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Jul 3, 2014

Puerto Azul developers meet with government to chart the way forward

This morning, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse was in court for a libel suit he brought against the Belize Times. That matter will not go to full hearing as attorneys are talking settlement which will be determined at a final court session on July tenth. But with that out the way, there’s always plenty to talk about with Hulse, since he runs nine departments and sits on multiple committees – like the Cabinet sub-committee on investment, for example. That’s the group which will give, or deny, a green light for the Puerto Azul mega-tourism destination. Representatives from Puerto Azul have been in Belize for about two weeks, and have already met with the investment committee. The project was first dubbed a citadel of luxury; a seven star playground for the world’s rich and famous. But that concept seems to have been revisited somewhat, since today Hulse told us they were presented with a concept for a high-class event facility.  

 

Godwin Hulse, Chairman, Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment

Godwin Hulse

“They have pitched to the government what they intend to do. And as I understand it from them they want to create an event facility…one of those facilities which will bring the Emmy Awards and those kinds of fancy things that happen around the world where people have no problem paying fifty thousand or one hundred thousand dollars to come. So what they want to develop is this facility, because Belize is not New York so you don’t have all the hotels to host people so when they fly in they will be wined and dined and pampered, attend the event and fly out. I understand it’s the kind of thing that happened in Cannes. I was told that there were fifteen hundred people that booked and only five hundred could attend. And they want to do this once a month and that is the concept. I have no idea of those kinds of things. I’m not a gala person in that sense. Isabella is my base, you know. I don’t really know these things. But anyway…there’s nothing wrong with that, if that happens and can be developed properly because it would put Belize even more on the map and it would bring more revenue to government, etc. They’re at the stage where they have brought in a marketing expert to see first of all whether Belize would be a suitable location. So he is studying the country and he is going to do his thing abroad. And they have brought in an environmental assessment company from the United States who is looking at the island to see if the island is indeed suitable. They told us that in between four to six months time they will give us a report on both of those. At that point, the committee will look in-depth at their proposal and move forward. So that’s where we are with that.”

 

Reporter

“Are you of the opinion expressed by both Mike Singh and the Prime Minister that it seems fantastical?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“It seemed fantastical when it looked like rich guys bringing their girlfriends or wives or rich women bringing their friends or husbands to hang out on the beach and paying eighty thousand or fifty thousand to do. That would sound crazy. I don’t think however rich you are you do that. But pitched in the sense that it is an event facility where people will come in for the international fashion show or the Emmys or whatever it is…it’s a different concept.”

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