MPs back Bermudiana resort
Concessions for the Bermudiana Beach Resort have been backed in the House of Assembly.
Zane DeSilva, tourism minister, requested consideration of the Tourism Investment (Bermudiana Beach Resort) Order 2018 during Friday’s session which has now been delivered to John Rankin, the Governor.
The order is for exemption from customs duty on furniture, fixtures, operating systems and associated equipment, hotel occupancy tax and the employers’ share of payroll tax for a period not exceeding ten years from opening.
It also requests full exemption from land tax from year six and ending on the tenth anniversary of opening while there will also be a deferral of land holding charges.
Mr DeSilva said: “The Tourism Investment (Bermudiana Beach Resort) Order 2018 was created in accordance with the Tourism Investment Act 2017 and is for the redevelopment of the Grand Atlantic property in Warwick as a new, mid-market boutique resort renamed the Bermudiana Beach Resort.”
To qualify for the exemption of land tax, the hotel developer must confirm to the minister in year six through ten after the hotel’s opening date that 70 per cent of the hotel’s staff members are Bermudian.
A hotel partner to be announced in the new year will benefit the business with a “worldwide network of reservations and advertising” according to Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works.
Colonel Burch said the development would will go a long way in “assisting in the revitalisation of tourism and also the creation of jobs for Bermudians in this country”.
The nine buildings that contain 78 apartments will be converted into 71 units for sale providing 105 hotel keys.
MPs heard a resident manager had been on site for the past three months and a key part of his remit was that the hotel must be opened with a Bermudian general manager.
Colonel Burch added: “I can also advise that we will expect an announcement early in the new year, once the show units have been completed.”
He said people who use the South Road will have noticed that seven of the buildings look like the “House of Many Colours, because they’re painted in beautiful pastel Bermuda colours”.
He told members that bathrooms and kitchens had been almost entirely stripped so they can be upgraded.
Colonel Burch said: “In the spirit of frugalness, in gutting those appliances, fittings and fixtures we’ve repurposed them and are using them in not only other BHC projection but also in the wider context of Government.
“As an example, each of those units had a washer and drier in them and they, of course, are being replaced as well, I can report than two of them, I believe, two of each were donated to the farm facility in St George’s that needed a replacement washer and drier at no additional cost to the Bermudian taxpayer.
“There has been some donation of similar appliances to the residential treatment centre.”
The House backed the Order the Speaker of the House said the Governor will be notified.
Lawrence Scott, the Government Whip, said the hotel would help to attract Bermudians back to the island to work.
He said: “We are laying down the foundation that will be able to support thousands of Bermudians coming back home.”
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