Gems from the Archives – 6 “1888 Hotel Resolution”

During the Legislative Council meeting of the 4 December 1888 Capt Maling, an official member of council presented the following resolution which was passed

Resolved

This Council hereby request his Excellency the Governor to take such steps as may in his opinion be necessary to induce Capitalists and others to establish an Hotel in this island of such class as will be likely to attract visitors from the United States and elsewhere during the winter months and a branch hotel in Nevis on the site of the Mineral Baths there and the Council further authorises of inducing Capitalists to undertake the matter with as little delay as possible His excellency to offer annual subsidy not exceeding £1000 per annum which sum the Council agrees to raise for a term of years.

This was a follow-up on the Executive Council meeting of the day before where the Governor expressed the idea that a hotel in St. Kitts and another in Nevis would make the islands attractive to visitors and even suggested that the Bath House could be the starting point for the hotel in Nevis.  At the time it was more of a health spa and badly in need of repair.  J Briggs a member of the Executive Council from Nevis, said that the property was his and that he would be happy to sell it to the Government for £200, taking shares in the project rather than cash.  The process of transferring theproperty was started early the following year.

The plan was to build a 35 room hotel which would cost around £6000.  It was to be located to the north of the town in the area now occupied by Warner Park. This was Wade property and Edwin Wade was asking a considerable sum of money for it.  Up to 1895 the project had not materialized but by then the economy had taken a bad turn and the project in St. Kitts was shelved but the Governor asked that the Nevis contract should be honoured as Briggs had already executed the conveyance.  Desperate for funds, the Council asked Briggs to cancel the agreement which he did. Both projects were abandoned in the desperate attempt to cut spending.

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