The government is making yet another attempt to develop the state-owned Prospect Reef Resort which was destroyed in the 2017 hurricanes that ravaged the BVI.
For years, promises have been made by successive administrations to redevelop the property, but the government has always cited several problems encountered in trying to restore the hotel to its former glory.
The last reported update was given around January 2022 by former Premier Andrew Fahie
, who stated that progress was stalled due to some legal concerns.
But at a press conference earlier this week, Premier Natalio Wheatley said the government will soon invite bidders to submit their proposals for the development of the hotel.
“Very soon, I’ll be engaging the Prospect Reef board on issuing a Request for Proposal for development. We see Prospect Reef as a hotel that can offer convention centre services to our business community and assist in hosting meetings, conferences and so on. So Prospect Reef is a very big part of what we are intending to do and the public should see a Request for Proposal very soon,” Premier Wheatley explained.
He added that once development proposals are submitted, the Prospect Reef board will choose the bidder they wish to develop the property. But the Premier cautioned that no work has started as the government is getting ready to start the bidding process.
“When the Request for Proposal goes up, anyone who is interested will be able to put forward a proposal and they’ll have a fair and transparent process to select a proposal,” the Premier stated.
After the 2017 hurricanes, the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government signed a $90 million deal with ICA (BVI) Group Corp to redevelop Prospect Reef. That deal never materialised and when the Virgin Islands
Party formed the next government, they announced that they were seeking new investors for the property’s redevelopment.
Using the property as a business or convention venue — as announced by Premier Wheatley — was not the original reason previous governments gave for the redevelopment of the resort. Initially, it was stated that a four-star or five-star resort was needed on Tortola and later on, the government said the property could be used to advance culinary arts training locally.