Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Here follows remarks by Prime Minister Perry Christie on the occasion of the signing of the Heads of Agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and CB Commander Ltd and CH Amiral Ltd February 1, 2016 at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nassau:
It is with great pleasure I participate in the signing of a Heads of Agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and sister companies CB Commander Limited and CH Amiral Limited, for development of a $200 million eco-friendly high end luxury resort on neighbouring islands, Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay, both situate 15 minutes off the northern coast of Barratarre, Exuma.
Owner of the project is Dona Bertarelli member of a prominent Swiss family. In addition to her philanthropic activities in marine conservation, life sciences and children’s education Ms. Bertarelli sits on the Board of several companies and is actively involved in managing the family’s business interests which includes a five-star Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad that was honoured as 2013 Best Hotel in Switzerland by Premium Switzerland and rated in the 2012 Robb Report’s World Best Resorts list.
Children’s Bay Cay will be developed into an exclusive 5-star ultra-luxurious resort and golf club and will feature a boutique 50-pavilion room hotel; 5 over the water pavilions; 5 estate homes; a club house comprising a restaurant boutique library, screening room, bar and lounges; a beach club; spa, gym and Pilates centre; a marina village with restaurants and small cinema complex; a nature and environment centre; a managed marine park; and a 20-slip marina that will accommodate vessels up to 120 feet. As further demonstration of the Developer’s respect for the environment, a nature park is planned for the uninhabitable Windsock Cay which lies about ¼ of a mile off Children’s Bay Cay.
Williams Cay will be a private section of the resort and will contain an ecological oriented 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Fazio. The Cay will have 15-20 villas; 3 over the water pavilions; a welcome centre; a villa owner club house; nature trails; biking and jogging trails; and seaplane and helipad facilities. A bridge will link Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay.
The architecture will take into consideration the topography and the natural environment, as well as a pavilion style resort which will be easier to blend into the natural environment of The Bahamas. Most of the natural landscaping will remain intact and unspoiled.
As with all project developments, the findings of environmental impact assessment study and the accompanying management plan will be strictly adhered to and closely monitored through joint efforts of the Developer and Government.
For benefit of both Exumians and the resort, the Developer will construct and fully outfit a medical clinic, police station and a fire station at Barratarre which will be transferred to Government and staffed and maintained by the relevant agencies. Also planned for development on acquired private land at Barratarre is the project’s back-of-house facility, a solar farm, support services and a residential subdivision for resort employees.
To this end, consultations with the residents of Barratarre and the Project Manager are ongoing with a view to ensure direct community involvement which seeks to share full project information with all stakeholders, remedy residents’ concerns and incorporate the residents’ suggestions into project development. These consultations aim to make certain the Barratarre Settlement benefits economically and socially from all related project activities.
The resort will add to the economic and social development of the Exumas and will certainly be another bright spot in The Bahamas archipelago of Islands. Among its benefits is the high-end branding affiliated with a prominent European family; and diversification of the tourism industry in the form of a 5-star experience for high net worth individuals.
The direct impact of the development will result in a significant increase in business activities for Bahamians in the areas of small aircraft services, boat and ferry services, food, beverage, hardware, material suppliers, fuel suppliers, security services, brokerage, freight and logistics businesses, maintenance, waste and refuse disposal services, construction industry wide contractors and intra-island transportation. The Developer, in partnership with the BAMSI, will train and support local Exumian farmers for the supply of fruits and vegetables to the resort.
Employment prospects for the residents of Exumians will be increased significantly as the project intends to employ 350 – 400 Bahamians for construction works over a 5-year period. The projection of the number of employees required for resort management and operations within the first 2 years is 223 persons and within 3 years to 8 years there will be 312 persons employed. The Developer in collaboration with the National Training Academy and BTVI will set up a training programme for prospective employees to train them to provide highest international standards of service.
Lead Project Manager for the eco-friendly resort is Michel Neutelings of the Milo Group who has been instrumental in the development of some of the most elite resorts in the Caribbean and the Atlantic including Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Guanahani in St. Barts and Old Bahama Bay Resort on Grand Bahama Island.
This momentous occasion is yet another indication of foreign investors’ strengthened confidence in the economic policies of my Administration and bodes well in all aspects for the people of The Bahamas. This resort development certainly fits well into the overall development plan for the Exumas. I would like to thank Ms. Bertrarelli for this major investment in The Bahamas which will see the creation of a very distinctive upscale residential resort, … the magnificent pristine environs of The Exumas. I assure her of the full cooperation of my Government.
Bahamians can be assured that Government is mindful of sustainable development protecting indigenous Bahamian settlements and culture, and indeed our pristine waters, land and Cays, and has therefore implemented measures to avoid and mitigate any changes not beneficial to our country.
The Bahamas is progressing as planned, as my Government continues to attract foreign direct investment to benefit our people and maintain a pro-business climate for Bahamian entrepreneurs.
The outlook for The Bahamas is bright!