Government to examine Halcyon Cove’s future

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The future of the Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts will be discussed at length when Cabinet ministers meet today.
Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin confirmed to OBSERVER media yesterday that this is among matters on the agenda.
The information comes a week after the attorney general informed his cabinet colleagues that a High
Court Judge had ruled in favour of the government in the matter involving the compulsory acquisition of the hotel, ending a legal battle which began over three years ago.
Last week’s Cabinet notes, prepared by Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst, did not provide any further detail about the case. However, the AG informed the government that the case involving the revocation of the leasehold was successfully litigated.
In 2015, the government compulsorily acquired the property at Dickenson Bay through a Parliamentary Resolution after citing the company’s inability to develop the property and the non-payment of a lease agreement and other matters.
At that time, the intention was to hand over the lease to Chairman of the Sandals Group Gordon Butch Stewart, but over the years, those talks eventually fizzled.
However, Prime Minister Gaston Browne hinted on his own radio station over the weekend that he has no problem revisiting those talks if an interest is expressed.
“I don’t have any personal issue with Butch Stewart, we had an issue with him not paying the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax, he is now paying, so as far as I am concerned that is a settled matter. So, if he wants to look at it, he can look at it, but we will be taking the best deal for Antigua and Barbuda,” Browne said.
The PM also disclosed that the government is hoping to close the hotel for repairs in the first half of next year.

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