Gov’t still pursuing Beaches investment

The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda has indicated that the construction of a new Beaches Hotel by Sandals Resorts International (SRI), on the site of Halcyon Cove by rex resort will be pushed when the two parties meet next week Thursday for negotiations.

According to the Minister of Information Melford Nicholas, the government of Antigua & Barbuda is actively seeking to increase the number of available hotel rooms in the twin island state, in order to advance the tourism product.

“It is still the intention of the government to support the economic expansion of Sandals… the acquisition of the Halcyon Cove Hotel (for) the Beaches Resort is something that the government is very much interested in,” Nicholas said.

He added that during the upcoming negotiations, the government “would seek to resume those negotiations with the principals of the Sandals group”.

Nicholas was speaking to the media during Thursday’s post-Cabinet Press Conference. The negotiations into which the government and the SRI will enter were agreed to after a week-long public ‘war of words’ between the two parties.

The back and forth began when the government indicated to SRI by a June 2 letter from local firm Marshall & Company, that it was no longer willing to continue a substantial Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) concession which was given to the Sandal Grande Resort in 2009.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)