This was according to Shawn Richard, the minister responsible for sport, who made this disclosure at a press conference held on Thursday 2nd April.
Answering a question on CPL and the CARIFTA Games, Richards indicated that up to Wednesday 1st April, the necessary accommodations were still being sought to house the travelling spectators, athletes and technical staff.
Minister Richards lashed out at the former administration for not making the requisite funds available for the games, disclosing that funds were not allocated in the 2015 budget.
“CARIFTA is being held in St. Kitts this weekend, starting this Friday. We met a situation, whereby, not one cent was budgeted with respect to the CARIFTA Games,” Richards said, adding, “As a matter of fact, the CARIFTA Games almost became an embarrassment, not for this government but for the entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
He further explained that the previous administration had made plans with the Marriott to accommodate the athletes, now expected to be over 800.
“I said that, because up to this week, up to yesterday, we were still trying to get rooms to host the athletes from overseas. What would have happened is that the government gave a commitment and an arrangement was made with Marriott for them to provide rooms to host the athletes,” Richards said.
But, no financial guarantee was made available to the hotel, and as such, they went ahead and sold all the available rooms, the minister revealed.
“Marriott sold the rooms at the very last minute! We had to be speaking with the Marriott and other hotels to get rooms to host the athletes,” Richards noted.
He continued “Two weeks ago, the government spent one hundred and something thousand dollars US to pay the Marriott for rooms. Yesterday we gave Marriott another US$50,000 for rooms, $50,000 that could have been avoided, had the previous administration done the right thing”, the sports minister stressed.
The 2015 CARIFTA games run from 3rd to 6th April at the Silver Jubilee Stadium, where over 800 athletes are expected to participate.