BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The redevelopment of the nearly 200-year-old Sam Lord’s Castle into a hotel managed by the world’s largest hotel company will bring with it 3,000 local jobs, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony at the 57-acre site in the eastern parish of St. Philip, he said the new Sam Lord’s Castle Barbados, a Wyndham Grand Resort, is also expected to bring in significant amounts of foreign exchange.
“The macro-economic implications of the project cannot be understated. The hotel will employ in excess of 1,000 persons after completion and is also expected to generate approximately 2,000 additional jobs in other sectors of the economy.
“Foreign exchange earnings to be made by the property are estimated at over US$70 million a year, with a direct contribution to the GDP of US$35 million,” Stuart said.
“The people of St. Philip will gain social and economic benefits from the project. Residents of this parish will be able to earn income as entrepreneurs, service and produce providers and hotel employees. A number of farmers in the area will now have another market for their produce and artists and craftsmen will also reap a similar benefit.”
The development will involve construction of an upscale resort hotel comprising 350 guest accommodations, 100 vacation ownership units, a destination spa, a conference centre and various services and amenities. The project is being financed by the Chinese.
Sam Lord’s Castle was once a beautiful Georgian mansion, built in 1820 by Samuel Hall Lord. Legend has it that Sam Lord acquired his wealth by plundering ships, which he lured onto coastal reefs, by hanging lanterns in coconut trees. Captains mistook these lights for Bridgetown and wrecked their ships on the reefs.
The property was run as a hotel for many years but was subsequently abandoned and then destroyed by fire in 2010.