Parliament today stamped its approval on a $12 million guarantee to enable the Hilton Barbados Resort to complete its ongoing $22 million refurbishment.
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy told the House the investment was well justified since the property was making a profit and a sound contribution to the island’s tourism product.
“In 2016, the income from the hotel to the Government of Barbados was $2.4 million. That was an increase of 56 per cent over 2015. So in essence the hotel is making money, it is registering a profit,” he boasted.
Sealy revealed that the hotel operated by Needham Point Holding Limited had used $10 million of its own money to fund the improvements but needed the additional $12 million to complete the project.
“We are at that stage where we are deep in the First Citizens loan fund and while they will extend the arrangement on the basis of a Letter of Comfort signed by the Minister of Finance, we need to tidy up this situation because we have the last set of refurbishing to do and we wouldn’t want to be in breach of either the banking rules or indeed how Government should operate with respect to guaranteeing loans of Government entities.”
With the renovations, Hilton’s room stock has increased from 300 to 355.
Last year, 115 rooms were refurbished, another 139 were completed this year and the remaining 100 will be done next year.