June 17, 2021


Travel-Lickin' Good

Royal Caribbean hopes to shut on Freeport port challenge by this summer season

The new port venture in Freeport, Bahamas is continue to in negotiations, but a closing this summer is the objective.

Royal Caribbean Group Vice President Govt Relations, Americas, Russell Benford, furnished an current that the order of the Grand Lucayan vacation resort in Freeport is “close” to getting a done deal.

For months, the joint enterprise of ITM Team and Royal Caribbean Group has been negotiating the sale of the government owned resort so that the land can be turned into a new port vacation spot.

If accomplished, the joint venture would change the Grand Lucayan lodge and bordering spot into a new cruise port spot, with new berths for ships at Freeport Harbour as properly as the creation of a water-dependent journey topic park for the countless numbers of passengers that the cruise line designs to convey to Freeport on an once-a-year foundation.

Mr. Benford  instructed Tribune Business that while the conversations have taken a although to discuss, points are nonetheless transferring ahead, “I feel we’re close.”

“I’m hopeful that we shut this summertime, and I believe we’re down to a handful of files that require to be reviewed and a few of economic instruments that have to go by means of the lawful course of action, but we’re acquiring there and are hopeful of a summer time closing.”

The timeline for the project’s design may well also alter because of to the cruise sector shutdown, and Mr. Benford mentioned a phased strategy to construction may possibly be probable to much better accommodate hard cash movement.

“I assume the timelines have shifted a small bit,” Mr Benford said. “We are not able to be as aggressive as we’d like with reconstructing the job at as soon as. We have to do it in phases and check out what we can do. It’s taken us a bit longer to negotiate with Hutchison… Covid-19 was a tough time for all of us and to do business.”

In addition to buying the resort, Royal Caribbean is negotiating with the proprietor of Freeport Harbor, which Mr. Benford also mentioned are shifting together.

“We’re near,” he reported. “Every thing is relocating in parallel to every other. The harbor is shifting together with the lodge, and we’re attempting to shut at the same time for both all those qualities.”

In early March 2020, Royal Caribbean announced its subsidiary joint enterprise, Holistica Destinations, would buy the Grand Lucayan vacation resort in Freeport so that it could remodel the resort and encompassing region into a world-class beachfront place with a 526-place lodge, buying village, spa and wellness centre, drinking water-based family entertainment including a massive drinking water and adventure concept park, a 40,000-sq.-foot conference middle, journey actions this kind of as zip lines and off-roading, restaurants and bars, enjoyment and energetic nightlife. 

Soon thereafter, the cruise market shutdown and cash spending disappeared with it, and the cruise line has built no general public comments about this venture.