The war of words has continued between the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and the owners of the Grenadian by Rex Resort at Point Salines.
In his address to the nation last week Thursday night, Prime Minister Mitchell was clear on government continuing with its plans to acquire the property despite claims by the hotel that it was embarking upon an upgrade plan.
The Grenadian leader also used the address to try and ally fears that the NNP regime was hostile to the private sector in light of disputes with Rex and the major shareholders in the privately-controlled Grenlec.
Dr. Mitchell shot down the idea that government wants to get its hands on GRENLEC and the Rex Resort.
He said the four-year old NNP administration wants private investors who “understand the Grenadian values of fairness, service and quality.”
He lashed out at the Grenadian by Rex Resort, saying that its operators must first keep in mind the interests of the people in the market in which it operates.
PM Mitchell brushed aside claims being made by the resorts about plans to upgrade the hotel.
He said that the Rex Grenadian is a “poor representation of the Grenadian brand” and that its service “continues to be complained about by locals and visitors alike”.
“As a responsible government – and as a Nation which counts the Tourism industry as one of its largest, we ought not to sit idly by and rely on false promises of hotel upgrades and service,” he told the nation.
“We will therefore be tireless in our efforts to see a better hotel product, regardless to who manages the company. Sisters and brothers, there is a clear correlation between our economic policies that have laid a good foundation for sustainable growth going forward, the need to liberalise the energy sector and the need to bolster the services in the tourism sector,” he said.
The Rex is controlled by private sector interest in the United Kingdom while the major players in Grenlec are from the United States.
Rex has challenged the acquisition in the local high courts while Grenlec has approached an arm of the Washington-based World Bank to help arbitrate its problem with the Mitchell-led government.