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Senate grants concessions to two hotel projects

A rendering of the proposed Ariel Sands redevelopment (Image from planning documents)

Senators have approved concessions intended to encourage investment on two hotel projects on South Shore.

Ariel Sands and the Bermudiana Beach Resort were both awarded concessions under Tourism Investment Orders, which will provide tax relief for up to 15 years.

Dwayne Robinson, One Bermuda Alliance senator, said the party supported the measures but were concerned about the 15-year relief period becoming the new standard.

He also asked if any additional support would be offered to the owners of vacation rental units.

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism responded that discussions were under way with the owners of such units to address their concerns.

Leslie Robinson, PLP senator, said that she was particularly excited that the Bermudiana Beach Resort would be linked to Hilton Hotels.

“It’s exciting for us because it gives us another area to be able to advertise and advertise a brand name that the average Bermudian and average traveller will know,” she said.

The Senate heard that Michael Douglas, Hollywood actor, and JTRE Holding hope to redevelop the Ariel Sands property to create a new five-star 131-key hotel, to be managed by Kempinski Hotels.

Construction at Aerial Sands is expected to be done by late 2025, with $12 million to go into the acquisition of land, $108 million projected for construction and total costs expected to come in at $155 million.

Under the Tourism Investment Orders, the developer will get 15 years of payroll tax relief contingent on management training for Bermudians, and a ten-year land tax break from year six to year 15 after opening.

Meanwhile, work to open the Bermudiana Beach Resort, owned by the Bermuda Housing Corporation, is ongoing.

The property initially received an order covering three years of construction in February 2019, but the project suffered setbacks because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Darrell said that under the new order, the developer would get a 15-year break on customs duties on furnishing and equipment.

The order grants full exemption for hotel occupancy tax for 15 years, plus a 15-year break from the employer’s share of payroll tax and a ten-year exemption from land tax commencing in year six after the hotel’s opening.

The resort will have 94 condos for sale and 110 hotel keys. Development includes eight elevator towers, a pool and poolside amenities, and a new building for reception and hotel offices.

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Published December 19, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated December 18, 2023 at 5:10 pm)

Senate grants concessions to two hotel projects

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