Hurricanes Irma and Maria might have sent many things into restart mode but the Prospect Reef project was not one of them as Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said that the development plans for the facility which government anticipates would be a revenue earner is still a go.
While speaking to reporters on 12 April Premier Smith disclosed that the arrangement with ICA (BVI) Group Corp was still on the table: “It is still being under consideration, when I say under consideration — we have had discussions and we had presentations by several groups, we selected one. We agreed on the terms of engagement and essentially they are pursuing their end. As soon as they are ready we will be able to move on,” he explained.
The Prospect Reef property like many other buildings in the Territory was severely damaged by the hurricanes and await repairs. However, Premier Smith said that the work on that property is not a concern for government: “We have an agreement with that group to do the development so they have certain prerequisites to fulfill to move on and so they are working on those,” Hon. Smith explained.
The BVI reportedly lost opportunities to host major conferences due to the lack of adequate conferencing facilities and Premier Smith disclosed last year during the signing of the agreement with the ICA (BVI) Group Corp that the redevelopment of the Prospect Reef Hotel will remedy the situation.
In noting the missed chances Hon. Smith said: “We have had occasions where we wanted to have large conferences here in the BVI and had to have them moved to other jurisdictions because of lack of facilities in the Territory.”
In March 2017 when the ICA arrangement was mentioned the Premier stated that ICA (BVI) Group Corp was awarded the opportunity to complete the development of Prospect Reef Hotel & Resort and that in December 2016 Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with that group. This MOU, he said, sets the framework for progressing with the re-development of Prospect Reef Resort.
He said that along with offering exceptional accommodation for the leisure traveler, Government expects that the hotel will undergo major renovations and improvements aimed at making it a full-service business hotel with proper conference facilities.
“This is important as we want to continue to expand into the business traveler market offering a modern business centre, and conference rooms that meet the highest international standards. This is one of the reasons why reliable internet access throughout the Territory is important,” Hon. Smith announced.
It was also mentioned that the five-member board of directors of the Prospect Reef Management Company Ltd. was reinstituted. The members are: Mrs. Delma Maduro Chairman of the Board, along with directors Mr. Basil “Bobby” Smith, Mr. David Abednego, Mr. David “Allen” O’Neal and Mr. K’nal Thomas.