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Ground broken on $250m Long Island port

The ground breaking ceremony yesterday. 
Photo: Moise Amisial

The ground breaking ceremony yesterday. Photo: Moise Amisial

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

AZUL Destinations broke ground yesterday for the construction of a $250m resort and cruise port for south Long Island.

The multimillion-dollar project, called the Calypso Cove, will consist of a 200-bedroom hotel, mega yacht marina facilities, interior pools, casinos, a cruise port, cruise pier and 18-hole golf course.

Other features will include a zip line, rock climbing wall, sporting activities, excursions, among other amenities.

Some 300 people are expected to be employed during the project’s construction phase that will take place over a two-year period.

A heads of agreement for the project’s development was signed between the government and Azul Destinations and Calypso Cove Destinations Ltd in October.

Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony on the island yesterday, Carlos Torres de Navarra, Azul Destinations’ principal, thanked the government for its support of the project.

He explained why developers chose to invest in Long Island, saying no other destination offered what the island had.

“In the 20 plus years I’ve been in the industry, and I look at all the destinations that our ship sails to, there is obviously aspects of a vacation that people want and there’s a laundry list of items and there all boxes need to be checked off, but not every destination has that,” Mr Torres de Navarra told those gathered.

 “But, we believe that Long Island does and so for our project, Calypso Cove, it will be the first destination where you can say all of the boxes are going to be checked off, but not only for the benefit of just one cruise line, but for the benefit of the entire industry.

 “So, it’s this multi-brand approach that is going to be unique to Long Island so in addition to getting off the ship and enjoying the retail and the restaurants and the food and beverage areas and the shore excursions, they will be able to enjoy a beach.”

 He said officials were doing due diligence to ensure that the project is in accordance with environmental safety regulations.

 “We’re still in the process of doing all the analysis as well as the environmental impact assessment and so that’s going to take a little bit of time so we hope that you can keep a little patience with us on this. I certainly would love it to be tomorrow, but unfortunately it takes its time and it needs to be done in a responsible way,” he added.

 However, Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis, in his speech, later told developers that there was not much time left.

 “I hear them talking about time and time. Well, we don’t have much time,” he said in response to developers’ earlier remarks.

 Mr Davis added: “I’m talking to Sherif who said, ‘we gone move as quickly as possible’ so we’ll get those environmental studies done and looked at and ensure that there’s a proper environmental management plan that our environment is not destroyed – because a component of the development is to ensure that they preserve a lot of the nature, natural habitat and landscape in this area.”

 He wished the developers the best and also committed his administration to doing its part in ensuring the project is a success for the benefit of all.

 “We are committed, and we need to ensure that opportunities for Long Islanders, as for any islander, is the same as it is for those in New Providence. We’re committed to that, and we will continue on that journey,” he said.

 For his part, Tourism, Investments and Aviation Minister Chester Cooper said he was happy for Long Island, adding that this latest project was just the beginning of what’s to come for residents there.

 “I am happy because something is happening for south Long Island after all these decades,” Mr Cooper said.

“When we first had a visit from these developers, it wasn’t that long ago, they laid out a vision for this area. We embraced it immediately. That was less than a year ago. They made an application maybe five or six months later and the rest is history.

 “We processed it quickly in record setting time and we put a shovel in the ground. That is how we work.”

 He also foreshadowed the coming of a new airport for the island, which he said is expected to be built in a “very short timeframe.”

 Long Island MP Adrian Gibson, who was present at yesterday’s ceremony, highlighted the need for a new terminal, saying a new airport along with the Calypso Cove development will be “the catalyst that propels Long Island to heights yet unseen.”

 “An airport coupled with this project here today,” Mr Gibson said, “will result in new businesses throughout the island from construction to Airbnbs and other bed and breakfasts, to restaurants to retail, tours and to various new investments and we will also see many Long Islanders returning home, staying home after graduating high school and returning to invest in this island.”

Comments

Sickened 1 year, 7 months ago

Just tell the politicians that their tip is buried somewhere in the sand and by george that place will be dig up in no time.

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

Yup, looks like they have already moved on from mining, minting and cashing in on digital tokens using hard currency funds stolen from others.

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 1 month ago

Hi. I'm still alive and doing well at my ranch here in Montana, with only occasional trips now to The Bahamas to visit family and close friends who do not have the means to flee as I did. Most of them constantly talk about how their standard of living and the Bahamian way of life has been completely obliterated by unchecked and totally out-of-control corruption by the wealthy political ruling class and their wealthier financial backers, both Bahamian and foreign. I feel for everyone who once enjoyed a good life in the Bahamas but now find themselves struggling daily while living in abject misery. Only the elitist political ruling class and their super wealthy friends can enjoy anything that the Bahamas has left to offer. Truly sad for so many.

TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't believe AZUL Destinations PR people, didn't thought it would present a feel uncomfortable moment - contrary to the positive imaginary intended whilst brokin' ground to be photographed alongside the RedParty's embattled island's House MP, --- Yes?

themessenger 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, I guess brudda Watson gwine be axed remove his recently established conch shack georgie bundle from lovely Gordons beach, yes?

sheeprunner12 1 year, 7 months ago

The event was held on Gordon's beach, but the actual site of the future resort is THREE miles further south near Cape Verde. That "ceremony" was only for photo ops.

themessenger 1 year, 7 months ago

@sheeprunner12, Thank you for the "clarification" my brother, although I'm aware of that having recently dined at brother Watsons establishment and checked out the Cape Verde site from the boat. Just taking the piss out of the "ceremony" and the suits!

Baha10 1 year, 7 months ago

… has anyone verified if these Guys are actually funded … or if they actually “own” any land … as from what was reported earlier they openly admitted to hoping to use the Heads of Agreement to go and “find” $, which if so, represents a significant change in historical Government Policy and in turn if so, begs the question why this opportunity was not afforded to Bahamian Citizens to knock on doors with an HOA in hand, particularly if they own no land are merely peddling “a Dream”????!

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