Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort responds to Joshua Francis’ remarks concerning the public library

Entire Fort Section including 32 rooms destroyed after Hurricane Maria

On June 5th 2019 Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort found it necessary to issue a statement to respond to speculation regarding the Peebles Park & the Public Library, essentially clarifying that there is no discussion or intention between the Fort Young Hotel or its ownership and the Government of Dominica regarding the acquisition, in whole or in part, of Peebles Park or the Public Library.  Due to remarks made by Joshua Francis, Deputy Leader of the United Works Party, in a live video broadcast posted on Facebook on Wednesday, November 13th 2019, the hotel once again deems a response and clarification necessary.

Mr. Francis, among other things states, “the Fort Young basically has taken the space of the Library”….  He goes on to show a lower section of land behind the Library, stating “right here, you can see again that ah Fort Young basically has taken the space of the library. This is the container right here.”  He continues, “so basically the Nassiefs have taken over our public library. That’s the way I I see it. Because if they have not taken over it means that they are trespassers because work is happening right at the back of the library here.”  And finally, towards the end of his discourse, he discovers something mysterious: “You see it right here? Something is happening at the library, something mysterious. Because here it is, watch this. I want the world to ask the government of Dominica exactly what is happening at the back of the library. You seeing a cage right? Something is in that cage, it’s under a brown tarpaulin. Is it building materials? We don’t know, we don’t know.”

The hotel wishes to make the following clarifications:

  1. The hotel has not in fact taken over the Library, but requested and received permission from the Government of Dominica to use the Northern Section as access for construction, without which the hotel could not be reconstructed; the Government issued such permission; the hotel is therefore not trespassing.
  2. The Nassiefs have definitely not taken over the public library. And for general public information, the hotel is owned by 34 shareholders of which less than half are members of the Nassief family, and the largest direct or indirect holding by a member of the Nassief family is approximately 35%, and the Government of Dominica is in fact one of the many Shareholders of the hotel and has been for over 30 years.
  3. The Lower Section with the container that Mr. Francis is referring to is land that has been owned by the Fort Young for over 14 years and is not Library land.
  4. The “mysterious cage” that Mr. Francis points out is in fact a “water bladder” which provides emergency backup water storage for the hotel; the hotel requested and the Government granted permission to temporary lay the bladders there as its own backup water system was destroyed during Hurricane Maria and these were brought in as a temporary measure prior to this year’s hurricane season.

The Fort Young Hotel is very grateful to the Government of Dominica for its much-needed support during this critical time of reconstruction and expansion.  Having lost all 32 of its “Fort Rooms” to Hurricane Maria (reference Photo 1 below), the hotel is undertaking a major expansion to re-open with 100 rooms in the third quarter of 2020. The practicalities of major construction on a site surrounded by a historic fort wall (reference Photo 2 below) necessitated special access through the Northern section of the Library.  Without said access, preserving the historical fort fabric and heritage would not have been possible.  The Hotel’s access thru and activities on this section of the Library grounds are fully authorized by the Government.  The Fort Young Hotel remains committed to engaging the government and the community as the resort pushes ahead with its reconstruction and expansionso as tocontinue to play an important role in Dominica’s tourism development. The hotel’s total expected investment will exceed ec$40 Million.  It is also important to clarify that, contrary to speculation, the Hotel is not a participant in Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Program nor has it received any special funding from the Government.

Located on the water in Roseau, Dominica’s capital, Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort is the country’s only downtown hotel, affording guests unmatched proximity to the “Nature Island’s” vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, exhilarating activities and some of the island’s most prized attractions, like Trafalgar Falls, Middleham Falls, Freshwater Lake, segments of the Waitukubuli National Trail, and world-renowned diving. Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort offers a luxurious sense of seclusion, fine dining and meeting facilities. Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort can be reached at 767-448-5000 or info@foryounghotel.com.

Reconstructing and expanding, as at October 2019

 

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48 Comments

  1. Eddy A
    November 19, 2019

    This Nassief lot will soon own half of our island courtesy of Skerrit. They getting land free of charge, they getting our passport money in return for nothing and they can do as they please.

  2. Fabian Esprit
    November 18, 2019

    This is nothing New. Just look at Belfast mahaut land without end.all over belongs to them

  3. jaded
    November 18, 2019

    Just like the UWP – create your own facts. These people have zero integrity. That is why they cannot win an election.

  4. Boyo
    November 18, 2019

    There is a lot of diatribe on both sides of the issue, but for me the most important thing is that someone raised a question, a question that has brought forth a response, and provided more information on what appears to be a non-transparent transaction between gov’t. and private enterprise. We live in a “democracy?”, and in true legitimate democracies, there is transparency and free flow of information. Continue to question, since we do not have an investigative press or media in this country.

  5. Original
    November 18, 2019

    There is something which has to be addressed, how could fort young purchase the area where the containers are located to the rear (east sea shore) of the public library, which is definitely less than 50 feet from the sea line. According to planning regulations there area 50 feet from the waterline is public space which is also considered flood zone. So from who did you purchase said land 14 years now?

  6. Garvey
    November 18, 2019

    For all who criticize Mr.Francis you need to be as equally critical of the Government for lack of transparency, not unless you only able to see things one way or maybe you all need to grow some balls to call a spade a spade.

  7. Concerned Dominican
    November 17, 2019

    The main public library should be not in the current condition that it is today. Doesn’t the president feel embarrassed to have the library in the state that it is ? It’s right in his back yard front yard . The government can pay artists 100 of thousands of artists to perform on island . I know it would probably cost less to renovate the library . Fort young owners should also feel embarrassed to have its guests view such a sore sight . This not political. It’s about priority and regain our pride in our Dominica. Rebuild then sewo .

  8. Original
    November 17, 2019

    Fort young uses the public library, which also necessitates renovations, as it’s access and storage facility, yet the library is a public institution and should be repaired forte young should find somewhere else for their storage period. This is bulll….. Then they lie and say they’re the only hotel in the area when there is garraway hotel across the street from them. So who could trust a word from what they stated?

  9. Kalinago Justice
    November 17, 2019

    Mr.Francis is in the Political Arena apart from being a Citizen of Waitukubuli and therefore did nothing wrong in raising the issue of FYH using State’s property without the knowledge of the people! We must overstand that Politicians through bait to get answers and this is such a case in point! Anyway, the Public Library has to be sacrificed to accommodate Fort Young Hotel :?: Is this the reason why the Public Library can’t be rebuilt :?: Do you people think that the government should have made an announcement instead of keeping us in the dark :?: If Mr.Francis didn’t raise the issue,we wouldn’t know that some of the land was being sold to FYH 14 years ago, which means under the current one-man rogue regime :?:

  10. Lin clown
    November 17, 2019

    These UWP IDIOTS destroyed the LAYOU 5 STAR HOTEL.They gave GRACE TUNG $21,000 million of $54,000million,in the escrow account.They told GRACE TUNG start building,if she could not finish UWP,would take over and finish it UWP started putting pressure on GRACE TUNG untill she was forced to close.Their intention was to change the programme to the re engineered citizen programme.They did,saying Dominicans were not profitting from the sale of passports.UWP began selling passports.That is how the $ 2.5 million house built at Belfast.CORRUPTION.

  11. My2Pence
    November 17, 2019

    This should not have been to be clarified tho, this is information that should have already been provided to the public.

  12. Bouche kabrit
    November 17, 2019

    Mr. Sorhaindo I am ashamed of you. You served under Dame Eugenia Charles where transparency was the order of the day. Had the Govt of Dca been open about their “arrangement” with the FYH there would be no need for speculation. Most people who pass by the Public Library keep asking questions “what is going there? Is the library sold? Why is the Govt not repairing the library? Why is FYH using library property?” Instead of getting the Govt to understand that its people’s property that they are custodians of and must therefore be accountable to the people of Dca you find it’s best to attack Mr Francis. Shame on you for supporting this corrupt lazy and incompetent govt. Every contract agreement or sale made by the govt with anyone must be public knowledge. Do you see that happening? I am sure you and the other political bandits who were quick to attack Mr Francis had no knowledge of this so called arrangement and you too speculated until FYH spoke about it. Stand up for Dca! Not…

  13. Shaka zulu
    November 17, 2019

    Interestingly enough the same government who owns majority share in Ft young is going around using CBI to build major hotels and resort elsewhere without considering the level of capacity the you guys are already operating and future bookings. What would make sense is if you guys are operating beyond capacity and future bookings show you need rooms the wise thing would be to raise funds either through shares or loans and build another resort on island. That would indicate growth dictated by the market. Instead we see government building infrastructure to compete with private enterprise that they own shares in. There is a reason why AID bank is failing. This is like committing financial suicide sponsored by the state. There is a need for a Caribbean stock exchange so the people of Dominica and the region can have the opportunity build some wealth in the development process. Institutions like fort young present that opportunity if not for our innate selfishness.

  14. Shaka zulu
    November 17, 2019

    First of all i would like to say kudos to fort young for standing the test of time and doing business and development the right way. As much as Joshua had a responsibility to question fort young on the happenings at the location fort young had the responsibility to put out a public notice since they were using state property. This is transparency and would avoid all speculations. It is very interesting to note that the hotel is owned by 34 share holders the largest of which is the government. I have mentioned on DNO the lack of public investment in our own growth and development. When was stock or share option ever opened to the public. Would it not be great if the hundreds of teachers, nurses, police officers and others had an opportunity to buy shares in fort young. Figure out how much you need to raise and how much per share. This would allow you guys generate the revenue needed and public would have vested interest in your success which has been exemplary over the years. A win win.

    • Majority owns
      November 17, 2019

      where did you read that Government is the largest shareholder. The nassifs together are the majority shareholders however no one nassif has more than 35%. Go back and read the article.

    • Derek T.
      November 18, 2019

      Shaka, the release said Government was a shareholder, not the largest! I stand to be corrected but if memory serves me right they own about 1% of the shares. Nice idea to offer shares to the public!

    • Dyco
      November 18, 2019

      That’s the kind of dialogue us Dominicans should be engaging in.

    • Shaka zulu
      November 18, 2019

      “34 shareholders of which less than half are members of the Nassief family, and the largest direct or indirect holding by a member of the Nassief family is approximately 35%, and the Government of Dominica is in fact one of the many Shareholders of the hotel and has been for over 30 years.”

      I stand corrected if i indicated the gov is largest share holder. It was not deliberate. If you read the quote you will see why. However the fact in the larger scheme is the gov is a share holder.

  15. Ibo France
    November 17, 2019

    The Skerrit led autocracy operates in complete darkness. When a government is shrouded in total secrecy and withholds relevant information from the public of which they are entitled to, speculations naturally run wild. When one tries to seek verification about affairs that directly or indirectly affect the public, it’s like exacting teeth, very difficult or almost impossible. Is anyone so native to think that these hoteliers care about Dominicans? They are single-mindedly motivated by money. If the government would be transparent, there would be no reason for speculations. The current government of Dominica is untrustworthy as they do everything under the cover of darkness. This present regime has an affinity for foreigners. They give away the people’s patrimony that our ancestors slaved, fought and died for to foreign vultures who gobble up our lands. If things continue apace, Dominicans will soon becoming landless in their own birthplace.

  16. Markey
    November 17, 2019

    The picture of Fort Young and surrounding shows the main road at the top of the, but it should be at the bottom. the picture needs to be turned 180 degrees. ,

  17. Zandoli
    November 17, 2019

    Did Mr. Francis make any attempt to contact the management of Fort Young Hotel (FYH) to get answers to his concerns. I use the word “question” quite generously. I did not see his video, but if what FYH said is true, it appears Mr. Francis was spreading innuendo more than seeking answers.
    We all know that some of the Nassiefs are huge supporters of the current regime. However, Mr. Francis must not lose sight of the fact that FYH is a major employer by Dominican standards, both directly and indirectly.
    He may have issues with some of the individuals who control the hotel, but he should not undermine the efforts of the hotel to rebuild and create employment for Dominicans.

    • November 17, 2019

      @Zandoli, you always speak the thought of my mind and so you have done here.

      As Joshua was saying “we don’t know, we don’t know” I asked myself why did he not try to find out before bringing this to the out front?

      It seems as if those guys are dunned on embarrassing themselves and us too. “We don’t know” is negative; what does Joshua want us to do with it?

  18. Herbert Volney
    November 17, 2019

    I’ve been a house guest at the Fort Young Hotel and very proud of its offerings and recovery since Hurricane Maria.
    For Joshua Francis to complain as he has demonstrates beyond peradventure that his is a warped agenda far removed from reality. Gregor Nassief as promoter of the reestablishment of the Fort Young is well known in business and social circles as a patriotic citizen and not the hatriotic one that this former MP has become in his own world of madness.

    • Ibo France
      November 17, 2019

      Your frivolous attempt to belittle Mr. Francis has fallen flat on its face. Let the government be transparent in all its dealings so there will be no reason to speculate. This totalitarian regime is so dishonest that lies have become their pillows. They are very comfortable distorting the truth. Trusting them and their partners in crime is to put your reputation at risk.

    • John Cohen
      November 18, 2019

      Sir Volney. You came back to DA with no skill set that could help us. No capital to invest in beloved country of ours.
      But you proved me wrong.
      You do have some talent. You are an attack rabid dog for the Nassiefs.
      Congrats.

  19. mine
    November 17, 2019

    Be careful of the powder man he is desperate.

    • Ripe patat
      November 17, 2019

      Be careful of sheep like “mine”. They ignorantly believe everything the govt tells them

      • November 17, 2019

        @Ripe patat, are you sure you did not want to say “goat”?

        Sheep is a Bible word for God’s people. Jesus calls Himself the “Good Shepherd”

        We read about the “scapegoat” of the Wilderness and the Nations which will belong on the left side of Jesus

        But most importantly, the sheep believed. So you are completely in the dark with that comment of yours against “Mine”

  20. Joseph Charles
    November 17, 2019

    So why do you all lock the gate to pebbles park?

    • Dominican
      November 18, 2019

      Fort Young did not lock the gate. You can direct that question to Forestry Division since they are responsible for the park. As you can very well see, the park is being enhanced; flowers and grass has been planted. Therefore in order for it to grow undisturbed, it warrants the closure of the park until the grass and flowers have grown.

  21. hotel owner
    November 17, 2019

    What if the Government was this helpful to all the other hotels eh? What if?

    • Zandoli
      November 17, 2019

      Something has to be wrong with my people. What if you need help and you asked for it, what do you think you would get?
      You people seem to be consumed by jealousy. Typical crab in barrel mentality.

  22. OpenMind
    November 17, 2019

    I’m sure that’s made little difference. We’re in the age of politics where people just say what they want, it’s printed, distributed without any verification or accountability.

    Good on you to clarify, ignoring these things is a licence for it to continue.

  23. Interesting
    November 17, 2019

    You said “…land that has been owned by the Fort Young for over 14 years and is not Library land.” So. Skerrit sold, to your hotel what used to be “library land” back in 2005 or 2004? 😒
    This land sale needs to be investigated 🔎 Doh feel no way, its not you we don’t trust, it’s Skerrit.

  24. Rupert Sorhaindo
    November 17, 2019

    I guess that is how Mr Francis and his leader intend to create 12,000 jobs: by spreading propaganda designed to undermine the efforts of entrepreneurs who invest their resources in enterprises that provide employment for Dominicans, and to expose them to the savage attacks by their rabid supporters who swallow their garbage hook, line and sinker.

    • Readwell
      November 17, 2019

      Mr. Sorhaindo, In the absence of information there will be speculation. This information should have been given to the the people by the Labour Administration when the deal was negotiated. This is public property. There should be a sign at the entrance, or side, or somewhere saying that this access was granted by the Government under whatever Statute. Dominica has rules. It does not belong to Skerrit. One cannot block access to a public property without letting the public know why?
      If Mr. Francis had not raised this issue, the public would not have known that Fort Young was given the right to temporarily use Government property.
      Mr. Sorhaindo you know better. You do understand how Government works. It is sad that you have chosen to put yourself in the category of the ignorant.

    • Mike
      November 17, 2019

      Entrepreneurs? They were systematically destroyed years ago by this administration and was replaced by the oligarchs and who feed off the CBI and passport sales I’ve realized that most of the educated defenders of this administration are directly or have immediate family profiting from the sale of passports and you are probably no exception, the rest of us especially after the deal to send Ross to Barbados are just struggling. If you can give me pointers to be an agent would appreciate since that’s the only growing sector of the economy and while you at it can send me the list of entrepreneurs that invested their “own” resources and the name of their business I want to see that it must be celebrated.

    • %
      November 17, 2019

      Rupert shut up!!..I guess you should let your voice be heard about mercenaries who planted false evidence on the premises of Linton.Let your voice be heard on Ali Reza Zibahalat Monfarred, Skerrit’s good friend. He is behind bars for 20years and has to repay of 1.3billion.
      Your doggone hypocrite.
      Are you singing for your supper!
      You are quite irrelevant.
      Skerrit
      Whey is di money?
      Whey is di money?
      Whey is di money?

    • dissident
      November 17, 2019

      you especially should take a hike!!!!!
      you are a sore to de min of education you once led
      would you support similar activities at Garraway hotel??????

      CRAB

    • Ibo France
      November 17, 2019

      The hotels offer menial employment for a few locals. The hotel business keeps most of Dominicans in servitude. They are the dish washers, maids, waiters, waitresses, pool cleaners, ordinary cooks, etc. Their chances of upward mobility to managerial positions are slim to nil.

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      November 18, 2019

      Skerritt owes it to the people of the country to let us know through the various media that it controls what’s happening with the assets of the State. But alas we only learn of back channel things done by this crooked government crookedly. Remember the appointment of ambassadors, the sending of our parrots overseas in the dead of night affair and so on. Therefore you should use your influence with this regime to impress upon it the need to be transparent and thus avoid the void in information which leads to speculation and create the propaganda you speak of.

  25. Just like that
    November 17, 2019

    You all are even bothering to answer a mad man?

  26. Royal
    November 17, 2019

    Do you have any plans of construction/ development or any creative ideas regarding the Public Library in Roseau. It has to be rebuilt. By offering some ideas it would greatly helped in cultivating a plan that can be used for the library.

    Also I would like you to understand that when you raised an issue or make a negative remark that it’s not only Dominicans reading these articles. Have you seen the number of followers on Dno?

    Mr. Francis, I advise that you offer solutions and again seek information to clarify before posting. Ask yourself what you personally want for yourself and your children because they are your future. If your plans are not for building Dominica then you need an alternative approach to do so.

    Take care.

    • Nature Isle
      November 17, 2019

      Thank you for making this point. This blog is read by many people who are not Dominicans. Potential investors will be driven away by the level of ignorance, vulgarity, and anti-investment sentiments that are demonstrated by the few “knowledgeable” people who regularly contribute to this site. I am at a loss to understand why DNO, which is supposed to be screening these articles, even lets them go through. Contributors should keep in mind that you can only reap what you sow.

      • Ibo France
        November 17, 2019

        Small local businesses are the main engine of growth for the country. One has to spend millions on roads, security, electricity, water, advertisements, etc. Then major leakage of profits occurs as foreign investors prefer to ‘extradite’ their profits to their countries of origin. The profits from small local businesses stay put and circulate to build the local economy. Much more emphasis should be placed on incentivizing small local entrepreneurship than giving large chunks of our limited and choicest lands to foreign sharks.

  27. Royal
    November 17, 2019

    Mr. Francis why do you want the world to ask what is happening behind the public library? Whatever problems we have in our country is our business not the world business. Americans love American matter how whorish and wicked the country is. No matter how arrogant and boastful it is. When Americans have issues with what the government does they ask and discuss. They raise these issues and seek a resolution for it. They don’t tell the world about it or ask the world yo ask the question on theor behalf. They know that a better America for them is a better America for their children.

    So what is yout intention Mr. Francis? Are they good or are they bad?

    Another observation is that, constantly your party has raised a range of issues which has been clarified. The layou river project and others and now you are raising and issue about the library. Im not against you raising the issue sir but why not ask the get the information before posting a video?

    And one more question.

  28. %
    November 16, 2019

    Thanks to my Parl Rep Joshua Francis for bringing out these concerns, because the management of Fort Young would remain moo moo on the matter.This is the type of concerned Patriots that UWP has..
    Keep up your good and caring representation Josh.
    “””We voting Joshua Again”””‘!!!
    Skerrit
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?

    • November 18, 2019

      we cannot be let by a mentally ill person, this is simply evidence

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