by Duncan N Walker, New York State, USA
Government’s proposed actions against Rex Resorts is wrong, misguided and gives Grenada a bad name. My wife and I have stayed for 7 consecutive January vacations at the Grenadian by Rex Resorts – a fine hotel on a truly magnificent island. We, as well as a very large population of annual “returner” guests, are extremely disappointed to hear about the intended hostile takeover of this hotel by the Government.
The apparent intent of the takeover is to upgrade the hotel to 5 stars from 3+ stars with the motive to increase revenues to the Government. Our friends in Grenada tell us that there are 2 parties interested in this beautifully maintained property. The first is a hotel chain, already with a presence on the island, who wishes to acquire the property because its present location is too cramped with only very average access to the sea. The other is a tour company based in Canada.
The lovely Grenadian by Rex has amazingly beautiful grounds including large ponds, stunning flowers and trees and a wild bird population. There is plenty of open space to walk around the well-tended grounds with places to sit and enjoy the views and birds in peace. The Rex Hotel Company when they first leased the property converted the swamp that was present originally to accommodate this unique vacation place. This was clearly a major undertaking with considerable care taken to optimally position the main hotel structure and beachfront accommodation and ponds, and to limit the size and number of buildings, to produce an extremely attractive hotel site, second to none on the island. In the process, the Rex management put in place and fostered an extremely caring, courteous and capable staff for running the hotel, guest care and grounds/hotel maintenance, with many working at the hotel for many years.
Having stayed at this property 7 times over 7 years, we have gotten to know the hotel staff and many of the local shopkeepers – they all speak very highly of Rex Resorts as a place that welcomes all visitors and the only hotel on the island that goes out of its way to host events for locals.
The Rex Grenadian by intent is an unpretentious hotel serving an important need for guests like my family and offers excellent, nutritious, island cuisine in a comfortable environment that is fairly and reasonably priced. The large numbers of annual returners could be lost to other island locations in the Caribbean if this hotel was taken over and changed. As a returning guest to Grenada, my wife and I stay current on the news and learned recently that Rex has submitted a plan to the Government outlining a US$12M investment for infrastructure improvements into the hotel. This clear signal by Rex should not be ignored to help put an end to the hostile takeover by the Government.
Another consideration is the reaction of international companies wishing to set up new enterprises in Grenada in the future if this hostile and possibly illegal takeover were actually to occur.
Present companies who have invested in Grenada may also be concerned about their future. This could have a significant impact on the desire of new business ventures to locate and do business in Grenada in the future. To the author’s knowledge there are no grounds for a hostile takeover in this case because the Grenadian hotel was and is in full compliance with the lease agreement that was mutually agreed upon some 25 years ago.
Readers of this editorial are urged if they agree with the foregoing to contact the Government to express their opposition to the takeover.
My wife and I have come to call Grenada our second home. We choose to vacation in Grenada because of lovely experiences we have had at Rex Resorts. Like other returners, if this action by the Government were to go through, while a difficult decision, we will no longer be vacationing in Grenada.