(L-R) Prime Minister Dr Baldwin Spencer and chairman of the Sandals group Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart signing the memorandum of agreement for a new Beaches resort in Antigua
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The government of Antigua and Barbuda signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Sandals Resort International on Monday for a multi-million dollar Beaches Resort project.
Prime Minister Dr Baldwin Spencer and chairman of the resort group Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart signed the agreement during a pre-budget consultation.
Minister of Finance Harold Lovell told the gathering that the Beaches resort is the first project to benefit from the newly crafted Tourism and Business Special Incentives Act 2013.
The law is a “sunset” legislation, meaning that it has a built-in lifespan after which it will be automatically terminated.
Lovell added that the expansion of the Grand Pineapple Resort property at Long Bay to a high-end Beaches Resort will see the facility transformed into a 4.5-star operation, with the new section of the property a five-star facility.
“This investment will triple the employment currently in the Pineapple property from 180 jobs to over 700 jobs. In addition, during the construction phase, we expect to have another 250 jobs,” Lovell said.
Meanwhile, an upbeat Stewart described Monday’s proceedings as a great day for his company.
"We inked an agreement, which has been a long time coming. I believe that this is the beginning and start of a lot of good things to come," Stewart said.
The Beaches Long Bay resort will boast an ice-skating rink and rock climbing facility, 125 family suites, a water park, 12 restaurants, a movie cinema and comprehensive family entertainment programme.