SVG moves closer to construction of 250-room hotel at Mt. Wynne
This country has moved one step closer towards the establishment of a 250-room hotel at Mt Wynne/Peters Hope and a 100-room facility at another location.
During a trip to Taiwan from September 17 to 27, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves signed a letter of intent on behalf of the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) with the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China.
The agreement, signed on September 19, speaks to a loan facility of US$50 million for the purpose of constructing state-owned hotels. The loan will be for a period of 25 years, with interest of under 4 per cent with a two-year grace period.
Gonsalves, speaking during a press briefing at Cabinet Room yesterday said government is hoping to begin construction in the first quarter of 2019 with a ground- breaking ceremony this year for the Mt Wynne/Peters Hope project.
The Minister of Finance said that with the Argyle International Airport (AIA), this country is getting important and valuable airlift and in order for us to increase that, we have to have rooms, “if we want more planes”.
“The 50-million-dollar facility is to construct a 250-room hotel at Mt Wynne. You notice I said we hope to build 350 rooms so if you do the math you know that there are another 100 rooms coming somewhere else, but I don’t want to make that announcement right now. I want to focus on the larger of the two hotels,” Gonsalves said.
The government’s hotel will be run by a major hotel brand and that agreement to manage the hotel has already been established. The hotel will be constructed to meet the brand’s quality standards while owned by the state.
According to Gonsalves, two architects who have built hotels for the management chain visited the country and did conceptual designs which are being looked at by Invest SVG, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Tourism.
He said that in a week or two, a decision will be taken about which design will be used, and the architect will move to the next stage, which is the overall design of rooms.
This process is expected to conclude very early in 2019 and prior to that, clearing of land and the building of infrastructure will begin. The hotel is expected to cost US$50 million and it is anticipated that construction will take about 30 months.
The Finance Minister said that the brand which will manage the hotel has looked at the money the hotel is expected to generate over a two-year period, a five-year period and a seven-year period, and based on conservative estimates, the hotel can generate enough money to pay the loan.
“…So, we don’t think we will have to tap into the consolidated fund outside of the fact that the money will be coming through the consolidated fund,” said Gonsalves who predicts the facility being operational in 2021.