Four Seasons Hotel bailed out by Barbados Government
One of the most luxury Barbados hotels is being bailed out by the government of Barbados as development and construction plans for the new resort have been put on hold due to finance problems and slow sales of the private villas.
The Caribbean island of Barbados has agreed to financially help out a new addition to luxury Barbados hotels by guaranteeing a $60 million loan to help the new Four Seasons hotel and resort. The loan has come from a Caribbean bank and in return the Caribbean government will eventually receive a 20 per cent equity stake in the project.
The new Barbados project is one of many Four Seasons hotels and resorts which have run into difficulty throughout the turbulent times of the global recession. Though Four Seasons do not own any properties themselves, they run 83 hotels across the world and make money from charging property owners branding and management fees.
The Barbados project was meant to be an addition to the chain's luxury Caribbean hotels by building a 110 room hotel for travellers on Barbados holidays and 35 private villas each priced between $11 million and $18 million.
Despite celebrity buyers including Simon Cowell, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan, by 2008 only 16 of the 35 villas had been sold and the owner of Four Seasons Barbados, UK-born developer Mike Pemberton, and his construction group were forced to put all work on hold by January 2009.
The majority of the new loan from the Caribbean lender, Ansa McAL Merchant Bank, will be spent on paying off the original $31.5 million loan from the Bank of Scotland.
The Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson recently said in a statement:
"I am pleased to support an initiative where Barbadians pull together to put an iconic project back on track–one that will help shape the future of tourism in Barbados."
Plans to start work on the site are expected to resume in the first quarter of 2010 and it is hoped that with new investors and villa sales the luxury addition to Barbados hotels will help turn the economy around and restore people's faith in buying luxury homes.
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