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ABACO -- Southern Comfort clinched first place for the second consecutive year at the 31st Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament, held June 25-28 at Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort, in Abaco.
Owned by Peter Angel from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Southern Comfort caught the lead when they released their second blue marlin on the last day of the tournament. Big T's Too took second place with a blue marlin release on the first day the tournament, earning owner Bob Wolsey from Sarasota, Florida, the Top Angler trophy based on time.
In the Fun Fish Division, Chui, owned by Agostino Campi from New York City, won the Top Wahoo trophy with a 16.5 lb. fish and the Top Tuna award with an 18.5 lb. blackfin. Big T's Too grabbed the Top Dolphin award with a 23.9 lb. fish, also winning a $1,000 bonus award from Rubis Bahamas, Ltd.
Stephen Kappeler, general manager, commented: "Having the tournament late June made it easier for participants to include families. The international mix of anglers enjoyed the camaraderie of this world-class competition."
Cliff Bootle, tournament director, added: "Our diverse field of sport fishing boats and a center console enjoyed flat calm seas for the crossing and fishing days."
Known as the best tournament value in The Bahamas, the Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament is a modified release tournament with three days of fishing, parties and dinners. Tournament anglers donated $2,200 to the Treasure Cay Primary School. Sponsors included Rubis Bahamas, Ltd. and Treasure Cay Beach, Marina and Golf Resort. The co-sponsor/official weather provider was Weather Routing, Inc. The Official Fighting Chair was Pompanette and Bristol Cellars contributed to the cocktail parties. The tournament was sanctioned by www.InTheBite.com.
A 180-acre private island in the Exuma Cays is presently under contract, less than two months after the sale of the 167-acre Children's Bay Cay was finalized, Guardian Business understands.
After being on the market for less than year, a prominent Swiss woman purchased Children's Bay Cay, a private island located just north of Great Exuma, back in September.
George Damianos, president and managing broker at Damianos Sotheby's International Realty, said these latest transactions have "broken the ice" and created some movement in the Exumas, an area that has remained stagnant for several years.
"The billionaires of the world are attracted to the Exuma Cays and the private islands in the Exumas. I think it's fantastic for Exuma that the island has been sold. It's been awhile since an island of this size and at this price level has been sold in the Exumas," he said.
"This sale does fit that category and it's wonderful that The Bahamas has been able to attract these types of people."
While the asking price for the exclusive beachfront property was set at $29 million, it is unknown what it was actually sold for.
Children's Bay Cay has seven pristine beaches, a gazebo, hidden grottos, coconut trees and vistas, and a brand new private marina. It also has three houses, a one-bedroom cottage with a kitchen and bath, a caretaker's quarters with two bedrooms, two baths and a security unit, a large seaplane/helipad ramp, three boats, a power plant and an 8,000 gallon/day reverse osmosis system.
Sources on the island have also confirmed to Guardian Business that work is presently being done on Children's Bay Cay and nearly three months ago, a delegation of government officials including Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle, Minister of the Environment Kenred Dorsett and BEST Commission representatives visited the property with the new owners.
The purchasers of Children's Bay Cay have now joined an exclusive group of private island owners in the Exumas including Johnny Depp and David Copperfield.
Earlier this year the Ministry of Tourism unveiled its $15 million advertising campaign - that had also been designed to attract investors - beginning with star-studded ads featuring former NBA player Rick Fox, international supermodel Shakara Ledard and world-renowned magician and illusionist David Copperfield. The campaign was rolled out in February.
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe suggested Copperfield's involvement would create a significant investment draw.
"(Copperfield's) appeal would be to the potential investor because he came here and bought Musha Cay. When you look at who goes there, you are talking about extremely high-net-worth individuals like Oprah Winfrey. So, we are also going to be using David Copperfield," Wilchcombe noted.
The government has given approval in principle for the development of a $50 million Exuma resort, which will introduce a "new niche" - the first "over-water-bungalows" in The Bahamas - and create over 100 jobs, according to its developer.
So long as a few remaining conditions are met, Leaf Cay, a private 13.1-acre island located in the Exuma island chain, will be turned into a commercial resort where 16 over-water-bungalows, seven private villas, eight two-unit townhome villas and five "tree top bungalows" will be available to guests, along with a 30-slip marina and fuel dock, a restaurant and bar, an infinity pool, tennis courts and an over-water spa.
The plan is to sell the villas but enter them back into a rental pool.
The project is being developed by Roger Cardinale, president of the International Division for CEC Entertainment, which develops, operates and franchises the Chuck E. Cheese's family entertainment center brand, in conjunction with business partner, owner of Time Ventures, a yacht charter company that tours the Exumas, Peter Vazquez, along with his wife Kim.
Guardian Business has been informed that Vazquez received a letter granting approval in principle for the project from the government this week, 19 months after making their original application submission to the government.
"It's very exciting and we are really thrilled that after 19 long months, it's here. Unless I am mistaken, I think we would be the first project for approval for over-water bungalows in writing in The Bahamas. "We will create a special new niche in the tourism market never seen before in The Bahamas or this part of the world.
"People from North America will no longer have to do 14-hour flights and countless plane changes to get to over-water resorts. I believe there's been a few popping up in the Caribbean, but they are more eco-type. We would be the first resort of this kind to be tied into a private island with the type of amenities we have."
According to the developer, the project has been approved based on a number of conditions, requiring Vazquez to meet certain requirements laid out by the Bahamas Environment Science and Technology (BEST) Commission, among others.
And the government required that the developer scale down the project from initial plans from 30 over-water bungalows, 10 tree top bungalows, 10 two units condo units and 11 villas.
"We've already submitted the EIA for the basic stuff on the island itself and a special EIA we did for the bungalows; that's all been submitted to BEST, now they are asking for some very detailed reports, like a 20-, 50- and 100-year storm surge analysis," said Vasquez.
In an earlier interview with Guardian Business, in which he lamented delays and non-information in the approval process, Vazquez said that the government would be setting itself up for a surge in tourism of a kind never before seen if it approved the over-water bungalows.
Speaking with Guardian Business yesterday, Vazquez said that once final approval is received, work could be completed on the resort within two years.
Meanwhile, he said he and his partner have been speaking with companies who are showing "strong interest" in branding the resort.
"We're in negotiations with a few," he said.
The project has been engineered by Arzall Engineered Timber Solutions, the company which designed and engineered the top-rated Four Seasons Bora Bora resort.
Vazquez said he was extremely thankful that the wait to find out if the resort would be approved has now come to an end, adding that he felt the prime minister and Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle had ultimately "shared our vision" for how the resort could begin to transform the Bahamian tourism product.
Funeral Service for the Late Sally Agnes Francis, 73 years of Portago Road and Davis Street, Oakes Field, will be held on Saturday May 12th, 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Boyd Road. Msgr. Alfred Culmer will officiate. Interment will follow in St. Agnes Cemetery, Nassau Street.
Husband: Christopher Francis, Sr.
Daughters: Christal Francis, Michelle Murray, Monique Thompson, and Bridget Butler
Sons: Christopher, Jr. and Francis Francis; and Donald Barrett
Daughters-in-law: Marzelle and Sharon Francis; and Tia Barrett
Sons-in-law: Bertram II, Murray, Patrick Thompson and Perez Butler
Grandchildren: Christan and Patrick Pratt; Marvin, Mark and Franshon Francis; Brandon, Byron and Bertram III, Murray; Alexandria Thompson; Peron and Paige Butler; Tre, Dominic and Taij Barrett; and Chenara (Quinton) Carey
Grand-daughter-in-law: Jovonne Pratt
Great-Grandchildren: Mya Francis and Quinton Carey, Jr.
Children dear to her: Ashley & Amanda Major and Garfield White, Jr.
Sisters: Angela Sands, Rose-Marie Powell, Cleo Williams, & Janet McDonald
Brothers: Hubert Dean, William, Patrick and Kendal Saunders
Sisters-In-Law: Diane Dean, Myrelda Cargill, Thelma Saunders, Delroe Lecky, Evangeline McGill (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Edna Gooden (Trenton, New Jersey), Florinda Smith (Bronx, NY) and Audrey Smith
Brother-In-Law: Dudley Powell
Nieces and nephews and their families: Cecile Dean-Heastie, Terecita Dean, Jewette Wisdom, Lorian and Augustine Dean; Brenda Thompson, Linda Jones and Brendalee Connell; Kent and Trevor Sands; Sharon Lawrence, Kim Minnis-Collie, Sandy Wilson, Janice Taylor, Wayne Albury and Dave Percentie; Dwayne and Marlin Powell; Rochelle McPhee, Maurice and Jeffery Williams, Jasmine Jones and Sharice Colebrooke; Wayne and Michael Saunders and Deborah Thomas; Kela, Shawna and Samuel McDonald; Jewel Saunders; Denise and Wesley Ingraham and Deborah Moxey; Matthew and Mark Lecky; Calvin and Brian McGill and Denise Clare; Sarina, Eloy and Terry Gooden; Carlton, Errol and Anthony Smith.
Other Family and friends including: Mr. & Mrs. James Butler and family; Mrs. Mavis Tinker and family; Mrs. Meta Bethel and family; Mrs. Marina McCarter and family, Ms. Anne-Marie Ferguson; Ms. Pamela Meyers, Mr. Arthur & Mr. Lawrence Hargray and families; Mr. & Mrs. Ray Saunders and family; The family of the late Cecilia Duncanson; Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Joseph and family; Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Galanis and family; Mr. & Mrs. George Murray and family; Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Murray, Sr. and family; The family of the late Rowena Thompson; Mrs. Alfreda Butler and family; Mr. Stanley Pratt; Mrs. Gertrude Burnside and family; The family of the late Iris Colebrooke, Mrs. Diane Dean; Mrs. Grace Douglas; Mr. & Mrs. Wellington Johnson and family; Mrs. Torkel Smith and family; Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Mott; Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Gomez and family; Mr. & Mrs. Ivan Minnis; Mr. & Mrs. Kendal Campbell and family; Mr. Isaac Rolle; Mrs. Natalie Nairn and family; Ms. Patricia Ingraham and family; Mrs. Venencia Thompson and family; Mrs. Monica Sands and family; Mrs. Eleanor Butler; Ms. Elaine Butler; Mr. Paul Bullard; Mrs. Delores Nottage and family; Mr. & Mrs. Francis Cancino; Mr. & Mrs. Norman Seymour and Family; Mr. & Mrs. Chris Knowles and family; Mr. Earl Thompson; Mr. Winston "Tappy" Davis and family; Mr. & Mrs. Paul Sharma and family; Mrs. Marileta Bethel and Family; Mrs. Trudie Miller and family; Mrs. Geneva Thornton and family; Mr. & Mrs. Justin Roberts and family; Ms. Florinda Bastian and family; Mrs. Pearl Turnquest and family; The Campbell family; Ms. Pat Minnis; Mr. Paul Symonette and family; Mrs. Margaret Claridge and family, The Culmer family; Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Major and the entire Oakes Field Community; Ms. Geraldine Brown and family (Bimini); Reginald Poitier and family; Valarie Lundy and family; Ruth Donaldson and family; The St. Helena's Club Family; Ms. Margaret Smith and family; Mr. George Collymore and family; Mr. Charles Clarke and family; Mr. & Mrs. Michael Cartwright and family; Mr. Warren "Doc" Thompson and family; Msgr. Alfred Culmer, Deacon and Mrs. Gregory Taylor; Msgr. Simeon Roberts; Fr. Reginald Demeritte; Mrs. Barbara Tynes; Dr. and Mrs. Percival McNeil and family; Mr. & Mrs. Asa Ferguson and family; Mrs. Marilyn Cox and family and the entire St. Joseph Parish Community; Archdeacon Ranfurly Brown and family, Canon Warren Rolle and family; Reverend Father Neil Nairn and family; The St. Agnes Church Usher Board; The ACM and ACW and The St. Agnes Church Family; Mrs. Rose Thompson; Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Braynen; Mrs. Jan Russell and family; Ms. Ida Farrington and family; Mrs. Charlene Musgrove and family; Mr. Dillard Nairn and family; Mr. Jared Albury and family; Ms. Myrtle Gardiner and family; Mr. & Mrs. Steve Barnett; Ms. Betty Tinker; The Doctors, Nurses and Sitters of Doctor's Hospital; Dr. Krill and Mount Sinai Hospital (Miami Beach, Florida); The BATELCO Retirees Association; The Water & Sewage Corporation, Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd., Cititrust (Bahamas) Limited; and The Administration, Staff and Students of Queen's College.
MAY SHE REST IN PEACE
Friends may pay their last respects at Bethel Brothers Morticians, Nassau Street on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday at the Church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.
Peter Nygard, a well known philanthropist and contributor to sports in the country continues to impact the communities in The Bahamas with meaningful donations.
For more than 25 years, Nygard has sponsored the annual Acklins Regatta. He came on board once again when the call was made by 'King' Eric Gibson for the August 3-6 event. The two-day race will be held August 4-5 while the homecoming festivities will take place during the Emancipation Holiday weekend.
Gibson said: "Thanks once again for sponsoring the Acklins Regatta and the Cat Island and Andros. What he (Nygard) is doing is a clear gesture to help people that need help. I have a lot of admiration for people like Peter. What we need on this island is a couple more Peters. If we get about three more Peters on this island, then we will be straight."
The annual regatta, being held in 'King' Eric Gibson's honor also received funding from Palm Cay Marina Living and CEO Richard Browning. His contributions were made public on Thursday, as he pledged his continuous support to the sport in the country.
Nyard's donations were made earlier in the month, just before the annual Andros Regatta and homecoming festival. "I just wanted to do something good for the islands and for the sport of sailing, which I really love," said Nygard. "The sport in itself is so great. It is easy to support the islands they are wonderful treasures of The Bahamas so it makes it very, very easy to support. I am a nature lover. I love all the nature of The Bahamas; this is a very easy mix for me. I want to give recognition to the sport and to call out on many other people to support these wonderful activities that the people of Acklins and all of the other islands are putting together. We need to bring attention to it and attention to the sport. Highlight it and really motivate more than just me to get behind them. I really want to act as a catalyst to make this thing happen."
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local government V. Alfred Grey, who also is responsible for regattas thanked Nygard for his generous donations on annual basis.
Noting that regattas are very important to the Family Islands and their developments, Gray described Nygard as a tower of strength to the various communities.
Minister Gray added: "I want to say that Mr. Nygard has been and continues to be a tower of strength to the regatta community. Every island has been touched by his generosity and the government and the people of The Bahamas appreciate your constant giving. My view is that you have done more for sailing than any one person that I know and that speaks to your kindness."
Colina Insurance Limited has announced a four-week promotion in order to raise awareness of the role of insurance in warding off the stress associated with financial unpreparedness.
"At Colina we know the stress that financial uncertainty can cause," said Melanie Hutcheson, corporate communications officer at Colina, yesterday in a statement. "Our comprehensive life and health insurance plans are proven tools in providing peace of mind in the aftershocks of life's unpredictable events."
The 'Less Stress Makeover' promotion for September is designed to offer dozens of prize-winners a stress-free September through increased awareness of financial planning.
Participants will be required to answer a question - "what's your stress?" - in order to win one of several prizes, including an all-expense-paid vacation to a premier Family Island resort.
"Many of the prizes offer practical solutions to everyday stressors and, in this economy, they can meet a real need," said Hutcheson.
"There are also some feel-good prizes for those who just need a little pick-me-up. Ultimately, the goal is to raise awareness of the need to plan for life's what-ifs."
To participate in the contest, entrants must visit the website lessstressmakeover.com and answer the question. For several winners each week, Colina will offer prizes to meet the stated need, providing solutions for major stress-inducing challenges such as rising college tuition, struggling to maintain a healthy savings account, escalating gas and grocery prices and mounting utility bills.
The grand prize is a four-day/three-night stay at Cape Eleuthera Resort & Marina with a round-trip airfare courtesy of Bahamasair. Daily mini-stress-busters such as mini-spa treatments or an escape to the movies that will be won randomly by radio station listeners are also part of the promotion.
Colina Insurance Limited is The Bahamas' largest provider of life and health insurance and related financial planning products. The company services more than 100,000 clients throughout The Bahamas.
Cape Eleuthera Resort & Marina is a premier resort community. In September 2011 the resort was recognized as a 2011 Fodor's Choice selection. This distinction designates Cape Eleuthera Resort as a leader in its field for service, quality and value in 2011.
The Sandyport Beaches Resort and Hotel received a publicity boost this week when it was recommended by The New York Times as a "serene" place to stay when in Nassau.
Travel writer Brendan Spiegel included the popular resort in an article featuring 11 of the island's best attractions for the tourist seeking a subtler, more authentic Bahamian experience. Spiegel praised the popular Sandyport resort for its "picturesque collection of villas in a gated marina community near Cable Beach with waterfront views and a serene atmosphere."
Sandyport Beaches Resort and Hotel president Rowena Jones said she and her staff were thrilled with the recommendation.
"What a terrific article done by The New York Times that speaks to the authentic island experience. Our guests love our tranquil setting, villas and our warm hospitality and it is great to see the writer, Brendan Spiegel, felt that too," she said.
Sandyport Beaches Resort and Hotel recently won the coveted RCI Gold Crown Resort award, the highest of RCI designations as determined by industry expert evaluations and vacationers' comments. The 72-suite resort, nestled between luxury canal-front residences and the bustling commercial centre of Sandyport Marina Village, is one of only three resorts in The Bahamas, and a select number worldwide, to meet RCI's requirements for this recognition.
Sandyport Beaches Resort and Hotel is located just west of the casino and night-life of Cable Beach in Nassau's cosmopolitan western district. Just a few minutes' drive from both the old colonial charm of Nassau's Bay Street and the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
Biminites are being invited to apply for dozens of job openings now available at Resorts World Bimini (RWB), as the resort looks to build on its 463-strong employee base.
A career fair is being planned for the island on June 4 under the theme "Your career is about to take off at Resorts World Bimini".
The event will be held between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or beyond, depending on the response, said the company.
The drive to hire more staff is in preparation for major expansion at the resort, which includes the openings of The Port at Resorts World Bimini this summer and a 325-room luxury boutique hotel in late fall. Applicants will be vying for positions in the hotel front office, housekeeping, slots, casino credit, food and beverage service, culinary, marketing, marina, transportation and security departments.
According to RWB President Dana Leibovitz, the career fair is expected to build on RWB's contribution to the island's economy, as well as national employment figures.
"Much more than a vacation destination, Resorts World Bimini is also an economic engine for The Bahamas and the islands of Bimini," said Leibovitz. "Our new hotel, paired with the construction of the cruise ship pier and airport expansion, will create hundreds of new jobs and enhance the island's standing as a destination among visitors from South Florida and around the world."
RWB's stated that its employment plans may be considered welcomed news, in light of the national unemployment figures, which now stand at 16.2 percent, a 2.2 percent increase over the previous year. Leibovitz said candidates who are successful in obtaining employment with the resort will have many opportunities for advancement.
"We are putting in place an impressive program that will include employees traveling to our properties worldwide for cross training," he said.
"We will also be working closely with the Ministry of Tourism and other agencies to implement training courses at the resort for our employees."
Prior to the opening of the casino, the resort had approximately 170 employees inclusive of 44 part-time associates. Today, there are 463 employees, 160 or 34.6 percent of them hailing from the island of Bimini. RWB's goal is to significantly increase those numbers through a successful career fair. Biminites are being encouraged to prepare themselves for the exercise as interviewers will be looking for service aptitude, work history and stability.
Resorts World Bimini is currently facing a legal challenge of aspects of its development work on Bimini and is seeking to have an injunction, which has stalled the dredging works it has undertaken, removed. The dredging is taking place off the coast of the island as part of RWB's North Bimini ferry terminal project. A group of concerned citizens, known as the Bimini Blue Coalition, challenged the dredging project on environmental and procedural grounds, which resulted in the Privy Council ordering a temporary injunction of the work.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The smell of the sea fusing with wood-fire grilled Mahi-Mahi, Mediterranean and Bahamian flavours permeating from the kitchen and spectacular ocean views just footsteps from the surf will all provide a sensational culinary experience at Palm Cay in the coming weeks.
Celebrated chef Lise Russell and veteran restaurateur Peter Rounce are teaming up to add Billfish Grill to the island's diverse restaurant scene by mid-December and with the ocean on one side and a 194-slip marina on the other, the stately tropical styled eatery's ambiance and menu are competing to be the main attraction.
"Our goal is to combine the natural beauty of Palm Cay with fusion cuisine, so the overall culinary experience is as much about the atmosphere as it is about the food," said Chef Russell. "My cuisine isn't typical so it's hard to put a label on it. Billfish Grill will feature Bahamian flavours in a non-traditional Bahamian way, pairing sweet and savory mixes and the menu will constantly evolve with the seasons to ensure we're getting the freshest of what is available in each season."
Tapas-type appetizers like "Smoke-n-Sweet" (dates stuffed with goat cheese, oranges and almonds wrapped in bacon) and "Black-n-Blue" (baguettes topped with homemade blue cheese spread, beef tenderloin and caramelized mushrooms, onions and tomatoes) are served to share with the table. A wood-fire oven will be installed to prepare a combination of pizzas, burgers and high-end dishes with the highest quality of all natural meats.
As the name suggests, seafood will be a main feature with a unique "Catch-n-Cook" offering so fisherman or guests can bring in their fresh catch and have the chef prepare the dish for them.
Palm Cay has launched a major new promotion, reaching out to the 1.5 million visitors daily who come to New York City's Times Square via an advertisement that will appear on a huge screen in the world famous site for over a month.
As New Year's Eve revelers pulled scarves and loved ones closer to battle the bitter cold, the sight of townhomes and palm trees on a stretch of white sandy beach with a view of the clear blue sky and turquoise sea sparked dreams of paradise.
The unexpected appearance of the award-winning community with two short words on the screen, Palm Cay, and the website, Palmcay.com, was part of an ongoing ad campaign that between December 27, 2013 and February 1, 2014 will be viewed by tens of millions of people.
For Palm Cay, which was recently awarded the first ever Developer of the Year Award by the Bahamian Contractors Association, the exposure was the highlight of an ongoing drive to draw attention to its $200 million fully-funded family-oriented active community with a wide array of residential options, a 194-slip marina and more.
And for The Bahamas, it represents free exposure. Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle said the sight of Palm Cay on the huge screen in Times Square was a welcome surprise.
"Someone who was in New York told me about it and when I looked online and found it was true, it was great," said Rolle. "You can't pay for that kind of coverage. On behalf of the government I would like to congratulate and to thank Palm Cay for what they represent as a community, and for what they have done to place The Bahamas in such a prominent position and high profile, especially at this time of year when what weather experts are calling an 'Arctic hurricane' is freezing much of the U.S. and the sun is shining on our shores."
According to Palm Cay Sales & Marketing Director Zack Bonczek, the marketing team was able to capitalize on a long-established relationship with the firm that arranged for the extraordinary coverage.
"We are appreciative of Horizon's selection of Palm Cay as a client it wanted to reward because as Minister Rolle said, 'you can't pay for this kind of coverage'. We are thrilled with the response and proud that Palm Cay was able to draw such attention to The Bahamas."
Bonczek said it was too early to tell whether the exposure was driving business, but admitted it had been a very encouraging year for the nearly 70-acre development on the southeastern shore of New Providence.
"2014 looks like a very promising year and you can't ask for a better start than a billion people viewing Palm Cay on New Year's Eve and another 1.5 million people seeing it 168 times a day for 37 days. That's just about 1.5 billion people who caught a glimpse of the beauty of The Bahamas," he said.