9 Beaches resort lease extended

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A lease extension for the 9 Beaches resort was passed unanimously on Friday, despite complaints from the Opposition that they had not seen the paperwork until the day before.

Works and Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess apologised for the delay, saying a rush was made to ensure the lease was renewed so an $80 million planned expansion of the resort could start sooner.

"A series of unavoidable delays prevented us from bringing the matter forward for the Legislature's consideration last month as we had hoped. Our decision to proceed with the matter on the last sitting day resulted principally from our wish not to delay until the fall that [which] has the potential of realising such great rewards for Bermuda. What is more, the developer is ready to break ground as we speak."


A lease extension for the 9 Beaches resort was passed unanimously on Friday, despite complaints from the Opposition that they had not seen the paperwork until the day before.

Works and Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess apologised for the delay, saying a rush was made to ensure the lease was renewed so an $80 million planned expansion of the resort could start sooner.

"A series of unavoidable delays prevented us from bringing the matter forward for the Legislature's consideration last month as we had hoped. Our decision to proceed with the matter on the last sitting day resulted principally from our wish not to delay until the fall that [which] has the potential of realising such great rewards for Bermuda. What is more, the developer is ready to break ground as we speak."

The proposal extends the lease between the Bermuda Land Development Corporation and IRC Sandys Ltd. to a period of 117 years for $15 million in a series of payments, plus annual interest for three years. Mr. Burgess said the redevelopment of the resort would not only lead to a boom in tourism but create a construction project that will employ many Bermudians.

"In the first instance, our construction industry will receive a major boost as a result of this initiative," said the Minister. "Construction workers will rejoice at the new opportunities that the 9 Beaches resort redevelopment will bring. We know that a first class resort will unfold there over the next few years and we look forward to countless visitors enjoying its unparalleled magnificence and hospitality for years to come."

While Shadow Works and Engineering Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin acknowledged the delays, she said she couldn't vote against the motion. She said: "In cases like this, the politician in me takes a back seat to the Bermudian in me. I was finally given a copy of this [Thursday]. Thank God, I don't have a life so I could get through all this material for today."

She did, however, raise concerns that a Special Development Order, which was promised in the contract, has not yet been tabled, but Mr. Burgess assured her it was awaiting approval from the Planning Department. Government MP Walter Lister praised the Opposition for their cooperation on the bill, while Opposition MP Grant Gibbons remarked: "This is one of the few Government projects that looks like it has money and might get done."

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Published Jul 26, 2010 at 12:01 am (Updated Feb 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm)

9 Beaches resort lease extended

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