A group of local business magnates are putting their heads and money together to purchase the 130-room Sandy Bay Beach Club, popularly known by Barbadians as the Sandy Beach hotel.
The attempt to acquire the South Coast property, which closed in the first quarter of 2009, is said to be in its final stages.
Earlier this year the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI) announced that the Government was seeking to get that beachfront property, as well as the Silver Sands Hotel put back into operation.
One source close to the development told Barbados TODAY he believed the sale would “work wonders” for the South Coast, adding that the property has been derelict for “far too long”.
“So good things appear to be happening,” he added.
When contacted, one of the principals behind the investment opted not to comment or put a dollar figure on the purchase.
However, the 2.4-acre Christ Church property is listed on one property site as going for US$11 million.
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy told Barbados TODAY he was aware that the property was being sold, adding that he welcomed any local investment in the industry.
“That is music to my ears actually because I have always made the point that whenever I speak to foreign direct investment in the sector I always quickly add that we need domestic investment as well,” he said.
“If we are serious about this industry being the lifeblood of our economy, then I think that the big private sector players in our economy must get involved. So I salute the group.”
Sandy Beach, which was renamed the Sandy Bay Beach Club, was a part of the Palm Beach Hotel Group, that consists of the 50-room Allamanda Beach Hotel and the 150-room Amaryllis Beach Resort which is now also in the hands of a local businessman.
A Press statement issued this morning confirmed that Gordon Seale, who operates Calypso Caribbean Resorts, had bought the Amaryllis Beach Resort from prominent hotelier Leif Brandel who owned that South Coast property for 24 years.
The hotel, which currently provides employment for about 100 people, will officially change hands at the end of this month.
In announcing his retirement from the local tourism industry, Brandel said the time was right for him to move on and he was fortunate to have found a local buyer who planned to invest heavily in upgrading the hotel.
He said arrangements for severance, vacation pay, and payment in lieu of notice for staff had been taken care of, adding that the new owner had also indicated a willingness to re-employ some of the current workers when he takes over.
“Other members of staff who are interested in taking up a position within the new company can apply for an interview,” he said.
Along with the Amaryllis, Calypso Caribbean Resorts Inc. will also take ownership of The Chattel Plaza which is owned by Amaryllis and is home to several well-known businesses including 39-Steps Wine Bar, Coffee Bean, Zena Hairstyling Saloon, Silver Fox Slot Machine Arcade and Chateau Beuate.