where you have to put your units back into the rental pool for nine months minimum of the year. And that is going to be for the next 15 years. You can’t deviate from that. So if you don’t want to buy into that programme, don’t come. Go somewhere else. But I believe that is going to be the future,” Odle said.
Construction of the 153-room The Sands Barbados, formerly Sandy Beach Hotel, started about two months ago. It is being funded by NCB Capital Market (Barbados) Limited, a subsidiary of the Jamaica-based NCB Capital Market Limited, to the tune of US$10.5 million.
Odle promised that upon completion it will create nearly 200 jobs.
“At The Sands we will have between 150 and 190 staff. That is a fact. Right now we have 176 people on sight building. So it is going to be a good employer in this country,” he stated.
Odle added that the operators would employ an energy management system as part of their plans to make The Sands “the most state-of-the-art energy efficient hotel” in Barbados.