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D'Aguilar Urges 'Jaded' Owners To Help Develop Harbourfront

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

Tourism Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar revealed yesterday he is trying to engage harbourfront real estate owners over plans to develop and create economic activity in the downtown district, but acknowledged they were "very jaded" having seen repeated talks with government fall though over the years.

While addressing tourism industry stakeholders at the British Colonial Hilton yesterday, Mr D'Aguilar said: "When you look at downtown Nassau and the port of Nassau, that is not something I would not necessarily be proud of. The government is seriously underresourced to correct that problem. I'm thinking that some sort of public private partnership in the management of that port is probably the best solution. Now when you come onto Bay Street, that is another issue because you have so many different owners at varying stages of wealth. Trying to get all of them in one room to agree to do one thing is a challenge."

He continued: "In order to make Bay Street better, it needs three components, a living component, parking component and a food and beverage component. Right now, it has no parking component or living component. I'm trying to engage the owners, seven of them I believe. I'm going to start there and see if we can create economic activity and build out that space. You have to bear in mind the owners are very jaded. I have to rebuild their excitement about doing something down there.They have started and stopped so many times they are jaded about starting again. I'm working on that. That's one of the first meetings that I had when I took office."

Back in 2014, following China State Construction's acquisition of the British Colonial Hilton, then Prime Minister Perry Christie indicated that: "The developer has indicated its willingness to join in a public/private sector partnership with the Government and other stakeholders along Bay Street to implement an overall plan for redevelopment, extending from Arawak Cay in the west to Potter's Cay in the east."

Brent Symonette, now Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration minister had previously told Tribune Business that he and his family, along with other property owners, had provided the Government with various options for the boardwalk, which is supposed to run east from the British Colonial Hilton all the way to Potter's Cay Dock. He warned, however, that downtown Nassau's major property owners, his family among them, would not invest in the redevelopment of their landholdings until the Government gave them "the rules of the game". Potential changes to height restrictions on downtown Nassau buildings is viewed as one of the impediments. Current height restrictions in the downtown Nassau area limit properties to a maximum of four storeys.

Comments

killemwitdakno 2 months, 1 week ago

You don't need parking. Just trolley in. It'll be like City walk Orlando.

There's enough to do in the rest of Nassau in a short amount of time , sounds like you've never looked at TripAdvisor. Local Tour guides should be lined up with their busses like in Roatan and Cayman.

Should have got the Chinese to build a waterfront for all their damn trouble.

If Oasis Freeport and Lucaya can't be helped, I don't expect the harbor to appear.

Try to preserve Bay's historical image as well.

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killemwitdakno 2 months, 1 week ago

A sampler is never going to spend the same as a overnighter unless the cruises were parked for 24 hrs, but still, no one is going to blow $1500 in one day on their first stol when the cruise is expensive and all inclusive.

Focus on conversions. Quirky promos like collect points for discounts on any future travel when you check in at participating locations. Hello foursquare and fb check ins, there's other apps too.

Nassau and the other islands should be promoted on those strange private islands.

Some cruise excursions offer boat charters to another island for a day. Although the private islands aren't close enough to Nassau.

You've got to utilize the onboard hosts as well , share knowledge of loca shoping with them as it's their job to direct person to what to buy at the port. Make sure theirs enough on the cruise room commercials. Maybe local places can submit. Utilize reps to distribute your own MOT brochure when docked, even if gorilla. (Why am I doing all this without getting paid .. )

Free wifi on Bay will always be a catch since the internet is $100 onboard.

Y'all owe me this $1m you just cut from Freeport's office.

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killemwitdakno 2 months, 1 week ago

You don't need restaurants either if theeyre not lining up. Just bring in the food trucks.

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John 2 months, 1 week ago

No one is going to invest in downtown unless there is a comprehensive and workable plan that is target specific and purpose intended. Meaning just to rebuild downtown just for the sake of rebuilding it will be unsuccessful and a waste of money. Local Bahamians have abandoned Bay Street or have been forced off. So less than 10% of locals will venture downtown. The high end tourists too see the city center as a delipadated dump and while stores like Quantum, John Bull and Colombian Emeralds survives because of their worldwide brand recognition, no one really goes to Bay Street for a real shopping experience. Then there are the cruise ship passengers. They are on a budget, most likely and many use Bay Street as a thoroughfare to the Beaches: The less shopping distractions, the better for them. So Downtown must now become a living city that has residents in it and where it can sustain itself. Any additional attractions must be secondary. The traffic will have to be rer/regulated during certain hours of the day and easily accessible is a must.parking

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SP 2 months, 1 week ago

Tourism Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar is heading for a brick wall trying to revive and incentivize these people with failed plans from Pillage Loot Plunder and Foreign National Movement.

Mr. D'Aguilar did not say why or what reasons caused former talks to stall, however, money and the perceived questionable return on investment probably weighed heavily with stakeholders.

The Colonial motif of port Nassau should be recognized as the main tourist attraction in itself and should be kept, restored and enhanced.

Minister D'Aguilar needs to approach this situation from "out of the box" and resist the age old Bahamian government habit of trying to reinvent the wheel starting by inviting stakeholders on a one day working tour of Key West Florida to show these people "real live" successful examples of the various business possibilities that could be easily duplicated in Port Nassau.

Minister D'Aguilar, as all former Pillage Loot Plunder and Foreign National Movement administrations, also totally missed the most important "components" of a resort destination which is entertainment and activities that exponentially extend the "working hours" of a destination, improve visitor experience, increase the potential for profits, employment opportunities, and government revenue.

The Achilles heel of Mr. D'Aguilars' three components of living, parking, food, and beverage is they are all heavily reliant on customer volumes which translate to the potential volume of sales.

The best incentive to any investor is a measured guarantee of ROI which would be immediately accomplished by making Port Nassau a duty free shopping zone which would incentivize visitors and locals alike to shops on Bay Street resolving the question of "need" for investment in his "three components".

Government would rake in revenue through VAT on duty-free sales, increased NIB collections from shop employees and obvious spin offs as money flows through the economy.

The same formula would work wonders in Freeport and throughout the family Islands.

Pillage Loot Plunder and Foreign National Movement worked assidiously to fail at everything they touched. They'er only "success" was they'er complete and utter failure to improve the lives of our people!

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John 2 months ago

The demise of Bay Street came about when previous governments and property owners harkened to the voices that be and removed Bahamians off Bay Street. Not unlike they did on Paradise Island and other parts of the Bahamas where they spared no efforts to make (black) Bahamians feel unwelcome. The real and genuine tourists applauded Bahamians for their warmth And friendliness but this group who have racial separation and discourse in their own homeland seem to have an agenda to disenfranchise every single black Bahamian and steal their birthright. We must not allow this to happen. Just watch when their operatives post even on here. The descriptions they use for Bahamians. Subhuman, animals, predators, wild animals. The government must stop yielding to these goons and stop selling our country and our young people short. Cater to the real and genuine people and let those who want our young people held at Bay go elsewhere .

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John 2 months ago

Yes we have some bad apples, but allow them to be wed out and removed rather than holding all Bahamians captive. When you go to parts of the Abaco's and other Family Islands and see how people get along, that is representative of how all Bahamians lived. And we need to bring this back to New Providence. Stop letting foreigners who have theis own issues and their own hidden agendas dictate to us.

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