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Family Island News
SuperFast cruise ship promotes Bimini businesses
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Saturday, 19 July 2014 14:49

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- A promise made by Resorts World Bimini (RWB) to promote businesses on the twin islands onboard the Bimini SuperFast cruise ship has been fulfilled, and the featured establishments are already feeling the effects.

The series of five videos which airs onboard the ship as it sails from Miami to Bimini, informs passengers of what they can expect upon arrival to the island in the areas of dining, historical sites and attractions, water sports and ecotourism, sports fishing, and accommodations.

RWB completely underwrote the production cost of the videos as a goodwill gesture to the business community on the island, a promise that was made during a meeting with members of the Local Government Town Council. Many business persons have since reported that they have been receiving positive feedback from visitors who advise that they saw their establishments advertised on the videos. One such business person is “Bonefish” Ebbie David, who says he has seen a direct result from the videos.

“I just took some people fishing who told me they got to know who I was through the video,” he said. “People keep telling me about it. I’ve gotten some really positive feedback.”

Nate Hanna from Nate’s Variety of Bimini Bread had a similar report.  “New and old customers are coming in, telling me that they saw me on the ship,” he said. “Even the new customers are telling me how nice I look in the video, and all I do is laugh and say thanks. I’ve been getting good response from it.”

First tourist wedding makes history on Ragged Island
Submitted by Charlene Lockhart-Bain   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 08:12

Report by: 'The Voice in the Wilderness' Ragged Island, Bahamas

RAGGED ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Happy couple Martin and Paula travel all the way from the United Kingdom to say “I do” on the beautiful shores of Hog Cay, Ragged Island this week. 

The history-making ceremony was performed by Senior Deputy Administrator Theophilus Cox and arranged by Ministry of Tourism representative Charlene Lockhart-Bain and is reported to be the first tourist wedding on Ragged Island.

Post-wedding, the reception was held at Maxine’s Beach Party Shack, Hog Cay and was attended by most residents of Duncan Town.

(Photo by Sade)

BNT educates future environmentalists with various presentations
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Monday, 14 July 2014 11:42

Photo 1: The Bahamas National Trust wishes to encourage the youth of The Bahamas to conserve and protect their environment. Over the last few weeks, Director of Parks, David Knowles have been speaking to students throughout the Bahamas on the importance of national parks and other protected areas. Below is Knowles and a group of students who are currently enrolled at at the Friends of the Environment Abaco Research Center (ARC) in Marsh Harbor, Abaco. (Photo Courtesy of The Bahamas National Trust for Barefoot Marketing) ABACO, Bahamas - The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is on a mission to educate the youth on conservation and the environment, throughout The Bahamas and internationally with the help of BNT’s Director of Parks, David Knowles.  

Knowles has been working with the BNT for more than six years and is proud to be apart of an organization that strives daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas, through stewardship and education for present and future generations.  

Just recently, he gave a presentation to students who are currently enrolled in summer courses at the Friends of the Environment Abaco Research Center (ARC). Friends of the Environment have been in operation for almost thirty years, but the ARC has just recently been established in Marsh Harbor. The center is used for hosting high school and University programs, conducting field courses and presents opportunities to partner with scientists on long-term research projects. The summer courses will help students take a more in depth look at diverse ecosystems and marine life.  

In his presentation, Knowles covered an array of topics such as habitat conservation, environmental careers and opportunities, as well as Abaco’s Protected Areas and the BNT’’s role in managing and establishing protected areas. When asked about the experience, he commented, “It was great to present at this workshop for Friends of the Environment, particularly where Bahamian students are involved. These students are the future leaders of our country and their knowledge is critical to the decision-making process that they will be involved in the future.” Data gathered in the courses will also be used to assist on-going research and support other conservation programmes.  

Knowles then traveled to the Cape Eleuthera Institute, to present at the school’s Research Symposium. This event was a culmination a semester-long research class, where students became involved in all aspects of research. His presentation covered National Parks with a specific focus on Marine parks, BNT’s conservation goals and the research needed to help with national park management. 

Guy Harvey Outpost’s inaugural Beach Bash Bonfire and Tournament brought crowds to Bimini Sands Resort & Marina
Submitted by Alina Quintana   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 11:02
Photo: The inaugural Guy Harvey Outpost Beach Bash (Ned Stone/Guy Harvey Outpost).More than 300 guests Attended Burning Marlin Celebration  

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida -- The inaugural Guy Harvey Outpost Beach Bash, Bonfire and Tournament came to a close on June 29th with Captain Bouncer Smith guiding Victor Bermudez to a first place finish and award of the Burning Marlin Trophy. The weekend’s closing ceremonies included a sky diving performance and the lighting of a 30-foot-tall Blue Marlin steel sculpture designed by acclaimed artist Bobby Little before a crowd of more than 300 at the Bimini Sands Resort & Marina on South Bimini. Proceeds from an on-line auction of weekend fishing charters with Captain Bouncer Smith benefitted Bimini marine conservation programs.  

Made from recycled rebar, the Burning Marlin sculpture will be dropped next Spring into the Bimini waters where it will function as Biorock®. This will enable species of coral to grow faster within the sculpture than they would in natural reef structures. “I am always looking for ways to give back to the islands that have given so much to me,” noted sculptor Bobby Little.  

“Sustainable tourism is always at the heart of what we do,” commented Outpost President Mark Ellert. “Bimini is in our DNA and we’re thrilled to be back. We also know a few things about art, and with our plans to create an annual Burning Marlin festival for artists, anglers, families and friends of Bimini we intend to start of a new tradition on South Bimini.” Guy Harvey Outposts celebrated its return to Bimini after two years of growth throughout the Caribbean, Central America, the Galapagos and elsewhere in the Bahamas.  

The Beach Bash opened with Jesse Cors of Outpost Extreme Sports leading a sky diving team that parachuted into the Friday night beachside cocktail party, setting up a second jump the following evening to light the Burning Marlin.  Days were filled with family-friendly beach and watersport activities organized by the Bimini Sands Activities Center, including scuba diving with world record-holder Neal Watson of Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center and excursions to Honeymoon Harbour to snorkel with wild stingrays, tours of the mangrove lagoons, Bimini Nature Trail, and the Bimini Sharklab.  

Tilloo Cay Reserve provides a great habitat for seabirds
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Monday, 07 July 2014 11:25
Photo 1: Tilloo Cay Reserve Provides a Great Habitat for Seabirds: The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has a keen interest in protecting and conserving the birds in The Bahamas, and to aid in this mission, the BNT recently did an assessment on the White Tailed Tropic birds in Abaco.  The assessments were done on Tilloo Cay Reserve last month, and several nests were found.  Pictured is the BNT team surveying one of the nests that were found. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ABACO, Bahamas – The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has a keen interest in protecting and conserving the seabirds of The Bahamas. To help advance in this mission, the BNT recently conducted an assessment on the White-Tailed Tropic birds in Abaco. The assessments took place in the Tilloo Cay Reserve, one of 6 national parks on Abaco. The team located several successful nests during the exercise.

“These assessments are conducted on an annual basis during breeding season to assess the breeding population and determine nesting successes of the White-tailed Tropic bird” said David Knowles, Director of Parks. “This assessment provided a great deal of insight on the birds, and is confirmed that there is still successful breeding occurring in the Reserve.”

During their assessment, the BNT team found eight active White Tailed Tropic bird nests with pre-fledging chicks and adults. The nests were found under coastal scrub vegetation and overhangs, and in stone crevices and in the Reserve.

Tilloo Cay Reserve was established 1990 to protect a pristine natural environment including important nesting habitats for seabirds. This recent assessment shows that the reserve is serving its purpose, as the birds are nesting successfully. In addition to being an important breeding and nesting site for the White Tailed Tropic, Tilloo Cay Reserve is also a breeding ground and nesting site for other tropic birds, the yellow-crowned night heron, several species of terns and other seabirds.

“Despite this good news, BNT concerned about the predation. While it is possible this may have been natural from a bird of prey, it is also possible that feral cats may still be on the island and are attacking the birds. We are asking all residents to help us preserve this sanctuary and to advise us if they see any cats in the area where the birds nest,” said Knowles. “Abaco residents are keen to support our parks and we hope together to keep Tilloo Cay’s birds breeding successfully.”

Miss Bahamas contestants shoot swimsuit calendar in Bimini
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:22
Miss Universe Grand BahamaBIMINI, Bahamas – Bimini is known for its warm summers, however temperatures were recently rising for a reason other than the sun as the contestants in the 2014 Miss World Bahamas and Miss Universe Bahamas pageants converged on the island for a swimsuit calendar photo shoot. The lovely ladies from throughout the Bahamas were photographed at Resorts World Bimini (RWB) by renowned photographer Jonathan Simms of Tropix Photographix, wearing swimsuits designed by Aquarelle Swimwear, a line that has been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

With the beauty of Bimini serving as a perfect backdrop, the contestants were shot exclusively at Resorts World Bimini, one of the sponsors of the upcoming pageants. The calendar will be released in December 2014.

This was the first trip to Bimini for several of the contestants who had an enjoyable time on the island, despite the long hours required for the photo shoot. Said Miss Universe Grand Bahama Tomii Culmer, “I had so much fun! I am definitely coming back to Bimini, but next time for a vacation.” Miss World Paradise Island Rontre Rolle was impressed by the warm welcome extended by Biminites. “The people here have been so friendly to us,” she said. “They really make you want to come back.”

The island’s residents got a chance to catch a glimpse of the beauty queens during a motorcade which preceded a swimsuit fashion show at RWB’s Sabor poolside in which the contestants wore swimsuits and wraps provided by several vendors in the Bimini Craft Market. The fashion show was a fundraiser for Miss World Bimini Cymphony Lockhart,whowillberepresentingtheislandintheMissWorldBahamaspageant. ResortsWorldBiminihaspledged to support Miss Lockhart’s fundraising efforts, including matching the funds she raises up to $2500.

Resorts World promotes pageants globally and says RWB President Dana Leibovitz, the opportunity to support the Miss Bahamas pageants and contestants was welcomed.

Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina awarded 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence
Submitted by John Bell   
Saturday, 28 June 2014 13:12

ALICE TOWN, Bimini — The historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina announced Friday that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award.

The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.

Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site.

“There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s customers,” said David Hess, who recently joined the internationally recognized resort property as General Manager. “With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on our customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

According to Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business: “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience.”

The 51-room Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina, a legendary outpost for fishermen, boaters and divers officially re-opened in 2010 following completion of a $3,500,000 renovation.

Newly-built Ocean Dream Beach Resort welcomes guests to historic Cat Island
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Friday, 27 June 2014 07:01

CAT ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Imagine a place so serene, so exotic and so inviting that its welcome mat stretches for more than 40 acres, offering breath taking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and its morning greeting is a warm kiss of freshly baked pastries.   You’re there.  This blissful seclusion is the newly built Ocean Dream Beach Resort located in Smith’s Bay, Cat Island.

An ideal escape for honeymooners and nature lovers, the Ocean Dream Beach Resort is a collection of six generously sized and vibrantly colored cottages, each providing spectacular hill top views of the Atlantic Ocean.  Each cottage, one bedroom or two, features cathedral ceilings and separated kitchen, living and dining rooms, king sized beds, plasma television, private outdoor patios, mini refrigerators, ceiling fans and indoor shower and tub combinations.  All cottages enjoy a comfortable distance of separation, providing for the ultimate in privacy.

Guests  at the resort’s art-filled restaurant, can enjoy exotic pastries baked daily using native fruits from nearby gardens or feast upon any of the fresh seafood caught from the pristine waters of The Bahamas, island-style.

The elegant yet laid back atmosphere of this Resort is the perfect backdrop for a small sized intimate wedding and the warm hospitality and personalized service of its staff will far exceed your greatest expectations. Let the experts at this resort help you plan that special day.

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