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|Another Boutique Resort for Eleuthera (Governor's Harbour)|
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|Posted by:||Apr 21st 2006, 01:53:22 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||http://www.jonesbahamas.com
Another Resort Project For Eleuthera
By Candia Dames
Eleuthera is now experiencing the beginning of a "new economy", Prime Minister Perry Christie declared at the Cabinet Office late yesterday just before witnessing the signing of another multimillion-dollar tourism project for that island.
This time, the site will be Governorís Harbour.
The Sky Beach Club will be located on 22-acres of lush Eleuthera hillside land and will encompass an exclusive residential vacation community that offers every service and amenity to meet the discriminating tastes of owners and guests who are accustomed to the best resorts in the world, according to the American developers.
The development will be much smaller than many of the projects announced by the Christie Administration since it came to office, but the prime minister noted that it will have its place in helping in the revival of Eleutheraís economy.
The Sky Beach Club will consist of 35 homes and three bungalows and the developers said it will be "extremely private and exclusive".
"The fundamental concept of the development partners is to control every aspect of the management and maintenance of the homes and the clubís amenities," the developers said in a statement handed out to reporters.
"This will assure that the property gets developed as intended."
They also assured that many job opportunities for local Eleutherans will be created at the resort. In addition to construction jobs, the other job opportunities will include on-site management, clerks, accounting, general maintenance, landscaping, housekeeping, cooking, food serving, bartending, security and concierge.
Tim Reardon, president and director of the development group, indicated that the developers were anxious to get started and Prime Minister Christie said he hoped to be attending a groundbreaking ceremony within 60 days.
"Our initial phase is going to include all the infrastructure, which includes the clubhouse and the pool and along with seven houses itís going to total about a $15 million initial investment and over the next couple of years that amount will build to some $60 million," Mr. Reardon said just before signing the agreement.
The prime minister, meanwhile, said Eleuthera is being positioned to be an all around five-start destination.
"The significance of that is that it will now attract its people to Eleuthera and that process of stabilization that is going on [will mean] the people who had to leave Eleuthera in the recent past, the last five years, looking for employment, having to board up some of their homes, are now able to go back knowing that they have an economy that they can participate in," said Mr. Christie, who also urged the developers to play a meaningful role in training more Bahamians to become skilled.
The property will include, in addition to the luxury bungalows, clubhouse and private residences, all the necessary utilities and physical infrastructure to provide utility services throughout the development, said Vincent Peet, minister of financial services and investments.
"All with the ongoing projects and those that have not yet commenced, this project falls in line with the governmentís desire to see this island of diverse experiences benefit from a carefully planned mix of major resort communities and boutique projects, all together creating the type of critical mass and excitement that the island is able to support," Minister Peet said.
He announced that it is expected that the total estimated GDP impact of the development, taking into consideration investment by the developer and construction by homeowners, would be $50 million.
Economic assessments further indicate that as a result of construction activities and operation of this development, cumulative GDP impact in a 15 to 20 year period will be $129 million and contribution to revenue will be over $44 million, the minister said.
Additionally, it is estimated that this development will stimulate cumulative visitor spending of $286 million over the same time period.
"These economic estimates are even more meaningful when one considers that this development is just one of a number of projects that will re-launch Eleuthera as a travel destination of choice," Minister Peet said.
The developers have committed to employ 278 Bahamians in construction and up to 80 on a permanent basis, some of whom will be included in an on-the-job training and apprenticeship programme.
"There will also be opportunities for Eleutherans to participate as contractors and artisans in the construction and in the economic expansion that will be brought on by this project, through various entrepreneurial ventures," Minister Peet added.
House Speaker Oswald Ingraham, who is also the member of parliament for South Eleuthera, agreed that he was probably the happiest man in the Cabinet Office in downtown Nassau yesterday and he thanked the developers for brining their project to Eleuthera.
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