SANDALS Resort International’s recent acquisition of the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club in Cap Estate has to date four properties in St. Lucia. However, that will change in December 2019 when the company completes construction of the LaSource Resort.
The company’s purchase of the golf club, Stewart said, was important accomplishment for St. Lucians.
“We do not plan to change too much in terms of access and the significance of the golf course. We plan to make the facilities better for the membership and those who use it. We plan to refurbish all that’s here and put in additional facilities,” Stewart said.
He said a swimming pool, tennis court for families and a conference centre were some of the additional facilities earmarked for the property.
“It’s a magnificent spot,” he said, adding that he was already in touch with Greg Norman, professional golfer and world-renowned golf course designer.
With assistance from Norman, the idea is to bring the golf course up to a level where major international golf tournaments could be held.
“What I want to get across is making the facility better for the St. Lucian community. The fact that we can bring the quality of the course up and, hopefully, up to international competition level augurs well for one and all,” Stewart said.
The main building on the facility will be refurbished. However, a master plan to deal with the refurbishing of the entire property will be put together.
“We know the basics of what we want to do, so I really think we can do a job here that will benefit everybody in St. Lucia,” he said.
The St. Lucia Golf and Country Club boasts an 18-hole golf course which, Stewart said, will remain so.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, said the acquisition deepens the relation between the government and the company, which dates back to 1992 when the company bought over the Cunard Hotel at La Toc, its first property in St. Lucia.
“The acquisition of this golf course is another indication of that commitment, that confidence Sandals has in the people of St. Lucia and the destination. In a very special way, this acquisition secures the future of this golf course, which is a major component to tourism development in our country,” Fedee said.
Fedee said that for quite some time there was uncertainty as to whether the golf course could sustain itself as a business, an uncertainty that presented tremendous concerns throughout the tourism sector.
Fedee said he felt certain the tourism fraternity will be treating the acquisition with much joy and appreciation, considering that there is an investor serious about the golf course.
The acquisition, he said, will also add a new component to the destination, one where the country now has something else they could boast about in the marketplace.