EXPERIENCES, DEVELOPMENTS & INVESTMENTS
Located just off the Florida Coast, Grand Bahama Island offers miles of soft, white sandy beaches with tiny settlements dotted along the shoreline.
The destination provides three distinctly different experiences:
1) Vacation adventures on the Eastern end of the island. Visitors can explore miles of pristine pine forests and nature-based soft adventures such as kayak nature tours; bird watching; and tours of the Lucayan National Park and Caverns as well as bone fishing. Also at East End one can visit the Gold Rock Creek Movie Studios, the primary location for shooting of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Pirates II was released on July 7, 2006 and Pirates III is set for release Memorial Day 2007.
Just a few minutes away by boat can be found several cays. The more popular one is Sweeting’s Cay, a quaint fishing village with a population of 400 people, most of whom live by selling lobster and conch in the city of Freeport. The village stretches approximately one mile and has electricity and a driveable road.
2) Exciting nightlife, shopping, gaming and golf abound in beautiful upmarket resort brands, and live entertainment can be found in the Count Basie Square in the Port Lucaya Marketplace. Freeport/Lucaya is the second largest city in the islands of the Bahamas.
3) Authentically Bahamian cultural experiences can be found at the Western End of the island. Centuries old traditions abound in the friendly communities named for prominent Bahamians, from Mack Town and Pinders Point, to Deadman’s Reef where a recent archaeological dig along the eroding beach front unearthed many artifacts belonging to the Lucayan Indians, as well as hearths, animal bones, pottery pieces, and shell beads. One of the most important Lucayan archaeological sites discovered to date has been dated at around 1200-1300 AD.
Located on the western tip of the island is the oldest settlement on Grand Bahama Island. This picturesque fishing village is probably best known for its history as a liquor smuggling town during the prohibition.
Grand Bahama Island is currently served by 3,000 hotel rooms and time-share units, two 10-hole championship golf courses and one casino.
Additionally, there are a number of approved investment projects which will add additional hotel rooms and time-share units.
INVESTMENTS – General
Grand Bahama Island is projected to benefit from over $4.5 billion in tourism investments over the next 15-20 years, (doubling the current resort capacity and re-commissioning at least three additional golf courses within the next five years), resulting in an emerging destination of choice with a combined total of over 16,000 hotel rooms, time-share units, and second home accommodations, 8 golf courses and at least two casinos, with two additional airports and a brand new cruise port.
INVESTMENTS – Ginn Development
In West End the Ginn Development Company is investing some $3.7 billion in developing the following:
a) 4,200 one, two and three bedroom Condominium units;
b) 1,800 Single Family residential home sites;
c) 1,500 luxury room hotel;
d) Championship Golf Courses and Clubhouses (Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer design)
e) 145-slip Marina accommodating mega yachts
f) A private airport
g) A casino
h) Swimming Pools and Water Park facilities
i) Tennis Complexes
j) Beach Clubs and Spas
k) Various commercial undertakings and retail businesses which will be operated by Bahamians.
DEVELOPMENT UPDATE – MAY 2007
Barbary Bay Development (Morgan-Stanley), Barbary Beach, Lucaya was described as a 2,000 acre mixed use residential and resort community; a focal point of the new development will be a super yacht marina with associated retail and residential amenities; two new golf courses with associated residential communities and a resort core with a major hotel and casino.
According to Graham Torode the Barbary Bay Development will developed in phases. The initial phase will require major infrastructural/horizontal development. Vertical development is not expected before 5 years.
Interestingly, Morgan-Stanley has reportedly had discussions with Foxwoods (USA) about operating the casino on this site and that Foxwoods may be interested provided no additional casino licenses are issued east of the Barbary Beach Development. The Raven Group (U.K based) proposes a 1,500 acre mixed use development in Old Freetown (west of the North Riding Point Fishing Lodge) which will require the establishment of a Fixed Base Operation (FBO) at Grand Bahama International Airport and the re-routing of the Grand Bahama Highway, in order maximize the use of waterfront property.
The first phase of the resort will include the construction of a 50-room, 30 villa exclusive Aman resort. Construction of the resort is projected in 18 months. The resort developers have expressed concerns about meeting the service requirements of the brand, and were advised that the government recognized the need to increase training opportunities with particular interest in developing skill sets for the growing hospitality and tourism industry; that the government would be receptive to exploring opportunities with Johnson and Whales University; as well as exchange training programs.
Ginn Company Update ñ Present: John Davies, Sr. Vice President of Development Infrastructural development for Ginn Sur Mer, in West End, Grand Bahama is moving forward as projected. There are approximately two hundred workers onsite involved in the operation of heavy equipment. The administrative staffing levels remain unchanged and there will be a continuation of horizontal development through April 2009
- Completion of single family homes (for the promotional purposes) by fall 2008. Although it takes approximately 18 months to complete a Ginn Designed House. The company utilize fabrication system will allows the construction of a base and erection of structure within six weeks.
- Golf course construction, will commence in 2009 and take two years to completion
- Construction of condominium units will also commence in 2009
- Ginn is concerned with up to eight month delays involve in loan approvals by local banking institutions. KYC rules prohibits the sale to individuals wishing to purchase homes and condos in a corporate identity.
- Ginn is also concerned with the lack of response received from GB Utility Company in addressing it water supply requirements. The developmental requirements phased increases from 250,000 gallons per day? To 5 million gallons over ten years.
- Monthly project status reports are submitted to Joy at Financial Services.
- Old Bahama Bay, currently hosting a Fishing Tournament is experiencing positive occupancy levels at the marina and hotel.
- Concerned about the negative impact of the recently implemented Fishing Regulation, the company has asked that the Government seek to address the matter at the earliest opportunity.
Old Bahama Bay
Old Bahama Bay is one of the key developments in Grand Bahama that has created more than 180 jobs for the residents of Grand Bahama.
The development includes the following:-
- A Spa
- Maintenance and Housekeeping Center
- 55 room Condo/Hotel
- 24 new hotel rooms which are currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2006
- 72 slip deep water Marina
- Fine Dining, casual and beachfront Restaurants
- Watersports Center
- Customs and Immigration facility
- Ship Store and Chandlery
- Fitness Center
- Real Estate Sales Center