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Family Island News
Second home market energizing Eleuthera’s resurgence
Written by BIS   
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 07:58

GOVERNOR’S HARBOUR, Eleuthera – The island of Eleuthera is on track for a major economic boom, which will return the island to its former glory, making it one of the most prosperous islands in the country said Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie as he delivered the keynote address at the 3rd Annual Eleuthera Business Outlook, Thursday, May 21.

Mr. Christie said that this impending economic boom in Eleuthera could be attributed to the island’s strong second home market.

“In terms of tourism development, the economic model of mainland Eleuthera is still evolving, “ he said. “The Ministry of Tourism’s records reveal that with 376 second homes actively engaged in short-term rentals, the islands of Eleuthera and Harbour Island are out paced only by Abaco in the Bahamian home rental market.  Of that number, 290 are located on mainland Eleuthera, with seventy-five percent of these homes located in the settlement of Governor’s Harbour.”

Prime Minister Christie said that the venue at which the event was held -- French Leave Eleuthera, a high-end condominium development – spoke volumes of the kinds of investments that second home owners were making in the country.

He also referred to the recent signing of a Heads of Agreement between the Government and Cotton Bay Holdings and Mine Holdings Limited, which will develop a five-star resort on the island in a very short time.

Prime Minister addresses third Eleuthera Business Outlook
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:29
MAY 21, 2015


Let me first congratulate Mrs. Joan Albury and her team who are now in their third year of organizing this wonderful and informative business seminar series which has been hosted on the islands of New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Exuma and Eleuthera.

Having just signed an agreement for a major development in South Eleuthera last week, it gives me great pleasure to be afforded this opportunity to address the communities of Eleuthera at your Business Outlook on the subject of “Securing Eleuthera through Planning, Partnership and Productivity”.

Let’s start with Planning.

You know, Governments continually engage in a process of planning and do so with the caveat that we cannot plan for today for today is already here. Our planning efforts, therefore, must focus on building a bridge to the future.
Mangrove Bush Primary School students visit the Governor General
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 22 May 2015 09:45

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Grades five and six students of Mangrove Bush Primary School, Long Island, paid a courtesy call on Her Excellency Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling at Government House on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina’s goodwill program to assist young girl to obtain corrective eye surgery
Submitted by John Bell   
Thursday, 21 May 2015 06:37

(Left-to-Right) Ms. Ava Ellis, Assistant Principal at Bimini Primary School; Ms. Lisa Util; Mr. Oscar Munroe, Island Administrator; Ms. Dafna Ronis, General Manager Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina; and Mr. Wesley Rolle, Principal of the Louise McDonald High School. (Photo Credit: Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina)ALICE TOWN, Bimini -- As part of its ongoing Community Goodwill program, management at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina is assisting a young, local high school student to travel to the United States for corrective eye surgery.

General Manager Dafna Ronis recently donated $1,000 to Lisa Util, a 15-year-old for airfare to fly Lisa to the United States for the surgery procedure.

Tulsa, Oklahoma optometrist Tom Vanderpool and group of surgeons from the Triad Medical Center are donating testing, surgery and after-care. Vanderpool recently met Lisa on a trip to Bimini.

“She is a near sighted as anybody I’ve seen in 41 years of practicing optometry,” said Vanderpool. “She would really benefit from eye surgery, which we can and will provide in Oklahoma, if we can get her there to do the surgery.”

Vanderpool described the procedure, called Refractive Lensectomy, as complicated, but common in the U.S. The procedure, which involves removing the lenses from the patient’s eyes and replacing them with new implanted lenses, typically cost around $8,000.

Government presents single largest regatta subvention
Written by BIS   
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 08:10

Pictured during the cheque presentation to the Mangrove Cay Regatta Committee are from left Cephas Cooper, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government; Cindy Gay, Officer-In-Charge of the Regatta Desk; Minister Gray; Commodore Larry Bastian, Chairman of the Mangrove Cay Regatta Committee and Dr, Philip Rahming, Ministry consultant.NASSAU, Bahamas -- It was all smiles today at the Island Traders Building on Bay Street when the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon. V. Alfred Gray announced that the government will assist the All Eleuthera Regatta Committee this year to the tune of $45,000, the single largest public subvention to date for family island regattas. This year’s regatta will be held at Governor’s Harbour during the week leading up to the annual Independence Day celebrations.

“Let me say that regattas are very important to the economic landscape of these family islands” said Minister Gray, highlighting the government’s deepening commitment to this important cultural, economic and historic event. Minister Gray promised that as the Minister with responsibility for regattas, he will be “ensuring that this regatta be the biggest regatta in the history of Eleuthera.”

Minister Gray also took the opportunity to appeal to food vendors and restaurant operators to be especially sensitive to the financial circumstances of the participants in these regattas, pointing out that the allotted per diem for the boaters is around twenty-five dollars per day and the pricing schedule of some of the restaurants and vendors is prohibitive which creates challenges for the boaters.

Overall, few will argue that family island regattas have become the dominant domestic tourism product, stimulating the economies of virtually every major family island.

On hand for the presentation was Central and South Eleuthera Member of Parliament the Hon. Damian Gomez who went further, stating that the all Eleuthera regatta is part of an overall strategic plan to market Eleuthera as a family oriented water sports tourism destination.

Jobs forecasted for South Eleuthera with Cotton Bay resurgence
Written by BIS   
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:21

At the signing of the Heads of Agreement: Seated from left is Mrs. Danya Parker-Wallace, Assistant Director of Legal Affairs in the Office of the Attorney General; Wendell Major, Secretary to the Cabinet; Christel Sands-Feaste, Legal Counsel for the Cotton Bay project; Sir Baltron Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister; and Candia Ferguson, Director of the Bahamas Investment Authority.  Standing is Mr. Alinio Azevedo of the Four Seasons Hotel Chain; Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis; State Minister for Investment the Hon. Khaalis Rolle; Prime Minister Christie; Tourism Minister the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe; the principal Dr. Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo; his son Juan; and Central and South Eleuthera Member of Parliament and State Minister for Legal Affairs, the Hon. Damien Gomez.  (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)ELEUTHERA, The Bahamas -- Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie led a delegation of Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials to South Eleuthera to witness the signing of a Heads of Agreement between the Government of The Bahamas, Cotton Bay Holdings Limited, and Mine Holdings Limited on Friday, May 15, 2015 in Rock Sound.

The Heads of Agreement is for the construction of a five-star, $100 million luxury Four Seasons 115-room boutique hotel, 40 private residences, an 18- hole world class Robert Trent Jones golf course, spa, restaurants, recreational facilities, a commercial shopping center and employee housing.

Initial buildout is expected to generate 200 construction jobs, and 300 permanent jobs for the operation of the resort.  Mr. Christie said that the ‘multiplier effect’ of indirect jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in Eleuthera will add hundreds of additional jobs in the Eleuthera economy.

Prime Minister Christie said he was happy to join the principal of Cotton Bay Holdings Dr. Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo and executives of Four Seasons for the official signing of the Agreement.

Dr. Sarmiento, a Columbian citizen and prominent business magnate “is a remarkable success story,” said the Prime Minister.  Mr. Christie said Dr. Sarmiento through his holding company, Grupo Aval, acquired considerable fortunes from his investments in banking and other enterprises to become one of the wealthiest men in South America, and a long-time investor in Eleuthera real estate.

National Training Agency solidifies presence in Exuma
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:21

GEORGE TOWN, Exuma -- The National Training Agency (NTA) held its first Graduation Ceremony and Official Office Opening on the island of Exuma on Monday, May 4, 2015 at St. Andrew's Anglican Parish Hall.  Graduates and other attendees battled inclement weather to attend the landmark event.  Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service the Hon. D. Shane Gibson addressed the Graduation Ceremony and officially opened the NTA offices. Thirty-three young people have been successfully NTA-trained and 50 percent have secured full-time employment.  (NTA Photos)

New Graduates of the National Training Agency in Exuma, May 4, 2015.

E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival moves on to Bimini
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 07:29

BAILEY TOWN, Bimini – The E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival took place in Bailey Town, Bimini, on Friday, May 8.  BIS Photos by Patrick Hanna.

Bimini Boys Choir, Bimini Primary School, Bahamian Singing.

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