Renovation projects at the Reef Village and Grand Bahama airport’s domestic terminal are on schedule, underpinning the creation of hundreds more jobs.
The Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr Michael Darville, along with a Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) team, got a first-hand glimpse of construction projects underway at both venues during recent site inspections.
Demolition work at the Reef Village is nearing completion, with finishing work set to begin on 500 rooms that will comprise the five-star resort set to be leased by Sunwing under the Memories brand.
Mr Darville said some 150 to 170 construction workers were employed on the project, with that volume expected to increase to morethan 350 within a few weeks.
“I’m very pleased with how the work is progressing and I anticipate that the projected completion date will be met,” the minister said. “The management team for Sunwing is on the island and they are quite satisfied with the progression of the work.”
The GBPA’s president, Ian Rolle, added: “We think that this is one of the most significant projects happening in Freeport for a few years to come.
“This is only one of many projects that will materialise over the next 12 months. It’s very important for us to focus on creating jobs at the moment, causing activities to happen in our economy and this is a very, very significant moment for Freeport.”
As Sunwing gears up to begin operating direct flights from Canada in January, and the all-inclusive Reef prepares to open its doors, more than 1,000 permanent jobs will be created.
“This is a five-star resort, so service is paramount. The Ministry for Grand Bahama, national training agencies and all of the schools here on Grand Bahama must now begin to play an active role in training to ensure that the service we provide is beyond expectations,” Mr Darville said.
To facilitate increased air arrivals, construction work at Grand Bahama International Airport’s domestic terminal has already begun. This will provide adequate facilities for thousands of visitors in transit to and from Grand Bahama.
Plans are already being made for the construction of a new state-of-the-art domestic terminal, which will be able to carry the load anticipated from Canada and other destinations.
Mr Darville added: “We are confident that the project will be on schedule, and residents of Grand Bahama will begin to experience the impact with bodies on the ground and the critical mass we need in the tourism sector to ensure that we now revamp and get our tourism product up and going. We’re excited about what is about to take place and for us, it means jobs, needed jobs for Grand Bahama.”