New future for St George’s Club welcomed by MPs
Members of Parliament on both sides of the House yesterday welcomed a Bill to lease a closed East End resort to a hotel developer for up to 262 years.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, told the House of Assembly yesterday that Hotelco Bermuda SGC planned to refurbish the St George’s Club.
The company is part of the group developing the nearby St Regis resort and MPs were told the move signalled Hotelco’s “confidence and conviction” in the country.
Colonel Burch said that the firm wanted the lease to run for the same length of time as the one at St Regis.
The St George’s Club Bill 2020, which MPs passed, made provision for the protection of timeshare owners’ agreements, as well as beach access.
Craig Cannonier, the shadow public works minister, said that his party supported the deal.
He added: “It’s a good day to know that there are still entities that are willing to invest in Bermuda.”
Mr Cannonier said: “This is an exciting day for Bermuda as a whole.
“What Hotelco basically has said is we are looking out for the future of Bermuda and Bermudians."
Lovitta Foggo, the Progressive Labour Party MP for St David’s, told members: “I’m very grateful to the minister for what he has done to ensure that he’s brought us to this day, with St George’s Club now still being up and operating.
“He mentioned in his words, and I may paraphrase, that people are happy that St George’s is going to become the vibrant town that it once was.
“I can certainly echo those sentiments and say, yes, that is indeed the case.
“What is transpiring here today signals a great deal of hope for many of the people in St George’s but, more importantly, for many other people island-wide.”
Michael Dunkley, the OBA’s shadow Minister of National Security and Health, said that the move showed “real potential for an East End revival”.
He added: “It’s a significant further investment in our East End community and it should have ripple effects … ”
Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security and MP for St George’s North, said that projects like the refurbishment of the St George’s Club, which closed in February, had brought confidence to the Olde Towne.
She added: “Confidence will bring investment and so if entrepreneurs, business owners – they see things happening in St George’s, then they’re probably looking to come down and get themselves a piece of that pie.”