Burch is bullish on Fairmont Southampton after tour

Updated: Mar 09, 2023 07:42 PM

Fairmont Southampton (File photograph)

No new residences will be built at the Fairmont Southampton Resort until the hotel is open again, a government minister told MPs yesterday.

The owners of the Fairmont Southampton Hotel treated members of the Progressive Labour Party caucus to a tour of the resort on Tuesday night, Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said.

Colonel Burch said the island would reap the benefits of the renovated hotel for “decades to come” and said that owners Gencom promised there would be no building of residences at the hotel until the resort was “refurbished, open and operating”.

Colonel Burch revealed 1,000 people would be employed in construction and 700 jobs would open up once the Fairmont Southampton was taking guests again after its $450 million revamp.

He praised the resort’s design for an entertainment centre and nine restaurants.

While there was no opening date, Colonel Burch said he expected the developers to move ahead swiftly.

“I have every confidence that the people who are investing $450 million in Bermuda like making money,” he added.

He noted Gencom had purchased the Tucker’s Point resort when it was in debt, turning it around to become “a successful entity”.

“I would invite those people that disagree with everything the PLP does, even if they agreed with it yesterday, to just pause and reflect and look at, why would these people, if the PLP is so bad at encouraging and developing investment, why would they talk to us if they didn’t think they would make some money of this exercise?”

Members of the Opposition are to receive a tour of the premises this evening.

Colonel Burch said the new Special Development Order for the resort showed “a marginal increase in the amount of real estate they are going to use” over the previous SDO for the site.

He conceded environmentalists would object – but said the Turtle Hill site earmarked for development was visible from his home and covered only with casuarina trees that should be cut down.