||Last Updated: Jan 24, 2014 - 3:02:50 AM
Hon. Dr. Michael Darville,
Minister for Grand Bahama
Press Statement: Memories Resort, Grand Bahama
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Despite the negative report published in The Freeport News on January 16th, this is truly a good day for the island of Grand Bahama.
At 3:30 this afternoon, the first Sunwing flight would have arrived from Edmonton, Canada at the Grand Bahama International Airport. Although the Memories Resort Grand Bahama is not open as anticipated, you can be assured that these visitors are being accommodated in a superior facility at The Grand Lucayan Resort, at no additional cost. We are all excited about this new addition to the tourism product on Grand Bahama, and for the increase in stopover visitors, which is indeed a boost for our local economy.
I must say publically that the delay in the opening of Memories Grand Bahama Resort is very unfortunate, and is a direct result of the delayed shipping of some of the essential kitchen equipment because of adverse weather in the Northern United States.
Up to one week ago, during our tour of the new Memories Resort Grand Bahama property, the project manager for the renovations, Mr. Lionel Turnquest, who happens to be the brother of the MP for East Grand Bahama, Mr. Peter Turnquest, assured the government, and by extension The Ministry of Tourism and The Ministry for Grand Bahama, that the renovations were on schedule and the resort WOULD open on Jan 16th, 2014 as previously scheduled.
Furthermore, at that time, Mr. Lionel Turnquest personally assured me; the Director General of Tourism, Mr. David Johnson; and the senior policy advisor of the government, Sir Baltron Bethel, that the remaining work was minor and would not affect the opening date of the resort.
Upon completion of the tour of the facility and based on the update from Mr Lionel Turnquest, I made a public statement confirming the opening date of January 16th, 2014. Nevertheless, I was informed only yesterday, that some of the kitchen equipment and other supplies did not meet the shipping date.
It is truly unfortunate that the Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, Mr. Peter Turnquest, whose brother is the project manager for the renovations, is either fully aware or has easy access to the facts surrounding this unforeseen delay, yet would use this opportunity to create unnecessary alarm and confusion as it relates to our partners and the Sunwing Group.
It is important to point out to the general public that all of Sunwing’s flights to Grand Bahama are on schedule, with the first flight arriving in a few hours. I would like to point out once again that at no point was this delay anticipated and it was a direct result of an unforeseen act of nature. The government and our partners, the Sunwing and Hutchinson groups, are fully aware of these circumstances.
As I speak, representatives from my ministry and The Ministry of Tourism are on site and have reassured me that teams are working around the clock to complete all minor repairs for the handover of the property to the Sunwing Group.
The Hutchison Group of Companies and The Sunwing Group are working assiduously to resolve the few outstanding matters. It is anticipated that Sunwing Memories Resort Grand Bahama will be open within two weeks.
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