The Vice President of Bazarian International has shut down the suggestion by the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) to terminate the contract for building a proposed resort in St Georges.
Claiming the terms of the agreement between the Bermuda Government and developer Carl Bazarian regarding the construction of the proposed Park Hyatt resort have not been adhered to, Greg Zorella of Bazarian International based in Annapolis, Maryland labelled the suggestion by BEST as disheartening.
Any suggestion that we are falling short on our responsibility of delivering a luxury hotel to St Georges is categorically inaccurate, said Mr Zorella.
My personal investment in this project, St Georges and Bermuda is substantial and I am committed to getting this done. In fact, we have been working harder than ever to fine-tune the project and address the realities of the high cost of doing business in Bermuda and the tough economy both locally and internationally.
Reacting to the call to terminate any plans, he said: We even met with Government as recently as last week in New York to discuss accelerating hotel construction, decoupling the hotel and residential financing structures, and adding dedicated hotel rooms without expanding the footprint of the resort.
These are all good things for anyone who wants hotel guests to be visiting St. Georges again. I dont know of any project in Bermuda that is even close to being as advanced as this project or any developer who has put as much on the line as I have to get St Georges and Bermuda the new luxury hotel it desperately wants and needs.
In a way, I am not just committed to St Georges, I am betting on it, he added.
BEST issued a statement on Thursday claiming the terms of the agreement between Bermuda and Mr Bazarian regarding the construction of the proposed Park Hyatt resort have not been adhered to.
BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward said: Given that construction was to have begun by August 2012, which has passed, the agreement should be terminated.
Mr Swan referred to this property as one of Bermudas assets. We feel it is an asset that Bermudians, particularly those resident in St Georges, are being deprived of while it is tied up in an agreement with a delinquent partner.
Plans to build a Park Hyatt resort were first announced in 2007 with the expectation that the resort would be completed by 2011.
To date no ground has been broken to launch the proposed project.
BEST had previously criticised plans put forward for the resort project, calling them starkly un-Bermudian, but Mr Bazarian responded that the project would be significantly more fitting than the Club Med resort which previously occupied the site.
Mr Hayward suggested there are other possibilities for the area that is more in keeping with the character of St Georges.
These could include a smaller hotel such as the boutique hotel proposed for the town, as well as the rebuilding of a clubhouse for the St Georges Golf Course and the small facility on Catherines Beach, both of which were destroyed prematurely, said Mr Hayward.
The first step for any hotel development to take place at the site is to untangle Bermuda from the current, unfulfilled agreement. We support that step.
Meanwhile, a Government spokesman said a statement will be issued to the media in due course. That statement was not issued by press time last night.