Hotel Developer Receives 60 Day Extension

October 22, 2014

[Updated with PLP response + video] The Government has extended the exclusivity period by 60 days with the developer selected for the old Club Med property, Minister of Tourism Development & Transport Shawn Crockwell said.

The exclusivity period commenced on 9th June, 2014 and was originally set to expire on 8th October, and it has now been extended to 13th December.

Back in May, the Government announced they had entered in an “exclusive negotiation period” with the Venezuela-based Desarrollos Hotelco Group to develop the old Club Med property, which is pictured below.

Club Med Bermuda July 19 2012 (1)

The proposed development is scheduled to include a 238 room hotel, renovation of the St. George’s golf course, a casino, 16 hotel residences, 24 golf villas, 16 estate residences consisting of 3 and 4 bedrooms residences, a spa and fitness center, meeting rooms, swimming pools, pool bar and grill, and more

Speaking today, Minister Crockwell, “On May 23rd, 2014 I announced that the Bermuda Government entered into an exclusive negotiation period with international resort hotel developer Desarrollos Hotelco Group [DHG] to construct a world class full service resort on the St. George’s Tourism Development site. The exclusivity period commenced on 9th June, 2014 and expired on 8th October, 2014.

“Over the course of the 120 day exclusivity period we have made steady progress working through our terms of reference, and DHG are currently fully engrossed in the due diligence process with Starwood, their preferred high end luxury brand partner, for this project.

“Starwood is a major global hotel and resort company that operates a number of luxury marquee brands including the iconic St. Regis, Le Meridian, and the Luxury Collection brands.

“In an effort to ensure we maintain and continue progress the Government has extended the exclusivity period for a 60 days that will expire on 13th December, 2014. The primary objectives during the extension period are the finalizing of the brand agreement and the approval of pre-development, development and operation commencement critical path items.

“The Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport will continue to provide updates on our progress,” the Minister concluded.

The east end property has not been used as a hotel resort for many years. The property was once a Holiday Inn, changed into Lowes, then taken over by Club Med, closed in 1988, and imploded in 2008.

Update 4.32pm: Shadow Minister of Tourism Zane DeSilva said, “The hurried response to media inquiries by Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell on the St. George’s hotel project, raises more questions about the state of the project at the former Club Med site.

“The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party is encouraged by the news that there appears to be movement on this and are hopeful that it will mean jobs and opportunities for Bermudians as well as spur a rejuvenation of tourism as a pillar of our economy. Yet it is critical that we get this right.

Mr. DeSilva continued, “From experience, we know that hotel development has been fraught with challenges; from developers unable to obtain financing to deals failing to materialize. Tourism is a very competitive global market and as we recognize that developers have options, we must also ensure that Bermuda is positioned effectively as the best option for hotel development.

We can do this by:

  • 1. Revealing if there is a letter of intent between Starwood and Desarollos. This will help boost local and international confidence in the progress of the project and will indicate that Bermuda is being taken seriously in the development world‎.
  • 2. Revealing if financing is in place. Back in May, the OBA claimed that they had full confidence in the financing behind the developers, yet there has been no further announcement in 5 months.
  • 3. Operating in an open and transparent manner when it comes to identifying the developers and their partners especially in the wake of the JetGate scandal. The fact that the media is not able to contact the developers is a disturbing prospect, and all Bermudians should be aware of who we, as a country, are doing business with. By now it would be expected that the Bermudian public would have heard from the developers, the fact that we haven’t causes concern.

Mr. DeSilva continued, “Additionally, the observation that Bermuda Tourism Authority member Allison Reid is the Senior Vice President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts raises questions as to whether this decision to partner with Starwood was objective and unbiased from the start.

“There are many questions surrounding this project. Like all Bermudians, the PLP wants this project to succeed, ground be broken and Bermudians back to work. Handled badly, it could lead to further delays and even affect the success of the overall project.

“We encourage the government to be more open and transparent, provide the public with regular updates and get on with the business of getting the project successfully completed.”

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  1. San George says:

    What a joke. No financial institution in their right mind would finance a hotel in Bermuda. Tucker’s Point is looking for a buyer. C’mon man!

    • ya right says:

      Yes we know we have problems in this island. The tourism authority isn’t going solve it either. We are doomed unless changes are made to our product.

    • Mr Ed says:

      Your comment just might be a bit strong for some but its true.– if we were so attractive we would have had a Hotel up there
      right after the Other one was knocked down.

    • Mr. JiF says:

      I would agree … I believe Bermuda is seen as a great opportunity tourism wise but when it comes to the dollars and cents(or sense) of construction cost, heads start to spin.

      • Lebron says:

        It’s definitely on the line OBA. Deliver, or you are no better than those PLP clowns that teased us for years, but did nothing. I thought you were better than that.

        • Fact Finder says:

          As long as they don’t “lose” $800 million they are still better.

  2. Minister Shawn Crockwell and fellow colleagues of our One Bermuda Alliance Government please, “get this ball rolling” The public have been jerked about on this particular site for far too long and we need to see ground broken or you will be viewed as other Governments prior to you… The One Bermuda Alliance are now, “the big dogs in the yard” so get on with it !

  3. Mr Ed says:

    This area would be nice for a Nice Park,a Restaurant.and a smaller Days Inn or Hempton Inn Hotel reasonably priced Hotel.— Hotel ‘ keep dreaming LOL.
    Bermuda is to expensive and even if they built the Fancy upscale Hotel they could never find cheap Labour to run it.
    Even our cheap Labour we have now can bearly afford living in Bermuda.- which simply means they need a decent wage.

    • Yes, even what’s suggested here by “Mr Ed” can turn a profit for the Ole Towne of St. Georges and on a whole, the Island…

    • Evie says:

      We are way too expensive all around in everything. It’s now time for everything from groceries to mortgages electricity to the cost of house insurance to reflect were we are today and stop this greed. When is enough enough SMDH

      • Common Cents says:

        So how much of a pay cut have you volunteered for?

  4. watching says:

    And the beat goes on…and on and on…they have had almost the whole year.

  5. wtf says:

    Bermuda needs to go on sale for a summer. Drop rates across the board to get people coming here and wanting to come back. When they come back we can elevate our prices again and go from there.

    Theres not reason that a flight that is only 2 hours away plus a hotel for three nights should cost over a grand. I can fly to an all inclusive hotel in mexico with air fare for a week from NYC for $750.

    Oh also, Americans want all inclusive s…’merica

    • wtf says:

      hence why we have so many cruise ship passengers….its about $650 for a 5 night cruise all included…. Bermuda looses

    • Onion says:

      They have been doing that for 20 years. It didn’t work.

  6. Sue Wolstenholme says:

    you need all inclusive resorts to get people to come. Bermuda is so beautiful but so expensive to eat/drink/golf.

  7. While on this subject of “up-coming developments”, lets jump up to the former Grand Atlantic site and finalize this hindrance, (the cliff) by suggesting / demanding the construction of a wall as built by Gilbert Lopez Construction with re-enforced rods in the wall and large stones / rocks to fill in the gap as the wall’s slowly being built. Then pour the concrete over each stage as it is rising to meet the ground level above beach?

    • Ty says:

      Good afternoon to you Mr. Ray,

      That sounds fine and dandy and I am all for getting the Grand Atlantic project rolling, but I, like others do not like the idea of a swimming pool six feet from the cliff edge. After a few years, it is no longer called an “inifinity pool” It’s called DROWNING in the ocean. I don’t trust that edge of the cliff face at all, no matter how much work is done to it.

      Just my opinion.

      Ty.

  8. Reality says:

    Hopefully this hotel will have more to do for families coming with kids. If you look at other competitor islands, they offer much more for kids to do and families.

  9. Kim Smith says:

    I think we have the scale wrong. A nice, small boutique hotel or cottage colony that could incorporate the natural beauty of the area would be very nice. I wonder what happened to the group who were planning the boutique hotel down in the town. Maybe they would be interested?

  10. justsaying says:

    Mr. Ed
    the only problem with your idea of cheap rooms Days Inn etc. is for that to happen they need cheap labour. NOT your Bermudian worker, which equals foreign workers, which equals labour dispute, which equals strike action which equals failure.

    Attitudes have to change, everyone above is negative about Bermuda going forward. This won’t work that won’t work. Well nothing works if you don’t have the right attitude.

  11. 32n64w says:

    Typical PLP response. They had a decade to ensure development of this site during a strong evening and failed miserably but now they’re suddenly experts. Total hypocrites.

  12. Fairchild says:

    Listen PLP. The OBA have credibility issues at stake here, but YOU HAVE NO VOICE. You promised so much, but delivered nothing. SU Zane, what do you know? Nobody believes a word you say.

  13. Rick Olson says:

    Turks a Caicos tourism is up 20% this year and they are MORE EXPENSIVE then us across the board . …….. Their product is superior. We can not afford to discount BUT we can improve our product. We need to encourage Bermuda entrepreneurs to get involved in condo/hotels ( likeGrand Atlantic) all water sports like kite sailing , scuba , paddle boarding and a wide variety of boat tours we need duty concessions and interest free loans to qualified individuals. Entertainment is pathetic and needs to be opened up before we get closed down.

  14. Bermuda Onion says:

    Please do something to make it a better value to visit Bermuda, there’s no place better! So tired of hearing “Bermuda is beautiful, but so expensive” or “The people are wonderful, but who can afford to go” I get that every time someone discovers I’m a Bermudian living in the States. I’m always so proud to hear all the good however there’s that “but” Save Bermuda!!!!

  15. memorylo$$ says:

    Rick Olson has it right. There is a cadre of affluent travellers on the east coast. He have the product, we just need to sharpen a bit, and be positive about it. Its our constant political interference, supported by a host of online naysayers of tourism that brings it down. How can we expect visitors to believe in it if we don’t?

  16. Mr.Ed says:

    The whole affair only shows that the people leading Bermuda be it the running Govt. of the day, the Opposition and others
    with the power to make and create concrete decisions have run out of ideas or are afraid of new ideas.
    I’ve yet to hear what the Tourisuim Authority has come up with there Ideas for this situation.