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$200m Deal Signed With Govt To Bring Five-Star Resort To Exuma

Prime Minister Perry Christie and Dona Bertarelli, developer of the $200m project.
Photo: Shawn Hanna

Prime Minister Perry Christie and Dona Bertarelli, developer of the $200m project. Photo: Shawn Hanna

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE government signed heads of agreement yesterday with billionaire Swiss businesswoman Dona Bertarelli for the development of a $200m project on Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay, Exuma.

The project, Prime Minister Perry Christie said, could create about 250 jobs during its construction phase and between 350 and 450 jobs during its operational phase.

The resort’s opening is scheduled for late 2019, with a groundbreaking ceremony set for later this year.

The development promises to include a five-star resort and golf club, a boutique 50 pavilion-room hotel, five over-the-water pavilions, five estate homes, a clubhouse comprising a restaurant, boutique library, screening room and bar and lunches.

“Williams Cay will be a private section of the resort and will contain an ecological oriented 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Fazio,” Mr Christie said.

“For the 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.”

Of Ms Bertarelli, Mr Christie said: “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 the 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.”

The Christie Administration has been criticised in the past for signing heads of agreements before developers begin the process of obtaining necessary approvals and permits. Critics have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of developments and a lack of consultation with residents before such agreements are signed.

Perhaps aware of this, Mr Christie addressed the impact the development could have on the area at some length, and considerable effort was made by those involved in the signing to emphasise the efforts the developer will take to protect the environment.

This includes creating a Marine Protected Area “wherever potential exists” and employing the best practices in golf course design. It involves using solar power where appropriate.

“As will all project developments,” Mr Christie said, “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 the government.”

As for resident consultations, Mr Christie said this is “ongoing”, and will involve “direct community involvement” that seeks to be transparent while addressing the concerns of residents.

Comments

Godson 3 years, 2 months ago

Hello: in the words of Donald Trump, "OUR COUNTRY IS GOING TO HELL"; he was referring to the USA but this is also the case in The Bahamas; hence, this is the reason for us all to become more POLITICAL in order to stop this downfall of Our Beloved Country.

All of what we are saying in our posts, in fact, goes to emphasizes THE NEED FOR ALL OF US BAHAMIANS TO GET POLITICAL. All eligible Bahamians need to register as soon as possible. That is the only way we can be a part of change for a positive difference.

THIS TIME AROUND, THE NEED IS URGENT AND PRESSING FOR ALL BAHAMIANS TO 'GET POLITICAL' and REGISTER NOW for the next general election.

PLEASE GO AND REGISTER A.S.A.P and do more by encouraging others to do so as well. - Thank you.

Godson Nicodemus Johnson

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jus2cents 3 years, 2 months ago

Not a very flattering photo of the three people behind the PM, no smiles, cocked heads, hands in pockets, one appears to be asleep but it may just be bad timing, who knows!? Still why do they insist on having these awful uncomfortable posed lineups?

Anyway, bigger issue at hand- This is probably a good project for the islands, investment in the Exumas is needed, it is in-keeping with the high end Exuma visitor and 'appears to be' a low impact and sensitive development however. Why the Hell are they putting a GOLF Course on Williams Cay!? Go to Nassau, Grand Bahama or Florida for Golf, don't rape and pillage these pristine and fragile islands, once it is gone it can NEVER be put back, that is Never Ever!

There are golf courses on New Providence that are sitting derelict and empty. Just manage what you already have in the Golf department, please don't start any more.

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B_I_D___ 3 years, 2 months ago

They havin' to play nice to a white woman with $$...hence the looks...

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TruePeople 3 years, 2 months ago

They have to rely on the blessing of white people to invest in this country. We done see how the yellow people dem is go about their investments

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Economist 3 years, 2 months ago

Another "project" yet to be built, yet to open, yet to materialize......tiring.

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shortpants 3 years, 2 months ago

Bag man SHAME LOOK at the eyes them $$$ FIGURES just about made him say FUK now I can build me another set of complex twice the size that I have now ..

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jus2cents 3 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately things didn't go very well for the last Swiss investor and his investment of $900M. I Really hope things turn out better for this Swiss investor, you gotta give her props she has spirit. Also for giving the Bahamas a chance to redeem our image to potential investors.

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