Saturday, April 21, 2012 this Corner!

The fight for Almond Beach Village is on! And the winner is....

Will it be Barbados businessman, Bjorn Bjerkhamn of Jada Construction, Paul Doyle of The Crane hotel, or Butch Stewart of Sandals Resorts? We shall soon see.

According to local news, Bjorn Bjerkhamn of Jada Construction pulled out the "nationality card". Oh, no, he didn't! Oh, yes! He did. :) I think all Bajans would be proud if the hotel can be bought by a Barbadian. But, as someone said, we'd love them to do something really special with it, and not make it just another hotel.
THE FIGHT FOR OWNERSHIP of Almond Beach Village is heating up.
Yesterday, construction magnate Bjorn Bjerkhamn of Jada Construction Limited pulled out the nationality card as he openly declared his strong interest in taking over the St Peter hotel.

“We are Bajans; we are not Jamaicans nor are we Canadians,” Bjerkhamn told the MIDWEEK NATION yesterday, in an obvious reference to two of the main bidders – Jamaican hotelier Gordon “Butch” Stewart of the Sandals all-inclusive hotel group and Canadian-born Paul Doyle, owner of the Crane Resort.
“We have the experience, we have the expertise and we have the money,” he added.
Source: Nation News

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sandals Looking at Purchasing Almond Resorts Barbados

Almond Resorts has been in financial crisis for a long while. They sold off their St. Lucia properties, and last week there was talk of Almond Resorts employees taking pay cuts or purchasing more shares in the company.

However, Butch Stewart, of the famed Jamaica-based Sandals Resorts, has just announced an interested in purchasing Almond Beach Village, located in the northern parish of St. Peter, Barbados, 40 minutes from Grantley Adams International Airport. Sandals has been trying to get into Barbados for years, and actually bought the old Paradise property here some years ago. However, for whatever reason, and people go back and forth between a few different reasons, that deal fell through. Sandals did announce last year that they were looking into purchasing property here and in Grenada, as I posted earlier. 

It is reported that Sandals' engineers are to be on property today at Almond Beach Village to do an evaluation of the property, while Almond Resorts execs will also meet this morning to discuss the fate of all three properties (Almond Beach Village - in St. Peter on the Northwest Coast; Almond Casuarina Beach - in Christ Church on the South Coast; and Almond Beach Club - in St. James on the famed West Coast, also called the Platinum Coast).

I do like the tranquility of Almond Beach Village, and being there is really like being on a quiet vacation, with a lovely beach as the icing on the cake. But if the property is for sale, why not a thriving company like Sandals Resorts or Beaches Resorts? From what I know about Sandals, it would definitely be transformed into a top notch 4-1/2 - 5-star resort. And from what I know about Butch, the man has a keen sense of business acumen and has transformed his company into a thriving enterprise. Also, Almond Resorts is a Trinidadian-owned company, so it would still not be a locally owned property if Sandals were to make that purchase. I do wish that there were a group of Barbadian businessmen with the wherewithal (and I know there are a good few) could get together and keep these properties, that are already on Barbados soil, Barbadian-owned. That does not look like it will happen.

Let's wait and see how things evolve after today's meetings.

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