By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Castaways Resort and Suites continues to demonstrate its resiliency as one of Freeport’s premier small boutique hotel properties over the past three decades.
The 118-room property is experiencing full occupancy and has introduced new promotional rates to attract more local business, in addition to international visitors.
Russell Miller, owner of Castaways, said the resort has been in operation for 30 years and is 100 per cent owned, managed, and operated by Bahamians.
“There are not too many places on the island that can say that,” said Mr Miller.
Even in the midst of a 10-year economic slump in Grand Bahama, the property continues to provide upgraded service, hospitality, and a clean, safe environment for guests.
Despite struggles with bookings, Mr Miller indicated that they are encouraged and have taken steps to implement a new promotional programme.
“Bookings could be better. We are struggling again as most properties on the island are, but we are encouraged and we’ve seen some encouraging signs.”
The Castaways is located in the heart of Freeport, near downtown Freeport. Some of the amenities include a restaurant, a pool bar, pool, gym, and high speed wireless Internet. All of the rooms and suites have been renovated. The hotel has announced a new local rate of $48.99.
“We think we have an excellent product, we have the finest staff on the island, and we have a clean, safe environment here, and some great offerings and we want to encourage people to come stay with us,” Mr Miller added.
With the closure of the former Royal Oasis Resort and Casino, business in the area has declined.
Mr Miller believes a new hotel or development in Freeport would breathe life into the city.
He said: “This used to be a thriving area with the International Bazaar, hotel and casino, and pretty much all of that has gone away so we continue to struggle. But the good thing is that our location is the best location to the downtown area.”
The hotelier said the resort has been able to benefit from some business with the shipyard groups that come in.
“They have been a huge supporter of the hotel and keeping things going. It is a quaint, quiet environment. We offer a clean, safe property, and the management team and staff here are very engaging,” he said.