BVI News

$90M deal to redevelop Prospect Reef failed, gov’t seeks new investors

What remains of the Prospect Reef Resort on Tortola. (BVI News photo)

The $90 million deal the previous NDP administration signed with ICA (BVI) Group Corp in July 2017 to redevelop the state-owned Prospect Reef Hotel has evaporated, and the Virgin Islands Party government is now seeking new investors for the property.

“To date, that deal has not materialised,” Premier Fahie said in an interview with BVI News on Sunday. “Many persons with interest continue to make contact with the government,” he added.

His remarks follow Junior Tourism Minister Shereen Flax-Charles’ announcement during the budget debate on Friday that prospective developers for the hotel were met at a recent tourism conference.

“We have spoken to persons at the Sea Trade [conference] who might be interested in developing this property,” Flax-Charles said.

“Our intention is to seek an investor to develop this property [because] we do need a major four or five-star property here on Tortola. And so Prospect Reef is in a good location, and I think that we need to put our heads together to make sure that Prospect Reef comes back to the glory that it was and better in the coming years.”

Security guards need to get paid

In the meantime, Third District Representative Julian Fraser urged the government to pay the current employees of the now ravaged and decrepit resort.

“Believe it or not, there are employees – it got three security guards down there … and these security guards are not being paid. The last time they got paid was August, but they religiously go to work and seemingly no matter who they talk to, they cannot get paid,” Fraser said.

“Premier, I think this is under your ministry. I am saying to you that these people are people too and they have to live,” he added.

The opposition legislator said the guards prevent homeless persons from taking up residence at the run-down facility.

“We have a lot of homeless people. We have a lot of people without homes or places to live and that (the resort) might be a nice place for them to consider. They (the security guards) are trying to keep them out.”

He then called on the new government to give the facility some much-needed attention.

“Prospect Reef has been a benefit to no one for the last 15 years. We cannot afford to lose those kinds of facilities. We are a tourism-oriented economy, and those are the things that we need. We don’t go back when it comes to development and efforts should be made in getting investors involved in bringing those things to life.”

The ICA (BVI) Corp deal

The previous NDP government granted an extension to the ICA (BVI) Group Corp investors from June 30, 2018, to March 31, 2019.

It was not made clear what was being extended or why. But, the developers had plans to construct 150 rooms, condos/townhouses, a marina, conference centre, parking lots, a dolphin attraction, infinity pool, salt water pool, and villas.

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28 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How in the senses of the average mind can 90 million here, 70 million dollars there disappear, and did not leave a foot print nor cannot be tracked? Amazing how all that is so real.

    Was the NDP, whom we love, really that awful in managing/allowing their/our government to be scammed, robbed and taken like that? Or is this another pointing the finger outward blame the other activity?

    Will the new government be cognisant and wide eyed to the international scammers and governments robbers, and yes, the local ones as well?

    Let’s hope, for it is government must be eagle eyed in its dealings and negotiations with international entities.

    We cannot be had again. Make sure we have in place at the crafty negotiators and law lay men at the table.

    Like 13
    Dislike 17
    • Reasonable Man says:

      They way I took this to mean was that the money was never invested. The Investors backed away from it, no doubt feeling after the storm it wasn’t going to work out the same.

      Like 12
    • LMAO! says:

      @Anonymous, you come on here all the time acting like the smartest and holier than thou person and cannot read and comprehend a simple article. Where did you see any millions spent or disappearing?

      Like 18
      • @LMAO says:

        LMAO! Irony vs mockery. Could not detect either?

        Literal interpretation was not the intent.

        Dislike those who “act” smart, holy can’t read or comprehend?

        Who can “act” out either could be mere actors?

        Meanwhile, here is some credit where it is due, that was the worst piece of garbage i have posted.

        None of it actually reflects my true thoughts or thinking, or comprehension of the article.

        Comprehend? The trap was set and some feel for it.

        LMAO!! Now that is smart, holy, well read and comprehensible, isn’t it?

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
      • @LMAO says:

        Update. Have ever seen me on here “acting” like i was blogging smart, holy, unread and incomprehensible mis-facts about NDP, or any other party for that matter?

        Truth is, i am firm supporter of many members of the NDP, then and now. Additionally, i am a supporter of some members of the ruling party.

        Why, they/it was elected to serve the people and country, and further, i strongly believe in supporting our own, but not blind support for any party, and they are our own also.

        That is smart political thinking in my view.

        Lastly, one who is smart cannot “act” smart. He/she can only demonstrate what he/she was endowed with.

        So if such was observed in postings, a fit of jealousy must have over taken you and others.

        Understandably so, that mentality is standard protocol among the majority of our/your people.

        And now you that you did yesterday, Mr./Ms/Mrs hateful judger of all but thyself.
        But what Got put together, neither you nor anyone else can take as-sunder.

    • Biggie Boi says:

      We won’t get fooled again? Or do the song goes.

      But those that fooled us before were our elected officials who didn’t conduct due diligence and according to the whispers put our $ in their family’s pockets through BVI companies.

      Our new leaders have promised to put whistleblower laws in place. Let’s see if they do. Otherwise, we be fooled again.

  2. The Truth says:

    I heard some Arabs were willing investors and NDP left them hanging.

    Like 2
    Dislike 14
  3. Reasonable Man says:

    I don’t really see this as a good location for a resort. Also the facilities are so dated and the space too limiting to make it anything better
    as a place for tourist. I do think it would make an attractive condominium development however. For working individuals with jobs in town that they could walk to this would be ideal. The suites will not likely be large but they could be affordable. Nice amenities like access to docks, a pool, a restaurant and a little space to go walking around in. Could be very nice.

    Like 30
    Dislike 15
    • Albion says:

      I agree. I don’t think it would be a good place for a resort. But it could make an excellent business park – like Camana Bay in Cayman.

      Someone call Dart, see if he is interested.

      Like 12
    • Jeanne Justice says:

      And if space allows, include conference / facility space.

    • Hotelier says:

      You are right. The lack of a beach means it will never work as a high end hotel. And we can’t fill the few hotels that are currently open so why would we need another on Tortola.

  4. the watcher says:

    “it got three security guards down there … and these security guards are not being paid. The last time they got paid was August”.

    “It got” crazy that they work since August with no payment…It got crazy, I agree

  5. $$$$$$$$ says:

    I agree Condos or Townhomes would be ideal.

    Like 21
    • Intrested says:

      I would consider investing in a Condo or a Townhouse. The area is perfect for the above mentioned. But, it has to be a gated community. “Ocean View Terrace”.

  6. realdeal says:

    why dont we take 100 million dollars from this UK grant and develop our own place and then have people lease the property why do they have to invest and we have to wait so long to eat from these bad deals

    Like 2
    Dislike 7
    • @realdeal says:

      No, if you lease the property to business owners I think the property value will drop. I agree, some Townhomes or Condos would be perfect.

  7. Me says:

    They can consider town house ans selling them to individuals similar to what is done in Nanny CAy

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  8. Concerned says:

    The place needs to be sold. The government has no call to be in the Hotel-business and the Taxpayer should not be burdened with the expenses. Also Prospect Reef is only half the size it used to be, which is not favorable to develop a 5 star Hotel there.

    Like 11
  9. Confucius says:

    It was a joke that the NDP bought this property in the first place. They just wanted it for the Investment Club, but having bought Village Cay just prior, they didn’t have the financial resources – so Government bought it so it would be available for when they were ready to buy. They used the whole “We’re going to build a state-of-the-art hospitality training facility as a sham to cover up the real reason to buy it. They just let it sit and sit and sit some more and now it needs to be bulldozed.

    Mr. Fahie, you need to sell it, get the people’s money back plus compounded interest and put those funds to good use – NOW!

    The Government is not in the hotel business, nor is it in the development business. That is NOT what the people pay you to do. JUST SELL IT!

    Like 13
    • Concerned says:

      In this case you will never get your money and compound interest back but it needs to be sold because it is only costing the taxpayer more money.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Well sah says:

      I agree. Further what needs to happen is an investigation into why the government bought it in the first place. There needs to be accountability in the territory or it will not prosper

  10. gov a joke with taxpayers money says:

    It was bought to bail out Romney

    • Concerned says:

      and they did end up with half of the property.

    • BVI FIA says:

      Well file a suspicious activity report with the FIA. Raise it with the police and governor. There is a legal process to deal with distressed companies and this was thwarted for individual gain, defrauding the BVI. No point whining on here for years.

  11. CW says:

    So many experts with ZERO EXPERIENCE OR UNDERSTANDING OF ECONOMICS, TRADE, BUILDINGS, OR TOURISM. GO TO BED STRUPES, YOUR KEYBOARD KEEPS REVEALING YOUR IGNORANCE

    POOR BVI WITH YOU LOT

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