Heads Up

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Merricks For Sale

"It could be another three years before 1 000 investors are able to recoup the $128 million they pumped into the failed project at Merricks, St Philip.
The same goes for Barbadian creditors of the Harlequin property, including Government, which is owed about $700 000 in land tax.
Brian Glasgow, Bankruptcy Trustee for Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited - in Bankruptcy, has appointed Terra Caribbean in Barbados to find a buyer for the 70-acre property which was to be an upscale Harlequin resort. Work on the project stopped about four years ago.
Terra Caribbean has not put a price tag on the beach-front land but it is estimated that investors pumped £48 million into the project. At current exchange rates that is the equivalent of $128.5 million.
While those involved are hopeful that a sale can be concluded within six months, they have been told that in reality such transactions usually take between two and three years.
In his second report issued ahead of creditor meetings in St. Vincent and the United Kingdom (UK), last month, Glasgow told them: “It is [my] view that in order to achieve the best sale price, resources should be made available to conduct a sale over a reasonable exposure period and we expect that a sale will take more than six months and perhaps as long as 24-36 months.”
At their recent meeting in the UK, creditors were told that Terra Caribbean’s effort to sell Merricks would involve “a six-month open-ended marketing campaign in respect of the plot”.
“The campaign will be evaluated at the end of the marketing period and a decision taken on whether to continue with the open-ended approach, or to move to a structured process designed to drive towards a closing date. Current advice is that it has taken 24-36 months to achieve a sale of similar resorts,” said a memorandum from the Harlequin creditors briefing held in London on November 13.
In its information to prospective buyers, Terra Caribbean said the property “features 3 000 feet of cliff frontage as well as a cove beach to the southern boundary”.
“There is no guide price and all interested parties are invited to submit an offer. Additional details and site visits are available on request. This is a unique opportunity to acquire a large development site on the south-east coast of the island,” it added.
Glasgow did not give an update on the other Harlequin property in Barbados, the H Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church. Millions of dollars in debt is also tied up in that venture.
Glasgow said he would hold a further meeting of creditors in March or April next year." 
Source: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/108935/bid-sell-merricks
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Took 'em a while ...

THE MERRICKS RESORT
BARBADOS
"The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today charged David Ames, chairman of the Harlequin Group of companies, with three counts of fraud by abuse of position, contrary to section one of the Fraud Act 2006.

It followed a four-year investigation by the SFO, with Essex Police, into the group of companies.

The Harlequin Property scheme had endorsements from celebrities including former Wimbledon winner Pat Cash, golf legend Gary Player, football pundit Andy Townsend, TV property guru Phil Spender, and Liverpool Football Club.

Off-plan properties are those that are purchased by an investor before they have been developed or completed.

Ames, 65, a former double-glazing salesman from Wickford, Essex, began selling the properties at planned resorts across St Vincent, St Lucia, and Barbados, but many were never built, it is claimed by the SFO."

Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/768822/Harlequin-Property-David-Ames-Caribbean-fraud-Serious-Fraud-Office-Pat-Cash
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Foreign operator for Sam Lord’s

"As early as next month Barbadians should know which international hotel chain brand will operate the hotel to be constructed on the former Sam Lord’s Castle property in St Philip.
And according to chief executive officer of the Barbados Investment Inc. (BTI) Stuart Layne, construction of the new hotel on the 58 acres of land should begin by June next year with a targeted completion date of late 2017 or early 2018.
Speaking to members of the media following a walk through of the property today, Layne said when the project commences it should provide jobs for at least 500 Barbadians in the initial phase and up to 1,000 over time. He said over 1,000 “permanent jobs” are expected to be created once the property goes into operation."

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Horror story beyond your imagination

"LAMENTING THAT BARBADOS’ tourism now seemed “like a horror story that has been just beyond your imagination”,  Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said yesterday it was not beyond Barbados’ capacity to make the industry soar by attracting a million land-based tourists by 2020.
Mottley told the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) annual general meeting yesterday that there could be no economic recovery in Barbados without a tourism turnaround; and if her Barbados Labour Party held the Government, it would bring in a million tourists in seven years instead of only increasing visitors by 5 000 in ten years.
Going back to 2003, she said Barbados had merely moved from 531 211 long-stay visitors to 536 303 in 2012 , while Aruba had in the same period gone from 641 906 to 903 934 visitors – a 300 000 increase.
She said, however, the million-visitor mark could be achieved by increasing the island’s average occupancy from 60 to 85 per cent, while mobilizing capital to facilitate investment and building another 800 rooms by 2017-2018."


Source: Mia sets sights on 1m tourists -- NationNews Barbados:

'via Blog this'
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Royal Caribbean Orders Third Quantum Class Ship



 Notwithstanding a disastrous fire at sea earlier this week which left passengers and crew shaken, Royal Caribbean today ordered yet another megaship to take you cruising the oceans:

"Make that three Quantum class ships that are on the way at Royal Caribbean.

The line today announced it had signed a contract with Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard for a third vessel in the much-awaited new series that will begin debuting next year.

"We are encouraged by the very positive response we received from travel agents and consumers when we first announced some of the unprecedented offerings on Quantum class last month," Royal Caribbean president and CEO Adam Goldstein says in a statement accompanying the announcement. "The Quantum class will offer vacationers more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces, and a third ship will offer even more opportunities for vacationers to experience Quantum cruising."

The as-yet-unnamed new ship will join the Royal Caribbean fleet in mid-2016, the line says. The first two vessels in the series, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, are scheduled to debut in fall 2014 and spring 2015, respectively.

As Royal Caribbean announced in April, the 4,180-passenger ships will have a number of innovative new features including giant mechanical arms that transports passengers high above the vessels in glass capsules.

The new order is subject to financing, the line says."

Source: USA Today
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Drop In Fly-And-Flop Hurting Land Of The Flying Fish

Mullins Beach - May 2013
"Britons travelling long haul are beginning to forsake traditional seven-night beach holidays in favour of packing different experiences into one trip. That is the conclusion drawn by Hayes and Jarvis in its latest Long Haul Trend Report, which reveals that the destinations making waves in 2013 are ones which lend themselves to a combination of city, beach and culture or heritage tours."

"Sean Dowd, Hayes and Jarvis Head of Commercial, said “While off-the-peg beach packages are still popular – especially four and five-star All Inclusive ones, there is no doubting the steady decline in demand for traditional fly-and-flop beach holidays. In sharp contrast, our multi-centre trip bookings have doubled over the past two years because growing numbers of people are keen to see more of what a country – or a region of the world – has to offer when they travel further afield.  Multi-centre trips now account for over a third of our business and this growth trend is one which we expect to accelerate.”"

"The drop-off in demand experienced by the Maldives has been even more marked in the major Caribbean Islands, continuing a trend first noted by Hayes and Jarvis in its February Trend Report.  Barbados (-51%), and Antigua (-58%) have seen the biggest drops but their pain has been Tobago and the Dominican Republic’s gain..."

Read more: Holidaymakers pack more experiences into one trip as single centre stays decline in favour of multi-centres
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weather could prove deadly for thousands more ...

"UK's coldest spring since 1963 claims 5,000 lives: Pensioners worst affected - and experts say final toll could be 'horrendous'2,000 extra deaths registered in just the first two weeks of March And for February, 3,057 extra deaths registered in England and Wales Campaigners warn weather could prove deadly for thousands more..."

Read more: Barbados TravelAdvisor • View topic - Weather could prove deadly for thousands more ...
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Harlequin House Of Cards Tumbling



"A businessman accused of taking £300 million of British investors’ money – and failing  to build thousands of luxury properties – could be forced to stop trading this week.
Former bankrupt David Ames is alleged to have collected millions of pounds for ambitious building projects in the Caribbean and Brazil, but less than 300 properties have so far been built.
Legal papers will be lodged at the High Court in Birmingham on Tuesday to freeze the assets of Harlequin Property and its directors in an attempt to claw back money for worried investors.
It is understood that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs’ pensions regulator is also poised to act if a judge’s ruling is made on Friday.
A Mail on Sunday investigation has discovered that Harlequin Property – which has paid tennis star Pat Cash to feature in its promotional material – last month failed to make interest payments to investors who took out loans for deposits.
Now hundreds of financial advisers, who convinced investors to cash in their pensions, have been given just two days by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to confirm if any of their clients have SIPP investments in the Essex-based firm, and a further three days to provide all details.
SIPPs are a personal pension plan allowing individuals to cash in their pension to invest in schemes such as property abroad." 
 

More...



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287140/Tycoon-accused-taking-300m-British-investors-faces-freeze-assets-failing-build-luxury-homes.html#ixzz2MWIYuqTv
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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Swell Time

See surfing article on Barbados - p.124-132.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remembering Japan

TBeck breaking yesterday

As we pause to mark the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the north-eastern coast of Japan, leaving 20,000 dead or missing, here is a prayer that our waves will always be the kind on which our kids love to play.
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