By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Uncertainty over Treasure Cay’s post-Dorian recovery and future ownership is dampening its economic prospects and resulting in “endless” streams of revenue being left untapped.
Dan Proctor, chairman of Atlantis Condominiums on Treasure Cay, told Tribune Business it was “frustrating” not to know whether Dr Mirko Kovats’ bid to acquire the Treasure Cay resort from the Meisters is progressing.
“At Atlantis, our complex consists of 40 condominiums and, out of that number, we currently have three that are occupied,” he said, “not because they’re not ready, but very simply because the infrastructure on the island has not been repaired.
“So we have told homeowners not to rent or come back to the island for extended periods of time. It’s just not a good environment, and the real story here is not about us as second homeowners. The real story is about the negative economic impact to local Bahamians.
“We could create many, many jobs, as we have done for many, many years. In the past, if we had basic infrastructure, we would have many owners coming back anxious to rebuild and anxious to spend money on services - from cleaning services to supporting local home-cooking operations.”
The revenue streams that would be created if Treasure Cay homeowners returned are “endless” and just “waiting to be filled if we could get government support and get support from the Meisters. We’ve been abandoned by government, and we’ve been abandoned by the Meister family”, Mr Proctor said.
The Meister family has been seeking to sell the Treasure Cay Resort for years. They have been negotiating a deal with Dr Kovats since 2020, but it is unclear whether the sales agreement is making progress towards a closing. Dr Kovats’ controversial reputation has also sparked concern, and opposition, from some Treasure Cay residents.
This prompted Chester Cooper, deputy prime minister, to say the Government will ensure there is a “harmonious relationship between investor and resident” if any sale matrerialises seeking the necessary approvals.
Mr Proctor said: “The Meisters have been trying to make that sale for many, many years, and with Hurricane Dorian they recognised that it would be in their best financial interest to simply bulldoze much of the community and to try to find a buyer for the property.
“Maybe it’s only from my perspective, but the circle of people I have been talking to on the island, they are not excited over Dr Kovats buying the resort.”
Mr Proctor laid out what he called the “four S’s” that must be dealt with on Treasure Cay so residents can have some level of comfort: “The first is the sale of the property, and it’s critical that something be determined soon,” he said.
“The second is the sewerage, which we’ve all talked about over and over. The third is silence and the lack of communication. The fourth is security and safety. We don’t really have good fire protection.”
Boat theft on the island is still a major concern, as well as breaking and entering into vacant homes. Only one police officer is assigned to the community, and Mr Proctor said: “We can’t continue on like this.”