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Bermudiana Beach Resort to cost another $28 million

An artist’s impression of what the Bermudiana Resort will look like when work is completed (photograph supplied)

More than $92 million will be spent on the Bermudiana Beach Resort, the House of Assembly heard yesterday.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, told the House that between the costs of the original Grand Atlantic affordable housing property and costs for converting the property into a hotel, just over $64 million has spent on the site already.

Colonel Burch said that it was estimated that another $28,280,510 would need to complete the work, including $19.6 million for construction and $8.6 million for fixtures, furniture and other hotel amenities.

He told the House that the conversion costs were necessary for the resort to meet Hilton’s high standards for the property, but he was confident the investment would be recouped.

“Both the Bermuda Housing Corporation board and the Ministry believe this partnership with Hilton Hotels will not only be a welcome addition to the tourism inventory, but also a profitable investment for those purchasing the condos and the Bermudian taxpayer, who will eventually see every dollar spent on this project repaid,” Colonel Burch said.

Asked how he could be sure taxpayers would make their money back, he said the hotel would be a success, with the BHC reaping some of the rewards to the benefit of the public.

Colonel Burch added that the Government was fully committed to the project, noting that the amount of airlift to the island was linked to the number of hotel beds available.

“The shortage of hotel beds has resulted in a decline in the number of flights,” he said.

“This project will also result in increasing employment during construction in the short term and employment in the hotel in the longer term.”

Colonel Burch also announced that the developers had abandoned a plan for a parking lot on a portion of Southlands National Park immediately west of the hotel property, but are still seeking to establish an events lawn on the area.

The development was built as part of the Grand Atlantic affordable housing scheme, but Government decided to adapt the property for tourism after only two of the 78 constructed apartments were sold.

In 2018, it was announced that $23 million would be invested into the property to convert it into a “mid-market boutique hotel”, with work on the project beginning in 2019.

While the project has encountered delays because of financing challenges and the global pandemic, the resort is expected to welcome its first guests next year.

Responding to questions in the House of Assembly, Colonel Burch said the development and acquisition of the Grand Atlantic units had cost $42 million, while $22 million has been spent on the conversion process so far.

He said the conversion work included rewiring of the electrical system at the property, with the instillation of two generators and environmental controls for the units.

Colonel Burch said the water systems also needed to be upgraded, noting that residential properties typically use around 35 gallons of water per person, hotel properties use 100 gallons of water per person.

“This required upgrades to the water heaters and pumps to accommodate the increased use by hotel guests and maintain consistent temperature and pressure,” he said.

Work also included the instillation of elevators, charging stations for electric vehicles and a range of hotel amenities, including a restaurant, a bar, a spa and a pool, and improved beach access.

Colonel Burch said group-business customers will play a “key role” and added that Hilton was a leader in the group business segment of the tourism market.

He said that while Hilton was a partner in the co-development agreement and was “intimately involved in every aspect of the project”, it was not involved financially in the conversion process.

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Published June 03, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated June 04, 2023 at 8:43 am)

Bermudiana Beach Resort to cost another $28 million

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