BERMUDA-TOURISM-Ground-breaking marks start of new hotel

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HAMILTON, Bermuda, May 5, CMC – Premier Michael Dunkley hailed it as a “new lease of life” for St George’s – the island’s former capital, as the St Regis hotel finally broke ground here on Thursday.
The site, at the island’s east end has lain empty for almost 30 years and several attempts to build a new hotel under the former Progressive Labour Party (PLP) administration, failed to get off the ground.
Bermuda ground breakingKenneth Bascome, St George’s North MP and Junior Minister of Tourism, said the project would benefit all of Bermuda.
“It is a project born in paradise,” he said.
“This is a day when the community’s dreams become a reality, when years of dashed hopes and false dawns finally give way to a new beginning,” said Dunkley.
In 2014, former One Bermuda Alliance Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said Venezuelan developers Desarrollos group had been chosen to build the new hotel.
But according to Dunkley,the project faced many obstacles and challenges.
“We kept at it because we believed that if we stuck to the task, we could see our way to results that create jobs, support families, build community, restores pride and grows confidence , all the things that give meaning to people’s lives.”
Tourism Minister Michael Fahy said the project would benefit St George’s, as well as the island as a whole.
“There is no denying that there is a tourism renaissance alive and well in Bermuda,” he said.
The new hotel will feature 122 rooms and suites, an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, and a casino, among other amenities.
The project will be completed in three phases.
Miguel Purroy, principal and director with Hotelco Bermuda Holding Ltd, said the resort would be completed in three years.
“In 2020, on this very site, you will find a luxury hotel and at least two condominium buildings.”
The project, he said, would create 300 construction jobs, “80 per cent of which are expected to be filled by Bermudians”.
Once a Holiday Inn, the hotel later became a Loews property before being taken over by Club Med.
It closed in 1988 and 20 years later was demolished by implosion.

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