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Fairmont Southampton owners to discuss revamp finance with minister

Fairmont Southampton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The owners of Bermuda’s biggest hotel are expected to discuss finance arrangements for its refurbishment in the next month, the finance minister revealed yesterday.

Curtis Dickinson said Gencom, the owners of the shuttered Fairmont Southampton, had struggled to raise cash to pay for a multimillion dollar 18-month revamp of the resort, which closed its doors last October.

He said Gencom continued to “do the work to raise capital for redevelopment of the Fairmont Southampton – work is ongoing”.

He added: “I think they are going to be in town in the first or second week of June – it’s in my diary to meet and get an update.

Mr Dickinson also discussed homeporting by a Viking cruise ship in the wake of Royal Caribbean International’s decision last week to scrap plans to homeport in Bermuda.

He said: “Royal Caribbean’s cancellation is unfortunate, but we are comforted that Viking has continued to move forward with homeporting.

“There’s a ship out in the Sound today.”

Mr Dickinson added: “I think Royal Caribbean’s decision was partially due to timing and the timing of the US opening back up.

“They had to make a business decision in terms of their own circumstances with their ships and their potential clients.”

He said: “Obviously it’s disappointing. We were looking forward to welcoming them and their passengers.”

But Mr Dickinson added: “We have a longstanding relationship and I am sure, notwithstanding this hiccup, that we will work our way through this.”

He said cruise lines had been attracted by Customs concessions, as well as “duty relief on fuel, equipment, furnishing fixtures and a wide range of supplies”.

Mr Dickinson added he was confident homeporting could deliver “a steady flow of tourists dining in our restaurants, buying gifts and exploring our beautiful island”.

He also outlined support for the hospitality industry, which had taken a body blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

He highlighted an extension of payroll tax breaks for hotels for an extra six months from April 1 and for bars and restaurants until the end of March next year.

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Published May 25, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated May 25, 2021 at 8:51 am)

Fairmont Southampton owners to discuss revamp finance with minister

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