Three groups showing interest in operating  Buccament Bay Resort
Local Vibes
December 22, 2017
Three groups showing interest in operating Buccament Bay Resort

A little over one year after the Buccament Bay Resort closed its doors, the physical plant appears to be in good condition.

SEARCHLIGHT toured the site on Wednesday to make a layman’s assessment of the physical condition of the resort, amidst rumours that it had been left to ‘run down’.

From a cursory inspection, the property seems well kept, with only minor repairs needed. The bridge leading to the property needs to be stabilized, as do some of the other small bridges on the property.

Several of the outdoor jacuzzies are filled with water, as are the two large pools on the property. The stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

But, other than these issues, the cottages and the grounds are well kept and security guards monitor the property on a 24-hour basis, deterring would-be burglars and vandals.  

On Wednesday, KPMG’s Brian Glasgow, bankruptcy trustee attached to the Harlequin Properties Limited (HPL), owners of the Buccament Bay Resort, told SEARCHLIGHT that he and the creditors have almost reached a deal on the way forward for the resort.

The deal will stipulate which entity is allowed to take over the resort and when, given that it has already been decided that it is better to make the resort operational at this point than to sell it outright.

“Hopefully, it will be opened in a couple of months, because that is what everybody would like to see,” said Glasgow, who was appointed trustee in bankruptcy in February, 2017.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT via telephone from St Lucia on Wednesday, Glasgow explained that creditors attached to the resort have appointed five inspectors to operate on their behalf. Four of these inspectors are based in the United Kingdom (UK), while one is locally based.

Glasgow said as trustee, he is accountable to the creditors and the creditors are represented under the bankruptcy and insolvency act by the inspectors.

“So, the inspectors want us to demonstrate to them that it makes sense to operate the hotel in short term and sell in the medium term, because if we go straight into selling now, it might take a longer time to sort out everything, it may even take a year or so and all that time the hotel will be closed, but if we go into just operating while we wait on the sale, we can actually have it open in a couple of months,” explained Glasgow.

He revealed that a report is being prepared for the inspectors and valuations are being finalized and the resort is expected to be opened some time in 2018. Glasgow revealed that there are three groups that want to operate the resort.

“There are at least three groups who say if we pick them, they can be up and running in two months. Their inspectors have to do what is best, so we are in the process of talking to them, but initially, it looks as it will be better for the creditors, if it (the resort) were to be operated as quickly as possible, instead of going into a long sales process,” said Glasgow, who stressed that the inspectors have not approved as yet who they will allow to take over, but that will be done in the next couple of weeks.

HPL owns assets in St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados, including an interest in Merricks, a development in St Phillips, Barbados, on 70 acres of land.

The asset, however, that has attracted considerable interest is the Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Resort, which began operating in 2011, closed in December 2016, after running into financial difficulties, resulting in non-payment of salaries and wages to a number of staff, and disconnection of utilities. 

At the time of its closure, there were approximately 116 completed cabanas, central facilities, including restaurants, and an hotel block, comprising 50 rooms, as well as a number of partially complete structures.

Since its closure, the Bankruptcy Trustee and his team has secured the resort, using the services of Guardsman, and has preserved and maintained the resort with a small crew, and a limited budget.

Earlier this week, an International Monetary Fund report said, “growth (in SVG) is expected to pick up to 2.1 per cent in 2018 and reach its potential over the medium-term, reflecting improved connectivity and supported by the expected reopening of the large hotel.”

Glasgow said on Wednesday that while he has not read the IMF report in its entirety, he thinks that the report is referring to the Buccament Bay Resort.