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Briland activists cast wary eye over marina developments (Nassau Guardian
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Page 1 of 1Total of 6 messages
Posted by:Jan 22nd 2009, 09:47:22 pm
brilandbeautySpeech, quick question...do we have any locals that are "qualified" to do hotel management. The problem isn't black or white, rich or poor it is how we've decided to market ourselves to the world. You can't expect these people to invest in our island, then turn to one of us without seeing any documented evidence that we are qualified to do a job, then just hand it to us! You did make an interesting point that peeked my interest. The difference between liking tourist and not liking tourism! If having tourism means that one day we would have over developed this island so much to the point that noone (rich, poor, black or whit) could live here...they could keep it :-)
Posted by:Jan 22nd 2009, 12:43:52 am
Fig Tree News TeamRomora Bay Marina opens in Harbour Island
Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The nation’s top economic engine, tourism, got a welcomed boost this week with the opening of a 40-slip marina, coffee shop and upscale restaurant at Romora Bay Club & Resort in Harbour Island.

News of the opening came from Bryan Bentley, a director of Bonachella Investments, the company creating a laid-back, villa-style resort on nearly six acres of prime property on one of the hottest destination islands in the region.

“When the first boat pulled in to dock at the marina, a small group ran down the dock, grabbing lines and cheering,” said Bentley. “For so many Bahamians and second home residents on Harbour Island, the sight was welcome relief from constant headlines of the downturn in visitor arrivals. For us, the event was realisation of our dual pledges, re-affirmation of our commitment to develop to appropriate size and scale on Harbour Island, an island which we love, and to exercise care in the safeguarding of the marine environment.”

The Romora Bay marina – with slips available for sale or transient visits -- was built without dredging. It will not sell fuel or offer other services that could pose a risk to the delicate balance of the harbour, developers said, and liquid waste will undergo primary and secondary treatment to convert it for irrigation purposes. In addition to a sewage pump-out facility, a special tracing dye is being used to detect any discharge.

By completing the harbour marina without dredging, Bonachella avoided what is normally the greatest threat to the marine environment, according to Bentley.

“Dredging, particularly if it is not coordinated with the outgoing tide, churns up sand and silt that covers coral reefs, damaging fragile life,” he explained. “Fortunately, we were able to complete without dredging because of the depth of the seabed and the design of the docks.” Smaller boats with shallower drafts dock closest to the resort, larger vessels use outer docks sunk on pilings in deeper water. Three Bahamian companies, Islands by Design, CSB Consultants and Bahamas Marine Construction, were involved in the marina project.

According to John Davidson, Vice President of Bonachella Investments, protecting marine resources was paramount.

“That is why we elected not to dredge, not to sell fuel or offer any other marine-related services that could result in any sort of pollution or damage,” said Davidson, a conservation activist whose father was a founder of Bonefish Tarpon Unlimited, an organisation dedicated to protecting tarpon and bonefish in Florida and The Bahamas. “Any country blessed with the marine resources The Bahamas enjoys commands and deserves respect for those resources. We believe that those persons who are interested in purchasing marina slips will share our vision of protection and those who are transient visitors will respect it.”

A condo hotel with 40 villas for sale, each placed with the resort company to manage allowing owners to earn revenue when not in residence, Romora Bay Resort & Club also recently unveiled its new restaurant, Vue, and a coffee and breakfast shop featuring Starbucks products and Bahamian treats.
Posted by:Aug 25th 2007, 09:01:16 pm
Brilandkidspeech not so long ago black natives could not enter the main door of the wesley methodist church, Until some were bold enough to walk thru it we see the day when we Brilanders will be ferried to harbour Island to work in the kitchens and compete with the Bouge and haitians for the crumbs.
Posted by:Aug 25th 2007, 12:23:54 pm
chapelThere was quite a discussion underway as to the marina proposed for Romora Bay earlier in the year ...
Posted by:Feb 27th 2007, 06:03:17 pm
speech100 jobs, maid, bar tender waiter $4.50 an hour...mostly people from eleuthera.hmmm lets see french, italian or austrailian chef. maybe a nice well spoken local gal for the receptionist at a better wage, and possibly a maitre d, american managment team, oh yeah the real estate offices for the condo probably a nice american sales lady....i could go on but frankly im tired, i take fine threads point...after romora bay no more, well theres always gonna be more isnt there? theyll say this is the last one...one other thing, ' the rich say they dont want development' well the poor say they dont want water shortages and power cuts or jobs that dont pay enough to buy groceries, can anyone see that the two positions are connected!the problem in briland isn't lack of jobs its lack of well paying jobs and lack of ownership. we have golden egg everyone lets not crush it with concrete garbage and sewrage, we wont have any water left to hose down the mess! They say theyll provide back ups not strain the facitlities etc. beleive it or not i am not against tourism, it pays the bills and i love our visitors and meeting interesting people and forming friendships all around the world and we are lucky, we could be stitching clothes for walmart and be getting a dollar a day to do it in haiti or jamaica, butbutbut if the billionarre down the narrows can have a mansion here... why cant some of us whose families have lived here for centuries own our own home, and if valentines can build condos and sell em for $250,000 - why cant a more locals own or manage hotels. i dont wanna say it, but i think we all know the impression it gives...in a country where 40 years ago you couldn't work in a bank, go to the movies or get served in a hotel when your skin wasn't the right colour anyway just thinkin out loud.
Posted by:Feb 27th 2007, 11:40:42 am
Fig Tree News TeamBy VERNON CLEMENT JONES, Senior Business Reporter
vernon@nasguard.com

Harbour Island residents concerned about unchecked development in the small community are questioning a $60 million resort expansion as most of the community lines up in support of it.

"We already one of the best destination in the Caribbean," said Will Simmons, a native of the island just off Eleuthera. "We don't need anymore 'enhancement or development' not until we can meet the basic needs and rights of the members of our community."

The words come on the heels of a decision by the Docks Committee earlier this month to rescind approval for 30 more slips at the Romora marina. The government has essentially put a halt to any new development on the three-mile island until it produces a master plan to contain that growth.

Briland for Brilanders, a group of local Bahamians, is anxious to contribute to that process in an effort to ensure new developments aren't a further drain on already-taxed infrastructure.

"We are not against any development," said a member of the group, "but we want to guide it in a direction that mandates upgrades to the electrical and sewage systems.

"We are not against Romora, we just don't want Bahamians' quality of life to go down just for tourism."

Bonachella Investments, the owner of the resort, argues that the expansion and the jobs it will create are set to contribute to that standard of living, not detract from it.

It sells the project as a way of creating as many as 100 new jobs and, when up and running, will add to the country's bottom line by providing millions in tax revenue.

Bonachella has also pledged to create its own sewage treatment and reverse osmosis facilities in order to avoid straining community resources.

Those assurance mean little, said a member of another activist group on the island - Save Harbour Island Association.

The extended resort threatens to further compromise the charm and character of the area, said Anna Greaves, an American with a second home on the island.

"Valentines resort is too large for the quaintness of Harbour Island, and to add another big resort would simply be too much for the area to absorb," she said Monday.

That hotel has a 60-slip marina - one of three of the island - and has already stirred controversy for its size and an attending rise in congestion on the waterways.

"We can't have development after development come and change the island because that eventually will rob us of the beauty," said Greaves.

It's an argument that Frederick Neely agrees with although he stands in support of the Romora project.

"After Romora Bay, I say 'no more'!" the taxi driver said.

He argues that Greaves and some other protesters are more concerned about maintaining an outmoded image of the island than in protecting the health of its economy.

"The rich say they don't want development," said the taxi driver. "They want the island to stay the same as they met it in the 1970s, but things don't stay the same nowhere in the world."

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