By the end of 2023, room stock on the island of Saint Vincent (SVG) will expand by over 425 rooms.
This will be attained with the completion of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites at Diamond, the Mayah’s Luxury Suites at Junction in Diamond, and the 300-plus room resort being built at Buccament by the Sandals International Corporation.
Minister of Finance Camilo Gonsalves stated during the budget debate that despite heavy rains and endless logistical challenges, both the Sandals and Holiday Inn projects are currently on schedule for a year-end opening.
“The chorus of cynics who mocked the government’s ambition to rapidly double room stock in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has fallen silent in the face of unprecedented public and private investments in hotel construction.” “It is an undeniable fact that we have never experienced more hotel room construction in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—ever,” he said.
Gonsalves said that neither the Royal Mill Resort nor the Black Sands Resort have proceeded at the pace originally projected by their respective developers.
“There are a host of reasons for various delays on those projects, but they boil down to overly-optimistic assumptions and insufficient experience with conditions on the ground in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.” We have been assured that the developers have re-calibrated their approaches and have aggressive work plans for 2023. “Together, the ongoing projects currently employ over 150 Vincentians and continue to invest millions of dollars in our economy,” Gonsalves said.
The Marriott Resort to be built at Mt. Wynne will begin construction in the first half of this year (2023).
“After repeated redesigns to keep ballooning costs within the scope of our $50 million loan, we are in the advanced stages of negotiations with a regional hotel developer that will provide the required additional financing and manage the construction process efficiently.” “Once our respective lawyers have signed off on the joint venture agreement, we will announce this exciting partnership, not just for the development of the Marriott resort but, hopefully, other hotel properties in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” the finance minister said.
Ernesto is a senior journalist with the St. Vincent Times. Having worked in the media for 16 years, he focuses on local and international issues. He has written for the New York Times and reported for the BBC during the La Soufriere eruptions of 2021.