The concerted attempts to sell the Tobago Sandals project were driven by high-level Public Officials who repeatedly assured the public that the existing arrangements for the three State-owned hotels were working satisfactorily. So much so that we should be pleased that the existing arrangements were to be adopted for the new project. The two main promoters were PM, Dr Keith Rowley and the Minister in the Office of the PM, Stuart Young.
Of course, we now know, due to the unplanned publication of that Tobago Sandals MoU, what were the terms and conditions on which the State intended to engage that project. No other hotelier had ever had a deal like that.
But there is a deeper series of official conversations on these existing State-owned hotels which need to be spotlighted so that a better view can be had as to ‘Who is Who and What is What’.
I am relying on the official records in this one, with my sparing commentary shown below – Continue reading “Property Matters – Hotel Reservations”
In which a Flying Pig births a White Elephant…
If that phrasing sounds over-imaginative and gross, just consider these proposals for Tobago Sandals…
The previous article stated the bare facts about this large-scale development and placed those for consideration. The response, online and elsewhere, was such that I am now going to set out the main arguments being used by the promoters of this project and place those for consideration.
What is ultimately at stake here is the right of our Public Officials to negotiate these large-scale projects, in secret and on our behalf. The promoters of this project are claiming that intangible but substantial element, the Benefit of the Doubt. This article will examine the merit of those claims for the Benefit of the Doubt. Continue reading “Property Matters – the Benefit of the Doubt for Tobago Sandals?”
This is the second in the Bussin’ Files series held at The Big Black Box on Wednesday 15th November 2017. In this episode we deal with the Hotel Facts research and its implications for the Sandals Tobago proposal.
I would like to thank The Big Black Box team for their support, without which we would have been unable to convene this seminar. I am especially thankful to Wendell Manwarren for being our host and MC. Video courtesy PixelPlay Media.
This is our Hotel Facts Seminar held at The UWI’s Noor Hassanali Auditorium on Thursday 9th November 2017 featuring Afra Raymond, David Walker and Rishi Maharaj of Disclosure Today.
We would like to thank Professor Rose-Marie Belle-Antoine, Dean of the Law Faculty, for her support, without which we would have been unable to convene this seminar. We also thank Rhoda Bharath of #newsauce and The Eternal Pantomime for being our MC/Moderator at such short notice. Video courtesy PixelPlay Media.
I have written extensively on the surfeit of maladies plaguing our governance. Now, I will be joining some of my most esteemed colleagues in a discussion around the Hotel Facts that are in desperate need of uncovering.
We have undertaken the monumental task of becoming archeologists for truth, and we are honoured to host a public discussion to put our artifacts on display.
We welcome everyone who shares a vested interest in truth discovery to join us at our Hotel Facts Seminar on Thursday at 6:00 PM in the Noor Hassanali Auditorium, The UWI, St Augustine. (The Noor Hassanali Auditorium is housed on the same site as the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES, see map below), on the western side of the main Campus of the UWI, St Augustine, adjacent to, and north of, the Institute of International Relations.)
Rishi Maharaj CEO of Disclosure Today
Moderator – Rhoda Bharath of The UWI’s Dept. of Modern Languages and Linguistics
Date: Thursday, 9 November, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The critical facts on the existing proposals for new State-owned hotels in T&T – recorded on Saturday 1st October 2016.
Programme Date: 12 January 2017
Programme Length: 08:29
The previous article on the Sandals Tobago proposal ended by pointing to the need for attention to the underlying, commercial arrangements which drive projects of this type.
The procurement model is key to understanding how these large-scale, internationally-branded hotels are created and sustained. The two ends of the procurement show different approaches –
- the T&T model is one in which the State paid to design, build, fit and furnish the hotel to the specifications of the hotelier. The hotel then operates via a management contract which splits the revenue between the State and the hotelier. Trinidad Hilton, Tobago Hilton/Magdalena Grand and Hyatt Regency were built by the State using this method.
- The other approach is one in which the hotelier constructs the hotel and receives tax concessions from the ‘host State’ in return.
Both these are Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in which risk and reward are shared.
Continue reading “Property Matters – Hotel Facts”