ST VINCENT and The Grenadines is embarking on its most ambitious tourism project to date. The Royal Mill Hotel Luxury Resort and Residences is set to be the premier 5 Star private community and laudable contender among luxury resorts in the region.
The construction of the luxury property was officially announced by investor A&A Capital at the just concluded groundbreaking ceremony. Talks of the socio-economic value of the hotel to the island has been a buzz among government officials, investors, contractors and the general public.
The hotel project attracts a substantial investment which both investors and the Government see as a unique opportunity which is already benefiting the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves boasts the Royal Mill to be the single largest private sector tourism investment in the country with huge spin-off potential triggering a major growth trajectory for the local tourism industry and economy:
“The project is being constructed at a most ideal location. Guests and residents of the property can enjoy the scenic views of St Vincent and the Grenadines as well as visit and patronize the nearby restaurants, night clubs and immerse in the nucleus of surrounding activities. Upwards of 400 families island-wide are expected to benefit directly or indirectly from the hotel. I anticipate a major shift in our tourism economies and wealth creation through direct employment, taxes and National Insurance contributions.”
“Though St Vincent and the Grenadines entered the mass tourism market late, it is evident through other hotels on the island that our country’s product is of excellent stature. Overall, I expect the Royal Mill to be an immense contribution to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The 60 million U.S dollar world-class property will comprise 15 independent and private residence homes, while the resort will provide 18 high-rise apartment units and 2 rooftop penthouse units. The property will house a business centre, a conference/meeting centre, a gym, an aqua centre, an exclusive spa, a pool area and bar, an urban lounge viewing the ocean, a rooftop bar and restaurant and parking for over 60 vehicles.
Principal Investor and co-founder of A & A Capital, Alex Lodde during his brief address announced that the company has invested in major successful business ventures, including three hotels/residences.
“I am happy to see the pace of this new development, co-operation and assistance of the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. I am looking forward to the completion of the project and everything it will bring to the country,” he said.
Upon visiting St Vincent to roll out the Royal Mill Hotel Development, the developers sought after another lucrative investment aimed at a regional business and “sun-seeking” visitors.
In addition, the Royal Mill Hotel A&A Capital successfully acquired the family owned Grand View Hotel. Renovation works have already started on the 20-room boutique hotel consisting of a gym, spa, conference center, restaurants and beach bar. This Boutique property will be ideally positioned for tourists, regional travelers, businesses and organizations that wish to host conferences on the island. It will also play host to special events and weddings. The Grand View Hotel is in a picturesque location overlooking the ocean. Works are progressing rapidly to have the small property ready for guests in April 2020.
CEO and Co-Founder of A&A Capital, AdemAdem is excited about the revolutionary Royal Mill Hotel and transformation of the country over the years. He looks forward to the integration of communities and sectors which will benefit every person in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“It is important to note that the most critical aspect of the project for us is ensuring that the people of the country benefit meaningfully from a trickle-down economy and are always safe and secure while employed at the hotel,” Adem noted. “We see the Royal Mill Hotel spanning generations of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
He added, “Over the years the region has regrettably experienced the negative effects of unfinished hotel investments which have been left as eyesores and worst missed opportunities to the local economy. Adem assures that A&A Capital is strongly committed to and invested in the completion and longevity of the development.”
A very instrumental duo in realizing the Royal Mill Hotel project is Raffique and Jeanne Dunbar, Directors of A&A Capital – St Vincent and the Grenadines. The pair has enjoyed over a decade long relationship with the investors and upon returning to live on St Vincent from the U.S, the pair saw the socio-economic potential and initiated the venture.
“We decided that we wanted to not just come back home to live, but to make a difference in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We love our people; we love our country and we just knew it would have been an amazing opportunity. So, in collaboration with our Partners in A&A Capital, we explored the viability of the project and have now embarked on this amazing journey to create the largest tourism project on St Vincent.”
Also giving its full confidence to the project is the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG). The bank, through its Managing Director Derry Williams, has acted as a principal collaborator on the project and has noted the purposefulness and the commitment of the investment in seeing the project come to fruition. As the largest and indigenous Bank in the country, BOSVG understands that confidence of the public in investment projects is of high importance when backing a venture.
“As a bank, we must provide assurances to investors coming into any unknown to take investment risks,” Williams said. “From our end, it’s not just about conducting the investor’s transactions effectively but also providing feedback from the banking community, the trajectory of the economy and governing policies. The passion, thoughtfulness and commitment to developing St Vincent and the Grenadines were also very important. A&A Capital has proven, to date, their commitment to the project and seeing it to its absolute fruition and this is truly good news for our country”
The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines continues to monitor the project closely to ensure that it falls in line with its mandate to drive economic growth and overall development of the island for all Vincentians. Minister of Finance and Parliamentary Representative for East St George, CamilloGonsalves is thrilled that the investors have begun the construction phase of the project and is pushing tirelessly to meet the 2020 deadline. He is expecting to see operations beyond a bed and breakfast evolve from the Royal Mill Hotel and throughout St Vincent.
The Finance Minister stressed that this is the exact type of tourism that the country is interested in leveraging; one which brings people into the island and will realize an entire set of ancillary spin-offs which will benefit the economy. Already, the construction sectors are profiting from the construction phase of the project.
The Royal Mill Hotel is blending perfectly not only with the economic and social aspects but also the cultural landscape of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The hotel is being constructed on the historic RathoMill site creating a sense of cultural romanticism with the two names – Royal Mill and RathoMill. The RathoMill area is traditionally the cornerstone of a slave plantation with the mill still visible on site. Today it brings a sense of hope and economic optimism for the country.
Currently, the staff base at the construction site is about 70 workers. This number is expected to increase considerably to over 200 people in the coming months. The local job creation from the project ranges from site engineers, foremen, masons, carpenters and other labourers. People from all corners of St Vincent, including women are employed on the development.
Jennifer Wilkinson from Arnos Vale is a real testament of immediate benefits derived from the Royal Mill Hotel development. She is a steel bender and a mother of two. Jennifer is already benefiting from the economic impact being realized due to employment on the site of the project.
“Before this project I was unemployed. When I heard about the project, I applied and was very grateful when I got accepted. Many people like me will get jobs and many families, including mine, will get fed from this project. I would like to say thank you to the government for allowing this project in the country, the investors for realizing the opportunities in my country and everyone involved in this major investment in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The Royal Mill residence portion of the project has an expected completion date of December 2020, while the hotel section, currently in its infant stage is due for mid-2022. The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the developers remain committed to ensuring the timely completion, the continued success of the project and positive impacts on the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.