Before Sandals takes one step into St Peter, Barbados will get another taste of Almond.
Well placed sources have revealed that the Ministry of Tourism has selected MW Sun Hotels Inc., owned by wealthy businessman Bernard Weatherhead, to reopen and operate the now mothballed Almond Beach Village at Heywoods, St Peter, for at least one year.
In fact, in correspondence obtained by the SUNDAY SUN, Weatherhead explained to chief executive officer of Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI), Stuart Layne, that with an injection of $5.1 million from Government and speedy movement by Government’s operatives, they could have 138 rooms and related facilities ready to receive guests in mid January, missing only the first few weeks of the 2013-2015 winter tourist season. BTI is looking after Government’s interest at Almond Resorts.
Government is anxious to get the once popular 500-room all-inclusive resort reopened again, but recognize that even with the agreement with Sandals of Jamaica to take over the property, bulldoze and rebuild it as a family resort, its doors will not be thrown open until 24 to 36 months after construction begins – and the date for that could be as much as two years away, sources said.