Hello Wyndham, goodbye Hilton

Government Tuesday announced plans to put the Hilton Barbados Resort, valued at more than US$100 million, up for sale.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler disclosed the move as he presented the 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals while broadly addressing the privatization of state entities.

He told Parliament that Government agreed to relinquish its ownership of the prime property given its substantial investment in the Wyndham Sam Lord’s Castle, estimated to be in the range of US$250 million.

“Government believes that, in keeping with its policy to limit the number of hotels properties it holds within its assets portfolio, that now would be a good time to divest itself of the Hilton while preparing to welcome the Wyndham Sam Lord’s Castle into the fold.”

He revealed that the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc and the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport will be receiving, analyzing and recommending bids to Cabinet for the sale of the luxury resort.

The Needham’s Point property first opened its doors as Barbados became an independent nation in November 1966 and has remained one of the island’s best known hotel properties.

In 1999 it was demolished and rebuilt six years later.

Sinckler told the House, the hotel, which is operated by the Needham’s Point Holdings Limited, has been making a profit for the last six years.

He stressed that Government will only be accepting offers in line with the hotel’s real value.

“If a successful bid is accepted, Government is expecting to receive no less than BDS$100 million as the net proceeds from the sale, taking into account the liquidation of existing debt liabilities attached to the property. Provision for these proceeds have already been taken account of in the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue.”

The announcement comes as the Freundel Stuart administration seeks the shore up the island’s fast depleting foreign reserves, which stood at $749 million, or near 11 weeks of import cover at the end of last week.

The Freundel Stuart administration has been banking on the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd. (BNTCL) –– which is owned by Barbados National Oil Co. Ltd. (BNOCL) –– to the Sol Group.

However, the US$100 million sale is now tied up in the law courts after Rubis challenged the sale which is yet to be approved by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).

“It is expected that this [FTC ruling] should come during this financial year and so the expected boost to both foreign reserves of $100 million and revenue of $70 million will assist Government in tackling both of the major challenges confronting it at this time,” he said.

Sinckler told the House that Government was not afraid to divest appropriate state assets but it would not engage in selling entities, which provide social services to the public.

31 Responses to Hello Wyndham, goodbye Hilton

  1. Yvonne Goodwin Was Adcock
    Yvonne Goodwin Was Adcock May 31, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Dominic Goodwin!

    Reply
  2. Nicholas Mackie
    Nicholas Mackie May 31, 2017 at 1:36 am

    better use my points quick

    Reply
  3. Rico Seale
    Rico Seale May 31, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Not a bad move at all

    Reply
  4. Len White
    Len White May 31, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Best news in a while. Only positives here.

    Reply
  5. Dave Person
    Dave Person May 31, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Sell what making a profit for the last 6 years?

    Reply
  6. Soso Ja
    Soso Ja'net May 31, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Wendy Greenidge

    Reply
  7. Allan Keeler
    Allan Keeler May 31, 2017 at 5:27 am

    Same as uk east coast railway went into gov hands made a profit then sold it now gov has to pay out now

    Reply
  8. Brian A. Harvey
    Brian A. Harvey May 31, 2017 at 5:54 am

    How are tge plans for a new hospital working out? Guess new hotels are more important than your health. Smh, barbados being ran like an under developed African nation that cares nothing about the population.

    Reply
  9. jrsmith May 31, 2017 at 5:58 am

    What all of this means to the bajan black masses , nothing… This government our bajan politicians cannot be trusted, very crooked and corrupt, …. 800 millions bds dollars cannot be accounted for in one (Audit General’s) report and days ago the (Audit General ) disclose the government is at it again , not leaving paper trail these people should be arrested……………. ask the so call opposition what they think , are they waiting for they turn to do the same……………………………..

    Reply
  10. Louis Swann
    Louis Swann May 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Sell it don’t sell it…just remember that beach belong to bajans

    Reply
  11. Stanton Peace
    Stanton Peace May 31, 2017 at 6:37 am

    you should have left sam lord’s castle to be developed by the private sector,you should not sell The Hilton to invest in Sam lord’s a hotel which in my opinion will not stand the test like hilton.

    Reply
    • The Edge May 31, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      Stanton…exactly!

      Reply
  12. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner May 31, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Really do folks believe this government gine get full price for this hotel,and then gine throw in nice sweet multi year concessions like what Sandals got,taxpayers gine be biggest losers here.And is Auditor General going to get to see any deal before it’s approve ops not that is call being accountable and transparent which have never existed in Barbados

    Reply
  13. Lindsay Ferry
    Lindsay Ferry May 31, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Is that a viva wyndham

    Reply
  14. ideliver69 May 31, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I’m especially pissed off at the Hilton sale. possibly the best hotel location in the island
    I Think at least 10% share should be retained /made available to bajans.
    What about the non performing Time out and Savanna hotels or have we already sold those.

    Reply
  15. Devon Sealy Zico
    Devon Sealy Zico May 31, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Oh NO!!!

    Reply
  16. Greengiant May 31, 2017 at 7:50 am

    You’re so correct @jrsmith both political parties have had serious issues with the Auditor General while in Government. They are both the same when it comes to issues like squandering, poor tendering practices, lack of paper trails, poor transparency, and the sharing of the spoils with their grass hopper friends.

    Same mother’s children. Have learned from the same teacher, ate the same meals at the said table, bathe in the same shower and slept in the same bed. If our people really believe they’re that different, then education has been wasted and our teachers have beaten their breast in vain.

    Reply
  17. Jamila HG
    Jamila HG May 31, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Natasha…sigh

    Reply
  18. Kamila Burrowes
    Kamila Burrowes May 31, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Smh this government is the worst

    Reply
  19. seagul May 31, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Here goes Gabby and the beach out the window. Now who does the beach really belongs to….Do these politicians ever go to the bay or they all have private pools and jacuzzi style villas from the AUDITOR GENERAL squandering…JR. In this time we need accountancy or we perish my fellow grass-rooters. They are demonstrating madness and the poor are held ransom.
    So I ask myself really what is going wrong
    In Barbados that we living in, people keep on giving in.
    These political operatives making intentionally wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends…

    Reply
  20. EURALENE NUNWA May 31, 2017 at 8:44 am

    WHY sell something that makes profit continuously!!

    Reply
  21. EURALENE NUNWA May 31, 2017 at 8:45 am

    WHY sell something that makes profit continuously!!
    & is also in a prime location

    Reply
  22. Ovid Forde
    Ovid Forde May 31, 2017 at 8:49 am

    This is moronic thinking. Sell a profitable asset in order to support a wish.

    Reply
  23. Jason May 31, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    So wait, where the government get $250 million us from to invest in another bottomless pit that the average barbarian will not derive any benefit from? Them tax raises yesterday supposed to raise the money for that?

    Reply
    • Jason May 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Barbadian sorry.

      Reply
  24. M.D.M. May 31, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    In principle, yes, I agree the Hilton should be sold. The hotel needs someone with a good hospitality background and great entrepreneurial drive. For someone who has stayed there, I can say the hotel needs to be improved in areas. The Sam Lord’s hotel should not be held in the hands of Government for long. Tourism is private enterprise. Let Government provide the right economic conditions and leave it to business people / hoteliers. Like him or not, we need the drive of the likes of “Butch” Stuart and similar. They know how invest and then market their product well.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *