|Hon Chief Minister and Minister for Finance, |
Economic Development, Investment and Tourism
Monday, 20 February 2012
I am aware that many Anguillians and visitors alike have been concerned about the state of affairs at Cap Juluca over the past months. In particular, I am aware that staff have become very anxious at statements being made about the future of the hotel.
The Government of Anguilla has been following events at Cap Juluca before the appointment of the Liquidator in early November of last year, and Executive Council has made it clear on many occasions, notably our statement of 7 November 2011, that our over-riding priority is to keep Cap Juluca open as a going concern. This remains our main objective.
Government is acutely aware of the prominence Cap Juluca holds as an important part of our tourism product, its importance to the economy of Anguilla, and its profound significance to its employees and by extension their family and dependents.
Against that background we have encouraged the various parties to reach an agreement on the best way forward, and set deadlines for progress to be made. Unfortunately agreement has not been reached.
We have therefore written to the parties and have requested that they make presentations to Executive Council on Friday 24 February, 2012. The parties will come to EXCO, individually or in groups, to set out their plans for the resort. The Government will then be in a position to decide on the best way forward shortly after those presentations are made. The Liquidator has informed us that that he will be able to keep the resort open until this process is complete.
The Government of Anguilla has been working with many developers over the last two years to resurrect defunct properties, steady existing ones and start some new projects. These efforts are geared towards ensuring that our tourism product and plant are in good stead well into the future. This approach will also ensure that when the global economy rebounds the island will be in a good position to reap early dividends from the global travel market.
A failed Cap Juluca would strike a devastating blow to our tourism product and would remove from the market what has been one of Anguilla’s most endearing properties for over a quarter century. In addition, it will fuel the perception of failure already ignited by the closure of another long-standing prominent property. Failure is not a word synonymous with Anguilla or its history.
Government is of the opinion that the main objective of the stakeholders must be to place Cap Juluca on a secure footing that allows it to pay back its loans, meet its recurrent commitments, fund future development, provide value for its investors, secure the jobs of hundreds of residents, and to continue to contribute to our economic development.
The untenable ownership situation at the resort cannot continue for many reasons. Chief among them are: (1) the property is in dire need of capital injection, (2) to continue trading for the benefit of investors, GOA, employees, guests and the community at large the property needs a supportive and nurturing environment, and (3) Cap Juluca needs to be reestablished as one of the dominant tourism properties in Anguilla. None of these three objectives can be met if ownership issues are not resolved in short measure.
It is to be noted, however, that the Government continues to reserve its right to act unilaterally in the interests of Anguilla on this matter and we will do everything within our power to ensure that no jobs are lost and Cap Juluca continues to operate. To the Julucans, I say, continue to give that great service and rest assured that your Government will continue to work for you.
God bless you and may God continue to bless Anguilla
Posted by Realist Spikenice at 00:57