Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the government is entering into talks with potential buyers for Jolly Beach Resort including an American group who are keen on investing in the hotel.
“In any case we had a discussion just yesterday with a group out of the United States that is showing great interest in the hotel, they reckon they have enough resources to purchase it outright.
The prime minister revealed that the value of the hotel is about US$ 37 million but at for sale value could sell for US$ 29 million.
He said the American group which he did not name is willing to invest another US$ 100 to improve and expand Jolly Beach.
“And they say they can invest probably another 100 million for us to expand it and make it into an even bigger and better hotel so those discussions just commenced.”
“They say as soon as the Canadian borders open they will be flying to Antigua to discuss a possible purchase and if that goes well it means that the hotel will have a new lease on life,” Browne told Pointe FM yesterday.
He added that other selling options are also on the table.
“In any event, we are exploring a selling option with various developers because as you know the government will become the majority holder in the hotel because of outstanding credit that we would have given to the hotel over the last decade.
“And as a consequence we are trying to see how the hotel can be renovated and expanded and to ensure that it can provide sustainable employment for the workers at Jolly Beach.”
The prime minister was responding to a question about when the hotel will be reopened after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said Sunwing which manages the facility “is unlikely to reopen their hotels before November.”
“I know that they are entering into a deal with the Canadian Government to get some level of support for the airline and until they would have sorted that out and the Canadian Government would have opened up it borders, then they would not be able to reopen their hotels because a lot of their traffic comes out of Canada.”