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    August 03

  • 08:03 PM

Four Seasons picks up steam

BEA DOTTIN, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 10 March 2011

mia

THE NO.3 “person” at Four Seasons should be in the island today in order to sign off on the international hotel chain’s vote of confidence in the multimillion-dollar project at Paradise, Black Rock. Former Opposition Leader Mia Mottley made this disclosure on Tuesday night, as she gave support to a US$60 million (Guarantee of Loan) Bill, tabled in Parliament by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. Earlier, Sinckler had said the Clear Water Bay project could not have proceeded without Government intervention, and while he made it clear that Government was not in the business of issuing guarantees to private companies, it had broken “frontier ground” to facilitate the restart of this “very important” project to the tourism industry and the economy. In effect, Government’s intervention had allowed creditors and developers to pay off their debts since they were not keen to restart the project with unpaid monies “hanging over” it. At the same time, this “triggered a process” whereby developers could source the capital and resources to inject back into the $350 million project. He noted that the construction had had a “soft relaunch”, and that it could be up to six months before a full complement of 800 workers was again at the site. At the same time, he said there was renewed interest in the project by foreign investors. However, Mottley, one of two Barbados Labour Party (BLP) members to join Tuesday night’s marathon debate in the House of Assembly, indicated that work on the project would restart on a large scale within the next few months. The Queen’s Counsel (QC), who is representing Four Seasons in her capacity as an attorney-at-law,  stressed the importance of having a brand name hotel like Four Seasons in Barbados, and lauded Government for its intervention. She noted that not only Ansa McCal in the region was keen to be part of the project, but there were other international investors ready to get on board. Mottley said that with the creditors having been guaranteed payment and the redesign and environmental issues having been resolved, the way had been paved for Four Seasons to sign an agreement with Government to allow the project to go full steam ahead. Ink is expected to be put on that agreement tomorrow.

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