PLP & Minister On Ariel Sands Redevelopment

November 13, 2014

Following the groundbreaking ceremony held at Ariel Sands, the Opposition asked for clarification of “when in fact they anticipate submitting the requisite plans,” with Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy calling their statement  ”sad and desperate.”

The ground breaking for the project — which the recent Throne Speech described the project as an $85 million cottage colony development that will create between 50 and 70 jobs during construction” – was held yesterday [Nov 12] with actor Michael Douglas, members of the Dill family and various Cabinet Ministers in attendance,

Premier Michael Dunkley with Michael Douglas and his business associates at the groundbreaking:

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Saying that “permission has only been granted for demolition” and ”no formal application has been made to the Department of Planning,” Shadow Environment Minister Glenn Blakeney said: “The PLP believes the Ariel Sands redevelopment will be a wonderful addition to our tourism product.

“We also believe that the country needs a project like this at this time. Our concern, however, is that there appears to be no imminent beginning to the actual groundbreaking that will deliver this new cottage colony.

“We would like the OBA Government and/or the proprietors of Ariel Sands to clarify for the public when in fact they anticipate submitting the requisite plans to the Department of Planning and consequently advising when a real groundbreaking will occur,” added Mr. Blakeney.

Ariel Sands conceptual stage visualizations by Onsite Engineering

Home Affairs Minister Fahy said, “The statement made by the Opposition in respect of the Ariel Sands development is sad and desperate. It is hardly unusual for a developer to demolish a site prior to submission of a Development Application. This is exactly what has occurred here.

“Owner Michael Douglas is a world renowned star and would hardly make announcements for the sheer heck of it,” added Minister Fay.

“It is very disappointing that the Opposition has, through their bizarre questions, essentially chosen to attack the credibility of someone who is committed to Bermuda and job creation for Bermudians.”

Shadow Environment Minister Glenn Blakeney’s Comments

Mr. Blakeney said, “We, in the Progressive Labour Party, ‎offered cautious optimism of the Ariel Sands redevelopment because we understand the fragility of business negotiations. Ariel Sands is just one of several examples of where tangible plans for development were well advanced pending finance in some cases – then the global recession – the worst recession since WW11 for Bermuda.

“We, in the Progressive Labour Party, want success for Bermuda and did our part while in government to be supportive of business as in the end the people of Bermuda benefit from a successful economy.

“The narrative to politically spin this development in a favourable light for the OBA by attempting to score cheap political points against the PLP as Premier Dunkley demonstrated is divisive.

“Truth be told the global recession devastated Bermuda – but the OBA’s narrative with the help of their international consultants have wrongly pinned Bermuda’s economic demise on the doorsteps of the PLP.

“Upon further research, it has been determined that the confirmed official status of the Ariel Sands project is as follows –

  • Permission has only been granted for demolition
  • No formal application has been made to the Department of Planning
  • There has only been a consultative meeting to discuss the details of the proposed application

“The PLP believes the Ariel Sands redevelopment will be a wonderful addition to our tourism product. We also believe that the country needs a project like this at this time. Our concern, however, is that there appears to be no imminent beginning to the actual groundbreaking that will deliver this new cottage colony.

“We would like the OBA Government and/or the proprietors of Ariel Sands to clarify for the public when in fact they anticipate submitting the requisite plans to the Department of Planning and consequently advising when a real groundbreaking will occur.”

Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy’s Comments

Minister Fahy said, “The statement made by the Opposition in respect of the Ariel Sands development is sad and desperate. It is hardly unusual for a developer to demolish a site prior to submission of a Development Application. This is exactly what has occurred here.

“Owner Michael Douglas is a world renowned star and would hardly make announcements for the sheer heck of it. It is very disappointing that the Opposition has, through their bizarre questions, essentially chosen to attack the credibility of someone who is committed to Bermuda and job creation for Bermudians.

“The Government of Bermuda and the Department of Planning stands ready to assist when and where possible to see the vision of the Ariel Sands development become a reality. That is what Bermuda wants. Not casting doubt on the credibility of those committed to Bermuda’s success. We will not stop in our quest to attract top notch investment into our island for the benefit of all Bermudians.

“‎The Government looks forward to the submission of the final development plans. We again congratulate Michael Douglas and the Dill family and his team on commencement of their project and thank them for their confidence in Bermuda.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Inna says:

    “Truth be told the global recession devastated Bermuda – but the OBA’s narrative with the help of their international consultants have wrongly pinned Bermuda’s economic demise on the doorsteps of the PLP.

    Sir, with all due respect, if we had that $800 million sitting in the bank right now, all would be well on our island home! This is the time that the govt should be investing in capital projects around the island, to spur on economic activity. But thanks to the PLP’s handling of our countries finances, the govt now spends more than what it takes in every year. And the interest to cover that deficit is being paid out every day, by you and I! Its a shame that the PLP refuses to admit where they went wrong.

    • Quinte says:

      When will the PLP acknowledge their wrong doings and stop hiding being the recession thing. The TRUTH is that even if much of the world was NOT in a recession we would still be in a recession! Why, because the PLP overspent and did not save anything for a rainy day! They did not inherit debt like the OBA did. FACT, the PLP inherited one of the strongest economies in the world, and left us in a position that will be very difficult to get out of.

      NOT EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IS IN RECESSION and not all suffered equally! Canada for example has done very well. The US and UK at least can say that their governments were financing a war on terrorism. Other countries like Portugal, Italy Greece and Spaid (aka he P.I.G.S) spent and borrowed recklessly and in the end had nothing to show for it. The PLP did the same! On top off it all they insulted many and PUSHED businesses away. Lets not forget that most companies left Bermuda or moved pats of their business for other business friendly jurisdictions! They did not close their doors because of a lack of business – THEY LEFT to go somewhere else!

      Lets not forget the $800 MILLION dollars that are “unaccounted for”!!! Where did it go!? Were they incredibly incompetent?

  2. Trulytruly says:

    Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth. Sad.

  3. Coffee says:

    Has anything been Gazzetted by Ariel Sands ?

  4. ….Surely you jest. says:

    I guess since its Michael Douglas and the OBA no questions can be asked. Blakes is a windbag, but he’s right. How do you break ground on a project as yet unspecified, unapproved and unseen by the department of planning ?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Easy, were you around when the Sonesta disappeared? Seen Lantana lately? What ever DID happen right after the Holiday Inn/Club Med demolition?

      Any plans for any of these places when they were turned to rubble?

      Remind us who was Government at the time.

      • aceboy says:

        The PLP Premier pushed the button up at Club Med. How quickly they forget.

      • ….Surely you jest. says:

        Ok, I’ll play along. Sonesta never broke ground nor claimed to have done. Lantana never broke ground or claimed to have done. And I think the whole world knows that a) Club Med was a demolition and b) Bazarian’s plans for the site were a matter of public record. I know your google works even if your memory does not. Just admit it, all this is “two legs bad, four legs good”. Since you like fiction, let’s see if you’re on point with this reference.

        • serengeti says:

          Ok, well I’ll play along as well. There were repeated announcements by DREB and Patrice Minors that ground would be broken for the Grand Hyatt in November 2011. And DREB listed the purported redevelopment of Sonesta, Lantana etal as part of his Platinum period. During 2012 Furbert announced, in a desperate election move, that work on the new hotel in Hamilton would start as soon as the election was over. Failure after failure, really. I know you lot hate it when you see any kind of success. It just makes you look bad.

      • Bermystyle says:

        Lantana has nothing to do with the PLP or their wrong doings. The owner is not about to invest millions of dollars in to a faltering tourism market. Newstead and Tuckers Point in receivership is not exactly appealing.

    • Creamy says:

      And, remind who was promising $3bn of new hotel development 5 years ago.

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Sadly the PLP continues to deny the financial quagmire that they put Bermuda in. They are still blamint it on some imagined Global recession. Well, yes there was a rcession & yes, it did affect many, but not all countrys quite hard. The recession here, for the most part, is home grown. Investment money does not like an inept, unstable Government.

    Look at how many hotel propertys closed during the PLP years. Wonder why?

    Don’t be surprised if actual construction on this project does not take another three years. Smart investment money is always watching outside the boundarys of its property. Any hint of an inept or unstable Government returning & projects go back ‘on hold’ or cancelled completely.

    What happens is up to the voters.

  6. Smurf says:

    This has more chance of being built than most of the hotel projects. PLP are just sucking eggs as usual.

    • Quinte says:

      Funny the PLP can blow up Club Med and close the golf course because a property was planned and that was not a problem and that was OUR land.

  7. B4 Real says:

    Mr. Fahy’s comments do not impress me or assure me that he is in touch with solving local or intl. concerns. Michael Douglas part of the old Dill family go back further than some OBA suck rocks . Let him and Dill tourism property succeed without being used.

    • Lorna says:

      You have a big chip on your shoulder buddy. Time to move on.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Luckily it does not matter if the Ministers comments impress you or not.

      • Longtail says:

        Like the Green family, the Dill family is showing a strong commitment to tourism in Bermuda…. why are the PLP questioning this commitment? (Sour grapes, no doubt: look at all the broken promises of new hotel development made during their tenure!)

        • Tolerate says:

          Yes, this is my question as well? Why are they questioning it? The PLP is more consumed with ensuring Bermuda does not move forward under the OBA Government, that they have missed the plot. Any development in Bermuda is excellent news, but the PLP see it as the OBA successfully getting things done and this can not be tolerated?
          SMH

          • Tolerate says:

            And why is Mr. Blakeney still going on with the global recession? The PLP was the WRONG people in charge at the time and did a poor job of looking out for Bermuda’s best interest. The Ministers where out of their league.

            • Redman says:

              @ Tolerate,

              Exactly!!

              … The Ministers where out of their league… and the PLP still are.

              And many people want them back in power??!!! SMDH I guess those some Bozo’s want the PLP to continue the taking of Bermuda… at their expense by the way. Just like some imbecile who called the Talk show this morning and treated us to his abject stupidity!!SMDH

        • watching says:

          Who is questioning commitment?
          If anything the questions are related to process and timeline. I don’t see anyone questioning commitment.

          • CommonSensenBda says:

            The individual questioning commitment was GLEN BLAKENEY.

            “….Our concern, however, is that there appears to be no imminent beginning to the actual groundbreaking that will deliver this new cottage colony.

            “We would like the OBA Government and/or the proprietors of Ariel Sands to clarify for the public when in fact they anticipate submitting the requisite plans to the Department of Planning and consequently advising when a real groundbreaking will occur.”

            DID HE DEMAND THE SAME OF KARL BAVARIAN!? HOW MANY JOBS DID HE PROVIDE!

  8. I and I says:

    Mike is a kool guy!I think he is committed but I hope he wasn’t told its ok to not submit plans to the relevant department.Hopefully plans later like any other person building would have to.

  9. Stuntman says:

    OK everybody – take a deep breath……………

    Clearly the project is a long way from getting real (judging from the ropey “concept” video), but the opposition is unable to find the critical path for their obligatory push back. Where is the Environment Impact Assessment / Scoping Report? This is what Mr. Blakeney should be asking, but of course when his party was “facilitating” development an EIA was never on the “to do” list.

  10. 32n64w says:

    This is a bit rich coming from the PLP, a party whose abysmal track record of failure was so perfectly documented by the Discovery Channel’s 2009 broadcast of the Club Med implosion – perfectly capturing all that was and is wrong with the PLP – acting without thinking and speaking without listening.

    Perhaps Mr. Roban can remind all of us exactly what has been built on that site in the last six years?

    Reality truly does have an anti-PLP bias.

  11. Navin Johnson says:

    Glenn Blakeney? thought you retired as have not heard anything from you for 2 years….thought you did not get elected…

  12. Tbe Kid says:

    Another big bold move by the OBA team, well done lads, thank you Michael Douglas, thank you, thank you, you never forgot your roots and we can really use the help right now as we fight our way out of the mess and the debt left behind

  13. Build A Better Bermuda says:

    The OBA is slowly proving they have what it takes to turn our economy around.

  14. watching says:

    I don’t understand.
    Whenever the PLP have questions then the personal insults come from OBAers. The questions put forward from Blakeney are legitimate.
    this was not a groundbreaking if there are no approved plans or anything even put forward.
    this was just a demolition job. And if that’s all it is, then fine. But stop making it to be the dawn of a new day, when nothing is in position to move forward.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Over here, over here! There is a big haystack over here!

  15. Rhonda says:

    both the UBP renamed OBA and the PLP are talking out of both sides …..note Dr. brown also had a photo op with Mr. Doughlas…in 2006 when he unveiled a $170 million development…which never happened… however I don’t believe Mr. Douglas initiated either photo op… this was not a ground breaking but indeed a photo op… we can either pretend as a country that we don’t know the difference, or the OBA answer the questions that will bring hope to the construction sector…and once the true ground breaking happens have another photo op….

    • CommonSensenBda says:

      Hey Rhonda, what happened in 2008? Did not Lehman Brothers declare bankruptcy, the very company that was the banker for building projects worldwide,including Ariel Sands?

      Interesting how you PLP’er now refer to the news as “photo Ops”, something that your demi-God Ewart particularly excelled at! There were few days when his face was not in the papers!

  16. Truth in Politics says:

    I suppose the PLP are speaking from experience. Who can forget the demolition of Club Med? Still a vacant site almost a decade later.

    • As stated by Sandman:”This is an astonishing attack by the P.L.P on the good intentions of a Bermudian developer.
      Michael Douglas is trying to build confidence and show that Bermuda is worth investing in, and the P.L.P comes along the next day to “knock the wind out of his sails.”
      And then they have the gall to accuse the O.B.A. of trying to score cheap political points.
      Bermudians are getting sick of this constant negativity for the sake of negativity.”

  17. CommonSensenBda says:

    The PLP are know distinctly afraid that the OBA will succeed in not only resuscitating the economy, but PROVIDING EMPLOYMENT, a success that the PLP failed to accomplish after five years.

    No new hotel properties.
    Decrease in I. B. registrations.
    Was at the helm when more than 3,000 + Bermudians were made unemployed.
    No success in attracting new business to employ those Bermudians.

    An abysmal Education Ministry with the last minister being retired by a democratic vote (an well as her boss, the Premier of her party).

    Ewart Brown pushed the button to demolish the Club Med Hotel (sorry, Premier Ewart Brown), yet five years later, we learned from the former leader of the UBP, Wayne Furbert, that Karl Bavarian’s hotel had run into “investment” issues and had been cancelled in October of that year….three months before the election, where they had MISLED the voters with promises that immediately after the election the new new hotel would be built.

    HAVE YOU SEEN THAT NEW HOTEL!