The start date for construction of the much talked about Beaches Resorts in Barbados is set for the second quarter of 2015.
And while Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) –– operator of the Beaches brand, could not give details, he said an official announcement would be made soon.
The announcement that the Beaches brand would operate at the former Almond Beach Village Resort in St Peter was first made in October last year after several months of a rumour that a deal had been brokered.
Under a memorandum of understanding, the Barbados Government bought the Almond Beach Village Resort from its Trinidad and Tobago owners Neal & Massy Holdings and leased it to Sandals to manage by using the brand name Beaches.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY in Grenada at the Sandals La Source property recently, Stewart said the construction project should be completed in about 22 months after the start date.
“I can’t give you details now, but it won’t be long before we make our announcement and then start rolling out the plans,” said Stewart.
He said, however: “Beaches is straight on track. The plan is to start mobilizing construction the middle of April 2015. That is a big project.”
Meanwhile, Stewart’s son and chief executive officer of SRI, Adam Stewart, said once reconstruction of the near 500-room property was completed, it should be of similar standard to that of Beaches Turks and Caicos.
“The Beaches deal was not an easy deal to come to, but that is going to be our single largest project ever,” said Stewart.
“When we are done in Barbados in the next 36 months, between Sandals and Beaches you will have a full-fledged state-of-the-art Sandals and a brand new Beaches hotel, and we have no doubt there will be about 100,000 new visitors to Barbados just between our chain a year,” said Stewart, adding that after the completion of both properties Sandals officials would “stimulate discussions” with tourism officials to get more airlift to the island.
When completed, among the facilities, Beaches Barbados will consist of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom family suites, 17 restaurants, bicycle tracks, a cinema, game arcade and bowling alleys.