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Dream Vacation Turns Into Nightmare at Five-Star Resort in St Vincent


A dream vacation for more than two dozen guests at the Buccament Beach Resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines has turned into a nightmare.

Already forced to cope with scant services as more than 70 workers stage protests demanding overdue wages for three months now, guests have now been left in the dark.

Yesterday, the state-owned electricity company, St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINCLEC) cut the power supply to the property because of its failure to settle a mounting bill.

VINLEC’s chief executive officer Thornley Mayers told I-Witness News, he could not disclose the sum owed, but he defended the move, stressing it was a tough but necessary action that was only taken after deep consideration.

“The resort is a place of employment that brings in revenue and is an important symbol for tourism in the country. These decisions are never taken lightly and all sorts of things are taken into consideration, besides payment,” he said.

Angry guests are not amused by the unfolding crisis which has gripped the resort owned by Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd under the direction of David Ames, a British-born naturalized Vincentian businessman.

Carol Banks, who arrived at the property on Monday for a two-week holiday, expressed dismay at the “shabby” treatment.

“We were told absolutely nothing about the power going down. Everything is just down and we’ve been left clueless really,” she told the Searchlight newspaper.

Banks, who spent £4,000 for the vacation, said the resort promised to send them to a hotel in Barbados, but were later told they would have to a book another hotel in St Vincent on their own.

American visitor Marton Browne was equally peeved yesterday. He threatened to sue the resort’s owners for ruining his US$2,000 vacation.

“The whole thing is insane. Somebody had to know about this,” he argued, adding that it had, “left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth about St Vincent”.

Browne, who accused the hotel owners of ripping off people, urged authorities to take tough action against the owners.

“We lost money, time, effort; extremely disappointing. So again, I hope that the police and the government somehow bring this guy to justice.  I don’t think we are going to remunerated. I really don’t think so.”

The property is presently embroiled in several legal battles.

On Monday, a British court ordered accounting firm, Wilkins Kennedy to pay the resort US$11.6 million in damages. But the judge ordered that money be placed in an escrow account rather than be given to Harlequin because of what he called evidence of “a serious and significant scam” in the company’s business model.

Back in June, the property’s chairman Dave Ames fled St Vincent after prosecutors summoned him to court on tax evasion and theft charges, related to the non-payment of PAYE and other social security deductions.

Ames claimed he was too ill to return to the island and was scheduled to be tried in Kingstown in February next year.

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Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on December 19, 2016 at 11:20am
And still black people refuse to be sucker free
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on December 19, 2016 at 8:34am
Black people talk tough among their own but when the nations do them wrong that toughness goes out the window
Comment by Jerimiah 1:4--10 on December 19, 2016 at 8:31am
That's dirty
Comment by Alicia Johnson on December 19, 2016 at 1:20am
Vaughn Mitchell you are right on the money. This is happening in Guyana right now. The Chinese are mining all the gold and building malls and shopping centers using their own people to do the labor instead of the locals and you don't hear a peep from the population.
Comment by Lu on December 17, 2016 at 12:10am

Xactly vaughn mitchell...

But as soon as you try to get folks to come together and pool our resources to invest in a project like this, everyone is hemming and humming, how they need more information and time---But when a white man tell them it's okay, they all in with their tails first, because their heads is all in the white man's ass kissing and cooning. "Yes Sir"...(in Dave Chapelle's intoxicated voice)

Comment by vaughn mitchell on December 16, 2016 at 10:33pm

that is what happen when you allow white people to buy up your land, build hotels, and don't pay black people, who they treat as slaves. Build your own hotels and hire your people.

Comment by Janet Smith on December 16, 2016 at 8:54pm


Comment by Lu on December 16, 2016 at 5:32pm
Here we go again, allowing another of many outsiders to prosper from the village hard work and energy. Make things happen for yourselves, then you set down the law with outsiders and their shenanigans... SMH
When will we learn from our own misguided ways....

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