Government to give Cambridge Beach hotel developers tax breaks
The owners of the Cambridge Beaches resort have been granted a string of tax breaks for the next ten years while the property undergoes significant upgrades.
Under an order presented in the House of Assembly yesterday, Cambridge Beaches Holdings Limited will not have to pay customs duty on building materials, fixtures and fittings needed for the renovations.
The company, which purchased the property last year, will also be exempt from paying hotel occupancy tax, land tax, and the employer’s share of payroll tax for ten years, which is the length permitted under the current law for refurbishments of existing hotels where the expenditures are worth more than half of the appraised value of the property.
Presenting the order, Vance Campbell, the Minister of Tourism, told MPs the plans were a sign of confidence in Bermuda and the tourism industry.
He said: “For growth and development any economy requires investor confidence. That confidence is demonstrated in many ways and in the hospitality business, investment in the physical plant and in the people who provide the service are key indicators.
“Investors are said to be confident when the news about the future is good. This order is another tangible demonstration of the investor confidence that exists in Bermuda as a tourism destination.”
Mr Campbell said renovations to the “iconic property” were extensive, with upgrades planned for all existing cottages, restaurants, the spa, and public areas, including the tennis courts, pools and grounds.
He said: “This is a local company who have taken the vision of the original family owners and determined to build on it to the benefit of Bermuda’s tourism product.
“This is the kind of development and growth that the Tourism Investment Act is designed to support.
“Honourable members will note that the terms of the order are in keeping with the existing provisions of the Act and represent the owner’s ability to deliver on the plans and vision for the site.
“Cambridge Beaches aims to ensure that Bermudian staff are continually trained and promoted through the ranks to provide the resort with a consistent level of service, longevity and local hospitality ambience.
“The owner is clear that the success of the resort has been and will continue to be dependent on its people. Cambridge Beaches will ensure that the resort continues to conduct comprehensive in-house training and refresher courses.
“The news about the future of tourism is good. Tourism-related businesses are seeing a return of brisk trade and the goal of the government is facilitate the conditions for that growth to continue.”
Cambridge Beaches was sold last year to US-based Dovetail + Co, which describes itself as ’an owner, developer and operator of genuine and imaginative hospitality’.
In an interview with The Royal Gazette, the company said it was planning a three-year upgrade to the property.
* The story has been amended to correct an earlier version that the length of tax concessions had been increased from 5 to 10 years.