BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday March 31, 2017 – Fourteen years after the historic Sam Lord’s Castle Hotel closed its doors to business, and seven years following its destruction by fire, construction of the much delayed US$200 million Wyndham Grand Resort in St Philip is due to begin today.
Chief Executive Officer of the state-owned Barbados Tourism Investment Incorporated (BTII) Stuart Layne revealed to the Barbados Today online newspaper that work on the 450-room facility would begin on schedule, nine months after the old burnt out historic buildings were demolished to make way for the project.
The plans for the 58-acre property were approved since 2008, with construction initially earmarked to begin towards the middle of 2015.
Layne said the project would create up to 1,000 temporary jobs during construction, and would employ a similar number upon completion.
“As we build up in terms of capacity, 700 Barbadians will be employed there. [But] when it reaches the peak in construction, it would probably employ a thousand persons, but when it is permanently open, it will employ again, permanently, up to a thousand persons,” the BTII senior official said.
The tourism executive said while the new property will be built to the highest international standards associated with the Wyndham brand, what is left of the castle – a local heritage building – would be retained and restored.
“The castle will remain. It is not much left outside of the castle, but the castle is part of our heritage and will be protected,” he assured.
With the summer tourist season normally slow, Layne said the new hotel would be designed to attract summer travellers, but accommodate tourists who travel at any time of the year.
It is for this reason that the hotel will have large conference facilities, including 20,000 square feet of convention space to attract the meetings, incentives, conferences and events market.
In addition, the Wyndham will go after the family market, as well as the weddings and honeymoons and spa business, he disclosed. (Adapted from Barbados Today)