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Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace deserves high marks for his successes since assuming these portfolios. He has made strides in both areas despite the worldwide economic downturn which reduced tourism receipts and numbers. He has also had to contend with turmoil in the airline industry and a tourism bureaucracy in need of new thinking.
From his days as director general of the Department of Tourism he has long pressed for and has now been greatly assisted in his efforts by the current and ambitious program to modernize and transform the tourism infrastructure, the rationale and scope of which the prime minister outlined in a national address some months ago.
These infrastructural upgrades, long in coming, include the development of a new international airport for New Providence, the Gateway Road Project, the beginning of the revitalization of downtown Nassau, a new straw market and other upgrades on our capital island.
At the other islands of The Bahamas, which the minister and his team are now branding with more individual flavor, other infrastructural projects are in train for the benefit of Bahamians and visitors.
Marsh Harbour, the second busiest air gateway in terms of tourism numbers, is set to get a new airport and become one of the finest small airports in the region. It should not be forgotten the greater number of international airports The Bahamas has to upgrade and maintain in comparison to other Caribbean countries.
From Glass Window Bridge in Eleuthera to proposed new health care facilities in Exuma and road works in Acklins, "It's getting better in The Bahamas" has taken on a new currency. Our archipelagic nature, though presenting various challenges to national development is an extraordinary strategic advantage.
Minister Vanderpool-Wallace has often articulated his vision of tourism as a critical element of national development and as a force multiplier for ongoing diversification within the tourism industry and across industries.
Towards this end he has, as a matter of necessity, relentlessly focused on air links to and within the archipelago, as well as sea links connecting the islands in the chain and the chain to the world. He has also done so in recognition of the entrepreneurial and job opportunities for Bahamians.
The difference between what cruise and air passengers spend is obvious and clear. Not as clear to some are the differences in the economics of Bahamian tourism as compared to other Caribbean destinations. The tourism chief has had to focus on the benefits of both to the economy in general and to the overall tourism product.
In his dogged effort to increase airlift, the Minister has had to contend with consumer confidence in the U.S. as well as some observers who have conveniently ignored his efforts as well as facts on the ground. He has taken his less honest critics in stride. But airline and hotel executives as well as his staff have no doubts about his feverish efforts to increase the number of air passengers and hotel occupancy.
The aviation minister employed his renowned energy and creativity to expand airlift, including new services such as Air Canada and other global players to Exuma. JetBlue has now announced another nonstop flight to Nassau from the greater New York area (Westchester) beginning in November. It will mark the first regularly scheduled flight from that airport to anywhere in the region.
It is easy to forget that the declines the country felt in terms of stop-over-visitors and air arrivals were a result of the loss of the most lucrative part of the tourism business to The Bahamas namely the corporate group and incentive business from the U.S. market. It appears that the upturn in group business will be seen as early as this fall continuing into 2012.
It also appears that the July, August and September quarter is forecasted to be much stronger than last year as evidenced by both Atlantis and Baha Mar keeping all of their current inventory open as opposed to the closures of the Beach Tower and Wyndham, respectively, last year. There are also forecasted increases in room revenues in this quarter.
One of the greater game changers for tourism and the economy envisioned by the Minister of Tourism and Aviation is the expansion of business and tourism travel from Latin America to The Bahamas
With his successful negotiation of the new air link between Panama and Nassau that dream is being fulfilled through Copa Airlines. It is already exceeding forecasts from Latin America already having had more than six flights with aircraft that were larger than originally committed to the new route.
If sustained, the initiative will be one of the more groundbreaking efforts ever by a Tourism chief. It would provide regular service from Latin America to The Bahamas especially for potentially lucrative markets in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and other countries. It may serve the greatly valued market of high-end tourists, business travellers particularly in financial services, and other high net worth individuals.
It bodes well for our tourism industry that when it is summer in our traditional markets in North America and Europe that it is winter in some of the South American countries from which we will be seeking visitors. The burgeoning middle class in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are potentially lucrative markets.
In partnership with others, the Minister has ensured the removal of the visa barrier for a host of countries as well as worked to market the Bahama Isles to Latin Americans who may want a different vacation, one more similar to European tourists who prefer a more leisurely and culturally rich experience.
This may include marketing Grand Bahama in a different fashion for Latin Americans visitors and the rebranding of Freeport itself and Our Lucaya within this context, both of which are in their embryonic stages.
Already connected by history and trade through the Panama Canal, The Panamanian-Bahamian connection is about to get a boost in terms of two-way flows between the two countries made easier by nonstop and efficient air service. Bahamians will in all likelihood visit Panama in droves especially The Colón Free Trade Zone.
The Zone is at the Atlantic gateway to the Panama Canal and is "dedicated to [the] re-export [of] an enormous variety of merchandise to Latin America and the Caribbean. It is also the largest free zone in the Americas and second largest in the world."
Even as economic storm clouds continue to appear on the horizon, the Tourism Minister has sought to expand the country's options, which has included a greater effort in Canada. His efforts in Latin America promise to boost our overall market presence and provide Bahamians with additional business, touristic, educational and cultural opportunities in that region.
Mr. Vanderpool Wallace has demonstrated that he will continue to focus on the critical American market including air passengers and stop-over-visitors. The challenge that he and we continue to face is the ongoing improvement of the visitor experience and product.
This includes what we do in our homes and schools, businesses and civil society and heritage and cultural organizations to ameliorate the underlying sociological challenges which will enable more of us including our young men to take advantage of the world's premier industry, one that has proven sustainable for an ever diversifying Bahamian economy.
Despite the critics, the armchair pundits with grand but unworkable schemes and the self-serving and uninformed statements by some politicians who proved to be failures in tourism and aviation, the Tourism Minister has significant accomplishments.
There is probably no one who wishes that even more can and should be done in our primary industry than Vanderpool Wallace whom some are content to blame for much of the country's challenges in tourism while rarely giving him credit for successes in the same.
In difficult times the Minister of Tourism and Aviation has posted an impressive record. In better times, the country will be able to build on that record.
Saturday 15th September 2012 8:00 AM
International coastal Cleanup Day September. 15th, 2012 8am-12pm Project B.E.A.C.H. Dolphin Encounters Ocean Conservancy Sun, Sand & Sea...Celebrate Our Beaches! What to bring: water bottle & work gloves What to wear: T-shirt, Hat, work pants & closed-in shoes! It's that time of year again. Please join Dolphin Encounters for the annual Coastal Cleanup. Hope to see you there! Free Bus Transportation Every 30 minutes from 7:30am-Marathon Mall Town Center Mall Locations: South Beach ( Pool & Beach Sides) Bring 4 buddies and enter to win beach passes! (242)359-0278 Community Service Hours Available-Bring your Forms! email@example.com
EDITOR, The Tribune.
"I'm taking my talents to South Beach!"
These are the famous words uttered by Lebron James last summer when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers and joined the Miami Heat. Lebron's announcement shook up the basketball world; and for good reason. You see Lebron James is arguably one of the best basketball players in the world. He has proven himself by becoming a perennial All Star Player and by being a fixture on the All NBA Team. The hype that Lebron created speaks to his superior talent as a basketball player.
During the past four weeks, Dr Andre Rollins and Mr Renward Wells took their talents to the PLP. Additionally, Mr Cassius Stuart took his ta ...
A summer of record heat has led to extreme challenges for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) which once again shut down power to thousands of residences and businesses yesterday, as the demand for electricity simply could not be met.BEC blamed yesterday's rolling blackouts - the latest in a series of load shedding exercises - on another failed generator. This was the third generator to go offline this week.The generator has not been properly maintained due to the corporation's strained financial situation, said BEC in a statement. The corporation staggered yesterday's blackouts in two-hour intervals, impacting different areas of New Providence.BEC said between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. it would shut down power to customers in Lyford Cay, Old Fort Bay, Lyford Hills, Charlottesville, Jacaranda, Blake Road, Sea Beach, Caves Village, Sandyport and Soldier Road between Abundant Life Road and Balliou Hill Road.BEC expected to cut electricity supply to customers in Tyler Street, Nassau Street, West Bay Street (between Xavier's Primary School and Vista Marina), Augusta Street, Deans Lane, Meeting Street, Balliou Hill Road South, College Drive, Boyd Road and all side streets between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.BEC expected that between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. it would shut down supply to customers in Westward Villas, the Cable Beach strip, Lake Cunningham subdivision, Skyline Drive, Sanford Drive, Stapledon Gardens, Sea View Drive, West Bay Street, and John F. Kennedy Drive.Between 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. customers in Bamboo Boulevard, Pinewood Gardens, and South Beach were expected to have no electricity."Once again, the corporation apologizes to its customers and will continue to provide updates on the status of its generation challenges," BEC said in its statement.There have been rolling blackouts in New Providence since Monday when two of BEC's generators at its Clifton Pier plant failed.
One of those generators has since been brought back online. BEC said it has identified the problem with the second generator.
"The need for parts and extensive repairs means that the generator may be out of service for several days," said BEC.The corporation said the third failed generator is expected back online today. That generator is also located at the Clifton Pier plant.
"During this time, the corporation will continue to utilize the Generation Assistance Plan (GAP), relying on customers with large capacity standby units [capable of producing more than 1,000 kilowatts] freeing up capacity for other customers," BEC said. "Additionally, BEC is preparing to install the 20 megawatts of rental units. These units are expected to be operable by mid-month."BEC said with the GAP and the installation of the rental units, it would be able to limit the impact of any future generation problem on its customers.
Saturday 1st December 2012 7:15 PM
Under the distinguished patronage of The Governor General of The Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes and Joan Lady Foulkes, the Bel Canto Singers present Christmastide 2012. We are pleased to Feature A World Class String Quintet from The Peabody Conservatory of Music. Saturday, Dec 1st 7:30 pm Gala $100 (includes full Gourmet Reception and Wines) Silent Auction and Concert Sunday, Dec 2nd at 6:00 pm Concert only $25 St. Andrews Presbyterian Kirk, Shirley & Princess Streets Gala Night proceeds benefit The Solomon Wellington Adderley Memorial Fund – The AIDS Foundation of The Bahamas Lignum Vitae Center of Hope The Unity Centre Box Offices: Logos Bookstore, Harbour Bay Plaza, T: 394.7040 Custom Computers, Cable Beach - The Shops at Cable Beach T: 396.1100 Bel Canto will be presenting its 2012 Christmas performances at St. Andrew’s, The Kirk on Saturday, Dec. 1st at 7:15 pm and Sunday Dec. 2nd at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $100 and $25 respectively. Our concerts are held under the Patronage of His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor General of The Bahamas, and Joan Lady Foulkes. The concert will be recorded, as the group endeavors to reach a wider audience through the sale of compact discs (CDs). This year’s concerts will feature wonderful arrangements of your favorite Christmas carols arranged by Bahamian composers K. Quincy Parker and Sonovia Pierre. We are again delighted to have a world-class string quintet from The Peabody Conservatory of Music accompany the singers in the 50-minute concert. The Gala Reception, which is the best kept secret in The Bahamas, will debut a Champagne Cocktail cash bar this year. Wines will remain complimentary. Mr. McPhee comments: “For the past 7 years, I have been realizing my vision: to work with individuals, through musical productions, to have an impact on the lives of our members,m thereby impacting their communities. The mark of a good leader is discipline; and after having studied music for some 35 years, I know that talent and discipline create success. This formula is not unique to music.” International performing artist Lee B. Callender, pianist and piano/vocal coach said: “Bel Canto exemplifies its Italian name, “beautiful singing,” at its best. This group with its rich, full-bodied expressive sound is a delight to the ear. An exhilarating, captivating listening experience.” Bel Canto Singers, through its annual production of Christmastide, has raised more than $67,000 net for charities including The AIDS Foundation over the past six yuletide seasons. We are pleased to add The Lignum Vitae Centre of Hope and the Unity Centre to our list of worthy non-profit organizations that will benefit from the proceeds of the Gala Night. Mr. McPhee further comments: “I have seen BCS members grow as musicians as well as husbands, wives, partners, and parents. More importantly, I have seen members of this group come to learn and to understand what it means to become points of light in their workplaces, churches, civic organizations, and at play.” Bel Canto completed its first international concert, which was held in Columbia, South Carolina, on April 27th, 2008. Dr. Sandra Teel, Minister of Music at St. Simon and St. Jude Episcopal Church, said: “It was a marvelous pleasure to welcome such a professional, talented group to perform for us. The breadth of repertoire was fantastic – from Broadway to the stairway to heaven. How wonderful! And I’m looking forward to our next (and annual) event!” Another patron said: “The sound of the group was unparalleled. I could hardly believe my ears – so few voices, such a powerful sound.” For tickets or further information, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 242.431.6440
Mr. Shaxson will be
expanding on his views of "tax havens" at the
9th Annual OffshoreAlert
Conference, which will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in Miami
Beach, Florida on
April 4-6, 2011.
He will participate
in a session entitled
'OFCs or Tax Havens: Good or Bad for the Global
Economy'. Others, including former Cayman Islands Monetary Authority
Chairman Tim Ridley, will argue that offshore financial centers actually
benefit the international financial system.
Far from being
"dead", as is popularly believed, bank secrecy is actually still
"vibrant", according to the author of a new book on offshore "tax
Nassau, Bahamas - Some 50 Bahamians
will be gainfully employed as a result of five contracts signed by The
Bahamas Government on July 28 for the repair of boat ramps throughout
Public Works and Transport Minister the
Hon. Neko C. Grant said the ramps are "crucial" to the livelihood
of many individuals and contribute to opportunities for recreation and
relaxation for the general public.
He noted that the ramps are "strategically"
located and provide access to the sea from all directions on the island.
The ramps to be upgraded are Brown's
Boat Basin, Jaws Beach Boat Ramp, Gambier Boat Ramp, Marshall Road Boat
Ramp and South Beach Boat Ramp.
After taking a break for the Easter holiday weekend, the Baptist Sports Council will resume play in its 2012 Basketball League at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex on Saturday with teams in the three divisions jockeying for the four playoff spots.
In the 14-and-under division, defending champions Macedonia, runners-up Eagles Nest and Temple Fellowship are all tied at 2-1. In the under-19 division, Macedonia's A team is out front at 3-0. In the men's A division, Macedonia leads at 3-0 as well while St. Mark's tops the men's B division at 2-0 and Hope Center is also undefeated at 1-0.
Only three weeks are left in the regular season before the playoffs get started in May.
In the marquee game of the day, on the men's side, defending champion Temple Fellowship avenged their only defeat so far by knocking off the Eagles Nest 73-60 as Ian 'Wire' Pinder scored 19 and John Smith had 18. The losers got 20 from Tario McKenzie.
The big showdown in the 15-and-under division saw Macedonia also rebound from a previous loss to prevail with a 37-28 decision over last year's runners-up Eagles Nest. DeVonte Gibson had 12 points and Davon Adderley chipped in with 10 in the win. Rashad Stubbs had eight in the loss.
Surprisingly, St. Mark's stunned Golden Gates No. 2 42-38 to remain undefeated in the men's B division behind Chris Stuart's 11 points and Sevant Laing's nine. Denny Moxey had 14 and Vincent Strachan had 12 in the loss.
In other scores, Macedonia No.1 19-and-under defeated the Eagles Nest 52-49, after the Eagles Nest beat Macedonia No. 2 38-34; Temple Fellowship 19-and-under defeated Christian Tabernacle 45-38; St. John's nipped Mt. Nebo 19-and-under 33-31; BIBA men defeated Evangelistic Center 43-34 and Hope Center defeated Temple Fellowship 15-and-under 25-20.
Here's a look at Saturday's schedule:
10 a.m. Eagles Nest vs Temple Fellowship (15)
11 a.m. Hope Center vs St. John's No. 1 (15)
Noon Mt. Nebo vs Temple Fellowship (19)
1 p.m. Golden Gates No. 2 vs Evangelistic Center (M)
2 p.m. Macedonia No. 1 vs Macedonia No. 2 (19)
3 p.m. Eagles Nest vs St. John's (19)
4 p.m. Hope Center vs BIBA (M).
10 a.m. Macedonia vs St. John's No. 2 (15)
11 a.m. Eagles Nest vs St. Mark's (19)
Noon Macedonia No. 1 vs Golden Gates (19)
1 p.m. Temple Fellowship vs Church of the Nazarene (M)
2 p.m. Golden Gates vs Mt. Nebo (19)
3 p.m. St. Mark's vs Christian Tabernacle (19)
4 p.m. St. Mark's vs Evangelistic Center (M)
Here's a look at the team standings going into Saturday's games:
St. John's No. 1
St. John's No. 2
Macedonia No. 1
Macedonia No. 2
Christian Tabernacle 0
Men's A division
Church of Nazarene 2
South Beach Baptist 0
Men's B division
Golden Gates No. 2
Four American men were arrested over the weekend in three separate incidents for various crimes, including drug possession, police reported yesterday.
Police said defense force officers searched a pleasure boat moored off East Bay Street around 2 a.m. yesterday and found two unlicensed rifles that were not declared.
Two Destin, Florida, men, ages 57 and 43, were arrested, police said.
In another incident, police said a North Charleston, South Carolina man, 21, was arrested onboard a pleasure boat docked at Prince George Dock around 2 p.m. on Saturday for marijuana possession.
Police also said a Hialeah, Florida, man, 21, was arrested on Cabbage Beach for marijuana possession around noon on Saturday.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said the men are expected to be charged in court this week.
Of #25 Oleander Avenue, South Beach who died on Saturday, May 21, 2011 will be held on Sunday, June 5th, at 11:00am at Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Officiating will be Pastor Kent Price assisted by other Pastors and Elders of the Gospel. Interment will follow in the Woodlawn Gardens Cemetery, Soldier Road.Memories of Cap's smile and sense of humor will forever be cherished by his Children: Michelle Storr, Dr. Kevin and Mrs. Karen Moss, Dion Moss, Rudolph & Marcia Walker, Melony, Marvin, Mario & Joyanne Josey; Grandchildren: Kevia, Kyle, Khory, D'Shawn, Sean, Diondra & Diondre Moss, Khody & Khary Walker, Jayde Stubbs & Marvin Josey Jr.; Aunts: Merlene Fritz, Valamae Knowles, Marguerite Moncur-Small and Alice Moncur Uncle: Rev. Leonard Josey of Delray Beach, Fl.; Sisters: Nursing Officer Beverly Rolle, Joyce Josey-Bowe, Prisca Josey, Ena Garcia of South Andros, Niki Sherman of Long Island and Leona Turner; Brothers: Bishop Arnold Josey, Franklyn Vernon Josey, Raymond Josey, Sgt. Jerry Philip Josey & Rev. Steffon Josey of Florida; Brothers-in-law: Vincent Woodside, Ethney, Kingsley and Frederick Wallace, Henry Rolle, John Bowe & Eric Turner; Sisters-in-law: Eleanor Brown, Vernita, Audrey & Helen Josey; A host of other Relatives and Friends including: Anetra Smith, Lisa Darville, Haldane Stubbs, Mrs. Inez Dorestant and family, Derry Gibson, Bonnie Turner, Mr. Aubury Davis, Chris and Edith Sturrup and family, Sharon, Ricardo, Dwight and Desiree Brown, Royanne Edgecombe, Kate Donnell Bullard, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Moncur, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Barr, Mr. and Mrs. Akin Barr, Reggie and Gringo Forbes, Mae Ward-Pratt, Henry (Fish) McKinney, Mrs. Nora McCalla, Laura Woodside, Janet and Deborah Wallace, Ross Knowles, Portia and Deborah Brown, Judy Collie, Sandra Knowles, Elsie Adderley, Charmaine Cox, Godfrey, James, Leslie, Wilton and Darren Brown, Christopher, Jason, Jessica, Kenneth and Michael Woodside, Fredericka, Frederick and Azaria Wallace, Kaley Lightbourne; Special Thanks to the Doctors and Nurses of the Intensive Care Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital and a host of other relatives and friends far too numerous to mention.
Viewing will be held at Clarke's Funeral Home #10 Tonique Williams-Darling Highway on Saturday, June 4th, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:00am at the church until service time.
Buildings that have lined the southern side of West Bay Street for years will be demolished next month as Baha Mar prepares to make room for the superstructure of the casino and convention hotels of its $2.6 billion dollar mega-development.
Scotiabank, Commonwealth Bank and Fidelity Bank on the Cable Beach Strip will all be brought down begining the first week of December at Baha Mar's expense, according to Baha Mar Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs Robert Sands, who said even more jobs will be created as a result.
"There will be a contract awarded to a Bahamian company. I'm not in possession of the exact amount but [those are] some of the works that we will allocate specifically to Bahamian companies," he said.
The police and fire station on the strip will also be demolished in short order, Sands confirmed.
He said the new banks and police and fire station will be opened on November 21, 2011.
"The police and fire station is bigger because it has to be representative of the community," he said. "You have much more hotel rooms, etc.
And also it has to accommodate larger fire engines because of the height of buildings. Scotiabank is a state of the art bank. Commonwealth Bank is a state of the art bank and so is Fidelity."
The Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance will be relocated to the SG Hambros building on West Bay Street, which was recently purchased by the government.
The developers yesterday handed over the newly realigned section of West Bay Street to the government.
It took 600 workers nine months to build the new road and the new commercial village which repotedly cost in excess of $100 million.
Sands said the foundation of what the world will come to know as Baha Mar will soon start to take shape.
"We've done significant foundation pilings starting from June 1 of this year. So you'll begin to see the superstructure come out of the ground early next year," he said.
Baha Mar has an expected completion date of December 2014.
Funeral Service for the Late Basil LaRoda, 70 years of #23 Palm Avenue, South Beach, will be held on Saturday February 11th, 10:00 a.m. at Bethel Baptist Church, Meeting Street. Pastor Timothy Stewart will officiate. Cremation will follow.
He is survived by His wife: Willamae La-Roda; 4 Sons: Dr. Rudolph King-LaRoda , Troy, Basil Jr. and Aristotle LaRoda; 2 Daughters: Patricia Capron and Zsa Zsa Laing; 15 Grandchildren: Woodron Lowe, Kenwood Capron, Deonna Hall, Troy Jr., Akyra, Simone, Trey and Kyle LaRoda; Zhivargo Jr., Zhimaal, Za'riah and Zavier Laing, Niya, Aliya and Zachariah La-Roda; 4 Brothers: Andil LaRoda, Carlton LaRoda, Alfred Moss, Clinton Deveaux, and Edward Deveaux; 1 Son-In-Law: Hon. Zhivargo Laing; and a host of other relative and friends.
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 9:00 a.m. until service time.
By Alpheus Finlayson
Special To The Tribune
SINCE 1999, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations has held End of The Year Awards celebrations.
At the Sheraton Cable Beach hotel Sunday, the top award - named after world class high jumper Charlie Major from the twenties - was presented to high jumper Trevor Barry who won the bronze medal in his specialty at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Barry, with a best of 2.29m (7'7-1/4") when he arrived in Korea, improved his best to 2.32m (7'7-3/4"). His personal coach Keith Parker was unable to be in Daegu due to illness.
After Daegu, Barry medalled in several European meets. Barry also won the high jump ...
With a new acquisition of an Atlantic City casino hotel, it seems Brookfield U.S. Holdings - which owns Atlantis, Paradise Island, and the company that manages that resort - is doubling down on its casino business.
Brookfield closed a $110 million deal on a casino in Atlantic City on Wednesday, and spokesman Andrew Willis told Guardian Business that the company sees "a number of synergies" between Atlantis and the new property.
"This is our third investment in a major resort. Brookfield currently owns two resort properties with gaming: Atlantis in The Bahamas, acquired in 2012, and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which we took over in 2011. So we understand the sector," Willis said.
"Revel is a brand new trophy asset on the beachfront, which we are acquiring at a substantial discount to its replacement cost. We are excited about owning the newest and highest quality asset in Atlantic City. This acquisition is consistent with Brookfield's history of contrarian investing on a value basis.
"With Brookfield's ownership of the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantis in The Bahamas, we have expertise underwriting and operating these types of multi-faceted resorts. We anticipate material synergies between these three high-quality properties."
The New Jersey property is Revel, the fourth Atlantic City casino to close this year. It was the subject of a bankruptcy auction just two years after it began operations. Brookfield's $110 million offer beat out another bidder, and brings the company's casino hotel portfolio total to three: the new property, which Willis called "the newest and highest-quality asset in Atlantic City," a Hard Rock in Las Vegas and Atlantis, Paradise Island.
"We will be using the expertise at Atlantis to help us improve the experience at Revel," he told Guardian Business Wednesday evening.
Brookfield took control of the Paradise Island property - which had been the crown jewel in South African hotelier Sol Kerzner's portfolio - in 2012 as part of a debt swap; according to Willis, the Canadian company has seen "great results" at Atlantis. Management of the property has also gone through changes, with Kerzner no longer managing Atlantis as of September 9. Brookfield Hospitality is now managing the property.
Willis said the company has no specific plans in relation to how Atlantis and Revel would connect, other than that the "great results" the company has had at Atlantis will play a role in how things move forward at Revel.
"It's just too early [to say how]," he said. "I think there will be Atlantis angles."
In July, Brookfield announced that it had completed a $1.9 billion recapitalization aimed at placing Atlantis on secure financial footing. Brookfield Asset Management Managing Partner Andrea Balkan also announced the creation of a new management company, Brookfield Hospitality LLC, to assume management of Atlantis when the management contract with Kerzner International expired.
That contract expired on September 9, 2014.
Just after the refinancing, Atlantis announced a new marketing arrangement with Marriott that saw Atlantis become part of Marriott's rewards and booking programs. As part of that arrangement, Marriott made a $100 million loan to Atlantis.
Last week we reviewed what we believe will be the 'sexy' general election races to watch in New Providence, namely Bamboo Town, Montagu and Fort Charlotte.
This week we would like to Consider This...are there any 'sexy' or especially thought-provoking campaigns that should be more closely watched in the Family Islands? We can think of several and suggest that those worth watching closely are Long Island, The Exumas and Ragged Island and both Andros seats.
Long Island has traditionally been a seat where men have dominated that island's politics. If Loretta Butler-Turner, the FNM's candidate, wins there, she will score a historic achievement because there has never been a female Member of Parliament on Long Island. Whether her claim that her grandmother, Sir Milo Butler's wife Lady Caroline, is from Long Island will be sufficient to gain her the victory remains to be seen. It is more likely that her party affiliation will play a greater role in her successful bid than any familial connection to the island.
Mario Cartwright possibly represents the DNA's best chance for winning a seat in the upcoming foray. Mario was born on Long Island, lives there and is a known quantity. His father ran for the PLP on Long Island and whether he is able to succeed where his father did not remains to be seen.
Alex Storr, the PLP's Long Island standard bearer, is neither from there nor does the PLP have a track record of successfully convincing Long Islanders that a PLP should represent them. He has a challenge ahead for his candidacy to gain sufficient traction in order to prevail.
Mangrove Cay and South Andros
None of the candidates in Mangrove Cay and South Andros provide any real inspiration to the people there. Picewell Forbes, the incumbent PLP Member of Parliament, has not been particularly star-studded in Parliament, and his representation of that constituency during the last five years has been lackluster.
Ronald Bosfield, the FNM's standard bearer and the winner of the by-election in 1997, will best be remembered during his last outing as a nondescript and uninspiring sleeper.
Whitney Bastian, the independent candidate and one-term Member of Parliament for South Andros, also has considerable challenges to conquer.
Wayde Forbes Ferguson, the DNA candidate, is as generally unknown as the other candidates are uninspiring. None of the candidates are thrilling prospects for the people of the constituency that was long-represented by Sir Lynden, who, despite his notable national contributions and legacy, left little of note for his constituents during his many years as their representative. The race in Mangrove Cay and South Andros will, perhaps more than any other, represent a melee of the mediocre.
North Andros and the Berry Islands
The exceptionally impressive candidates in North Andros are at polar opposites to their colleagues in South Andros. Each of the offerings for the three major parties is remarkable in his own right. Captain Randy Butler (DNA), Dr. Perry Gomez (PLP) and Desmond Bannister (FNM) are all stellar candidates, so impressive that it could cause one to wonder in amazement as to whether, at least in the case of the two major parties, the candidates in North Andros were selected by the same persons who chose their South Andros counterparts.
Given his impressive ministerial performance over the past five years, Desmond Bannister is the candidate to beat. He is perhaps the best candidate that the FNM has ever fielded in that constituency although he has taken a calculated risk of abdicating what would have been a safe seat for him in Carmichael. Desmond Bannister was born in Staniard Creek, grew up there and in Mastic Point and has strong family ties in the constituency, which he hopes will contribute to his success.
Dr. Perry Gomez is a prominent medical doctor who is best known for his sustained efforts in the battle against AIDS in The Bahamas. His roots go deep in the Berry Islands and he also hopes that this fact will not be lost on the voters of North Andros.
Captain Randy Butler, the DNA candidate, is a high profile aviation businessman who heads up SkyBahamas and represents the kind of individual who would bring tremendous business experience to Parliament and governance.
This race will be very interesting to watch, although we think that Desmond Bannister presently has the advantage.
The Exumas and Ragged Island
The PLP's candidate for The Exumas and Ragged Island, Anthony Moss, who is the parliamentary incumbent, is also lackluster, does not excite the voter and has spent a 'sleepy' decade in Parliament. His selection is shrouded in controversy and some of the island's stalwart PLP supporters still question whether the selection process was open, transparent and democratic. Whether some of the prominent PLP stalwarts on Exuma will support him will be an important factor in how that contest will be played out. George Smith's views about Moss' parliamentary performance and his electability are well-known and to what extent the party leadership will attempt to reconcile with Smith's views and that of other noted PLP supporters on Exuma who disagree with Moss' candidacy will be revealing.
Phenton Neymour, the current FNM Member of Parliament for South Beach has apparently determined that he has been a failed MP in that constituency and has opted to move to Exuma for fear that he might not be re-elected in South Beach. Notwithstanding this, Neymour is personable, outgoing and confident and the FNM party machinery will be in full gear for his candidacy.
Floyd Armbrister, the DNA's candidate, was born in Steventon, Exuma and is a bright, talkative, aggressive individual who will likely take votes from disgruntled and disaffected PLPs.
Reginald Smith, the independent candidate, is a former ZNS broadcaster, and is currently a realtor on Exuma. He is smart, affable, and speaks with a rich accent. Born in Georgetown, he is an attractive candidate who promises to raise the standard of debate and speak to the vision that Exuma could play an important role in the development of a modern Bahamas.
The contest in The Exumas and Ragged Island is shaping up to be a race best described as one where it appears that the voters don't like what they have and are not confident of what they might get. The outcome will depend on whether the candidates can count on party loyalties and how the significant number of workers from Long Island who have moved into the Exuma Cays since the last general election will influence the vote.
The stage has been set and the only truism is that "it ain't long now"! It will be interesting to see, despite the candidates who have already been presented, whether there will be last minute adjustments in candidates for any number of presently unforeseen reasons. The only critical date for concretizing any uncertainty in that regard is nomination day. Nonetheless, there are many sexy races, and in the words of a fallen master politician, "The world is watching"!
oPhilip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to email@example.com.
The Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament, called "May Madness", that recently drew 100-plus kayak participants to Pompano Beach, South Florida, is expected to move to The Bahamas in April 2014.
The sport, which involves fishing from a kayak, is expected to take place in Freeport, Grand Bahama at the Flamingo Bay Resort. The organizers have already done some pre-fishing in The Bahamas and boast that they were able to catch a good number of species including Wahoos.
Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament has been held in Florida over the past two years with the Broward Children's Center Pompano as its charity. The event is said to be the largest kayak fishing tournament of its kind in the United States at this time, and according to its organizers is growing consistently.
"We are so pumped over the event moving to The Bahamas," organizer Joe Hector said. "We believe that going to The Bahamas will help to expand the tournament and introduce this type of fishing to the masses. Taking the tournament to The Bahamas means taking it to a place that has the best fishing in the world.
"Working with The Bahamas will make a great marriage. We feel that coupled with The Bahamas, Extreme Kayak can become the biggest and best offshore kayak fishing tournament in the world." the organizer said.
Earl Miller, general manager, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's Vertical Markets, also expressed excitement at the proposed venture. "The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's Vertical Markets Department is always looking for new water sports to add to our overall initiatives."
Miller also noted that fishing for big game in The Bahamas is normally a very expensive venture, when one takes into consideration the funds needed for chartering a sport fishing boat or making the crossing in one's own boat. Fishing on a kayak, he said, can greatly boost The Bahamas' tourism figures, as it makes the sport of big game fishing more accessible and affordable and thus will attract larger numbers of fishermen.
Nassau, Bahamas - The Southeastern Police Summer Camp highlighted the
importance of trees to the more than 200 children attending the program
this summer. The tree planting ceremony was held at the South Beach
Police Station, where three palm tress were planted. The trees, soil
and fertilizer were donated through the collaborative effort of
corporate citizens and plant nurseries.
campers, ages 6 through 17, have learned much so far, including road
safety; fire prevention; the use of the police canine unit in combating
crimes; and they have also visited many historical sites around New
Providence to increase their appreciation for their country...
By PAUL G TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
HARNESSING the votes of disenfranchised PLPs and FNMs, first time voters, and all those seeking "a change", the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) believes they are capable of winning at least 20 seats in the next general election.
Constituencies such as North and South Andros, North and South Eleuthera, Pinewood, South Beach, Golden Isles, Exuma, and Kennedy are a handful of seats being reported to have already shifted in favour of the DNA, which is being headed by former FNM MP Branville McCartney.
In addition to South Abaco, well-placed sources within the party believe the DNA has enough traction in Grand Bahama t ...
By SANCHESKA BROWN
CITY MARKET employees are now agitating to be laid off, after they say there is no way they can survive off the "tiny" pay cheques they are currently receiving.
More than 50 employees from the Sea Grapes, Cable Beach and South Beach locations gathered outside the Harbour Bay food store yesterday, demanding the Finalyson Group treat them like human beings or let them go and give them their pensions.
Eliazer Rolle, an employee at the Harbour Bay location, said all they want is what is owed to them, "nothing more, nothing less."
"The situation around here is not fair. The government needs to step in. They have us working a week off a week on yet they have eigh ...
Saturday 27th October 2012 9:00 PM
Bambu's Sexorcist Halloween Jam Free entry until 10:30 with a costume Prizes for sexiest costumes special Guest DJ Over looking Nassau's Harbor, Bambu's open air Music-bar brings European beach bar vibes to the Caribbean. Music at this club varies from Top 20 Pop to the Caribbean's only sexy Euro House session in tune with top house scene's like South Beach, Ibiza and Mykonos etc.