Business Leaders Explain Support For SDO

May 2, 2023 | 10 Comments

Some of the island’s business leaders have voiced their support for the proposed redevelopment of the Fairmont Southampton property.

“Business leaders have indicated that both the reopening of the hotel and the construction of tourism and residential units are integral to solidifying Bermuda’s appeal for corporate head offices and success as an international hub for conferences able to accommodate more attendees,” a spokesperson said.

David Brown, a 40-year veteran of Bermuda international business and a director and chairman of numerous Bermuda-based businesses said “It will be difficult for Bermuda to maintain and expand its role in the international business sector without a significant increase in both hotel rooms and airlift. The reopening of the Fairmont Southampton will certainly help achieve this.”

“A significant downside to the lack of accommodations for visitors is the impact on airlift to the island – the two are inextricably linked,” a spokesperson said.

As Ken Hassard, Commercial Director at Bermuda Skyport Corporation Limited explains, “We are intent on increasing airlift to the island to boost business tourism especially. The response we consistently get from major carriers is that the number of flights to Bermuda will only increase once the Fairmont Southampton – which was responsible for 25% to 30% of airlift to Bermuda – reopens.”

Peter Hughes, CEO and Founder at Apex Group Ltd., concurs. “Connectivity to the U.S. for international businesses has been seriously and negatively affected since the Fairmont Southampton has been closed – fewer tourism beds have translated into fewer flights available to Bermuda.

“With more beds available through the renovated hotel and the proposed tourism and residential units, the potential for a significant conference business in Bermuda can be achieved. In addition, quite a few businesses want to come to Bermuda and add to the island’s economy, but they can’t find sufficient housing for their executives. As a result, they end up taking their business to Cayman and other locations.”

Mosaic Insurance’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Mitch Blaser agrees. “At the end of the day, time is money. Bermuda has lost a lot of direct flights, making business travel inefficient.

“It would be very disappointing if companies started to considering taking their business elsewhere. We have a proven global investor ready to commit to our island’s long-term future. Airlift, jobs, new residents, a venue for all-important group travel. If we believe in Bermuda, we need to believe in this.”

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  1. Kim Smith says:

    Interestingly the banner that sits atop this article asks us to:

    Think About It – This SDO is only 4 more acres than the approved one.

    Yes, think about it! The current application is for 261 units (each with 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms). That’s twice the number of units being applied for now that will supposedly be fit into just 4 more acres than the original 130 units were set in.

    That doubling of the number of units will also bring with it more roadways, more parking spaces, more supporting facilities and amenities. Yes, think about it!

  2. Reflections of? says:

    Where are the marchers? Or were they really just government sheep that followed blindly. You can thank this government that signed a deal with this group. Bad deal. Our choices are take the deal or take the deal. I applaud the previous minister of finance for resigning before putting his name on that document?!

    • saud says:

      This isn’t same sex marriage…that was worth marching for! That was worth the half million we spent on the privy council, to discriminate against some Bermudians.
      This is just a bunch of foreign owned, tax free condos. Nothing to see here.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    It seems that the details of the SDO will be hidden from public view, just like the Acute Care Wing. The PLP go on and on about the airport deal, but that was so transparent and reviewed by so many others so often. Who, apart from the ex Minister of Finance, has seen the details, and he saw them and resigned. No doubt the deal is even worse now, as he resigned over 12 months ago and no doubt Gencom has obtained more concessions since then.

    • Tucker says:

      You can scream that over and over again, it doesn’t make a difference.
      The airport is white, the hospital is black.

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind doubts that the re-opening of the Southampton Princess hotel is crucial to the survival of Bermuda’s tourism economy.

    Equally, I don’t think that anyone who understands the tourism industry doubts that the re-opening of the Southampton Princess hotel will increase air passenger volume and therefore encourage an increase in airlift to Bermuda.

    The issue, as I see it, is that it appears that some deal is being done behind closed doors that will give away more of Bermuda to foreigners at the long-term expense of Bermudians.

    Once again, it is bad when the UBP or OBA allow the sale of Bermuda to foreigners but it is good when the PLP does so.

    And where is the statement about how much money will be paid in taxes to pay down on our billions of dollars of debt?

    All I see is a massive tax break being given to foreigners at the expense myself, my family and all other Bermudians.

    • Answer says:

      When will you get it through your thick skull? Voters don’t care about the UBPoba. 4000 plus signed no support for the SDO and at the end of the day 30 people showed up for the protest LMAO LOL.

      If the PLP was opposition they would’ve shut down the island similar to the Airport deal and Pathway to Bermuda Status.

      The UBPoba is WEAK as crap.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        The UBP does not exist anymore and the OBA is politically irrelevant.

        Some voters do seem to care about the OBA (not the UBP), but not enough to make that party relevant.

        Of course, that was not the point of my post.

      • sandgrownan says:

        The reason we didn’t march is because we were all at work keeping this island afloat.

      • tucker says:

        ..because the plp play dirty.

        Says something about the majority of the electorate.

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