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|North Eleuthera: Re-opening Cove Eleuthera Sparks Prosperity Hopes|
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|Posted by:||Apr 25th 2005, 03:30:50 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||[Fig Tree notes that Cove Eleuthera's new manager, Bill Rossback, once ran the elegant Dunmore Beach Club on Harbour Island]
Monday, April 25, 2005
Eleuthera headed for prosperity, says PM
By Lindsay Thompson, Bahamas Information Services
GREGORY TOWN, North Eleuthera –A new beginning of economic prosperity was ushered in with the grand opening of The Cove resort by Prime Minister the Rt Hon Perry Christie on Friday.
With the property being the only resort on the mainland since the closure of Club Med and Club Eleuthera, Mr. Christie vowed to personally see the refurbishment of this island meaning, "Freedom".
Expressing excitement about the prospects of the island he visited four times this month, the Prime Minister said, "I am demonstrating my commitment and my seriousness to the promise I made that I will personally see the revival and restoration of this island as one of the jewels of our country.
"It will be driven by major investments yet to be announced but which are in the process of evolving between those who will invest and the Government."
Mr. Christie deemed it a historic occasion as it "represents restoration, reopening and a new beginning."
He added, "I quite frankly believe that given the potential plans of the owners, that if they are able to see the advantages in expanding this resort in a mixed varied presentation, where they have hotel rooms and given this priceless setting that is so clearly one of a kind, that they integrate into this mix units that they can sell, that can be put back in the hotel pool, it is both a return on your investment that would enable you to even do more and at the same time give you permanent visitors."
According to Mr. Christie, this is not just an isolated investment for the benefit of owners, as it will positively impact the community, the island and the reputation of the country.
He noted that work is already underway in different parts of the island, specificially at Governor's Harbour where construction is to start within three months on a major investment replete with a spa and other recreational facilities.
"The Cove has now set the pace," the Prime Minister said. "There are priceless contributions. You can't measure what you gain from being able to demonstrate that this is a safe and secure place for people to come and to just get off and be themselves."
Located just south of Spanish Wells and Harbour Island, The Cove was originally built in 1969 and named Pineapple Cove. The new co-owners are Scott and Leslie Bumpas and Ann and George Hartley of Dallas, Texas and Seaside, Florida. The long-time friends, while vacationing at the resort in summer 2004 decided to purchase the property from the original owners. And during the last part of 2004, The Cove embarked on an extreme make over process of its 10 deluxe suites and 12 standard rooms.
The air-conditioned cottages face a mysterious-looking Caribbean Sea, with breath-taking sunset and romantic moonlight. So far, The Cove's 10 deluxe suites have been renovated giving off a mixture of island charm and sophistication with stainless steel fixtures, handcrafted, island-colourful furnishings, tiled floors and soft lighting. Additionally, the 28 acres of landscaped grounds lead to a number of on-site facilities, amenities, services that meet the needs of guests.
Noting the romantic ambience of the resort, the Prime Minister suggested that it could be marketed as a wedding destination.
On the importance of the investment, he said that about a year ago, his Government acquired the services of world leading planning firm EDAW, to design a master for Eleuthera to prevent ad hoc developments.
"Very clearly, this burgeoning developing sense of excitement about what's happening in Eleuthera. The importance of the Master Plan is that it will help to preserve and protect your investment. It will ensure that those who come into invest would know by what we have planned this island to be, that it is a five star destination and that every effort will be made through integrating not just the produce, the citrus and pineapples but all the sites that are historical and a part of our cultural heritage," Mr. Christie said.
At Preacher's Cave, he said a lot has been done to preserve the historical spot where early settlers sought refuge after being shipped wrecked off Devil's Backbone.
The Prime Minister said further south, Governor's Harbour is replete with history – where wood was exported to the United States for the expansion of Harvard University. In turn, provisions were shipped back to the island.
"There is therefore a real connection with Harvard University. Our country has not yet taken advantage of, to remind those at Harvard and our own people of the historical connection," Mr. Christie said. "The Government of The Bahamas will stand behind this investment, will ensure as best we can of its success."
In this vein, he said it is of tremendous importance that the owners partnership with the Ministry of Tourism in making the resort work and maintaining its exclusivity.
Holding up his gifts - a crystal and gold pineapple paperweight and a plaque to memorialise the grand opening - the Prime Minister told the owners, "You could not have chosen a better gift for me, because you have an investment in the area of Eleuthera that is know for producing the pineapples. The rolling hills of Gregory Town, the soil in this part of Eleuthera has historically produced succulent pineapples and the sugar loaf. I hope therefore that the symbol of The Cove, remains the pineapple."
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said he was pleased to participate in the renaissance of the island, which is synonymous with adventure and freedom.
"This new day will bring new opportunities. It's a part of what we've been working on in our government to ensure that we are providing opportunities for Bahamians in Inagua, Crooked Island, Bimini, Grand Bahama in the capital city, and here in Eleuthera, all over The Bahamas," he said.
Mr. Wilchcombe noted that the Prime Minister's programmes and policies have been socially driven, to ensure that "people are more important than things and men are more important than machines."
It is also the Government's vision to ensure that each Family Island is anchored with a major resort, thus enabling tourism to continue to fuel the economy.
Co-owner Scott Bumpas said, "It's been wonderful working with our government and getting through the process. This is our first time to do it and everyone we worked with was fantastic to deal with in Nassau and here locally."
He also highly praised the staff headed by Caribbean resort professional general manager William Rossbach.
"We inherited the finest staff in all the islands. We couldn't have done any of this without the staff." Mr. Bumpas said. His partner George Hartley also expressed this sentiment.
Also present were Alvin Smith, Member of Parliament for North Eleuthera, Oswald Ingraham, MP for South Eleuthera, Family Island administrators and other Government officials.
The opening was complemented with a four-course meal comprising Texan and Bahamian cuisine and entertainment by Basil "Rattie" Sweeting.
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