Search results for : pool service
Showing 1 to 10 of 671 results
Baha Mar's new chief operating officer has spelled out a vision for the resort as a gaming destination second to none in the Caribbean in terms of the variety of gaming experiences available and the level of exclusivity and service available to gamblers, while describing updated gaming legislation as "critical" to the realization of this goal.
Former Las Vegas hotelier Paul Pusateri, who was announced as COO for the upcoming mega-resort on September 25, said that Baha Mar's 100,000 square foot casino - 55,000 square feet larger than Atlantis' - will differentiate itself not only by its size, but also by its variety of "experiential environments", appealing to everyone from the regular holiday gamer, to the most high-end clientele for whom private entrances, elevators, and restaurants will be provided.
"If you go through the Caribbean casinos there are mass floors and then there may be what they refer to as a high limit area that is cordoned off in a section," said Pusateri, in his first introductory interview with the media.
"We are going to appeal to a very high end gaming customer and as such we wil have a very high-end gaming lounge, which wil be extremely well appointed. There will be finishes probably beyond what people have ever seen in terms of the design of the spaces. We will build access to rooms and gaming areas that are very private.
"A lot of the time there's a customer with a very high end profile and wants his privacy. He'll be able to come to Baha Mar, come in through a separate (door) and have access right into the high limit casino, not necessarily going through the public areas," he said.
There'll be a private elevator to take you up to your room, there'll be a private restaurant that you can eat at, and they traditionally come with an entourage. It will be private and very elegant. These people are very wealthy and they are accustomed to a certain design style in their homes, in how they live; we know what that is and that's what we will be designing to satisfy and service that customer. The butler service will be far beyond what has been experienced in these islands."
For high-rolling Asian clientele, a tea sommelier will be on hand to blend and serve the teas which are the drink of choice for gamblers from China just as the cocktail may be for their Las Vegas counterparts.
The experience within the casino will be complimented by mobile gaming possibilities throughout the entire resort "campus", which means the possibility to place and change bets on sports games from the comfort of your deck chair on the beach, or while sitting in the pool - but only if the updated gaming legislation which redefines the term "premises" to mean the entire resort, rather than just a casino floor, is passed.
For now, the resort is "experimenting" with mobile gambling thanks to temporary approvals from the Gaming Board, and claims to have had "very positive" feedback from guests.
"What we will get with the regulations is the ability to, with a hand held device, be sitting at a pool, in the lobby, in a restaurant, and you'll have the option to make a wager. With horse racing, the race is off, your horse is running last, you have the opportunity to change your bet because of the technology.
"You can be watching basketball games and there are three foul shots and you can place a bet that says he'll make the next one or not. You can be actively live in the middle of it. And that's the energy of it; these are not big dollars that people are going to be wagering, but it's a fun entertainment type interaction for sports and wagering to be combined," explained Pusateri.
This type of "energetic" gaming environment with a "diversity of touch points" is standard in Las Vegas today, with resorts offering guests the ability to gamble while at a nightclub, in a pool, or on the beach, but has yet to be implemented throughout the Caribbean.
Robert "Sandy" Sands, Senior Vice President of External and Governmental Affairs, said that this means that by passing the upgraded gaming legislation, The Bahamas would place itself far ahead of its regional peers in terms of its competitiveness in the gaming sector and in line with top international destinations.
"The other Caribbean islands are nowhere near. This puts us at the level with jurisdictions like Vegas, Singapore, Macau. The others will have to play catch up. We're not competing with resorts just within this region but also on a world class basis."
Pusateri added that with the upgraded legislation, Baha Mar would become a top destination for visitors from the US east coast who might otherwise go to Las Vegas, drawing down gamblers en masse for big events such as the Super Bowl.
"When we get (the legislation) and we put together our calendar of events we will celebrate months and weekends of the year that haven't been able to market here before, so we will be able to bring new business here to the islands. So imagine, you can have a dozen guys saying 'lets go down to Baha Mar for Superbowl Weekend'. Not only do we have the wagering for that, but we create a weekend of events for people to come down here. We will fill the campus. The fun thing is, the beauty of the model is that we have four different brands who will bring businesses from all of their different sources of business, but from all of those brands, when we have our demand, we will be their biggest customer. The casino hotel will be buying rooms from the (hotels) for our diverse customer mix."
Sands said that the "casino-centric" nature of Baha Mar is a "subtle but distinct difference" between the Cable Beach resort and Atlantis that may not have been much appreciated to date.
"One of the these that I think its pivotal is that it is the Atlantis Resort and Casino, but it's Baha Mar Casino and Resort. We are a gaming environment and I want to emphasize that gaming is going to play a pivotal part in what we are all about. We are not a resort with an amenity casino, we are a casino that has a variety of hotels."
Pusateri said that Baha Mar will set up offices in "feeder markets" throughout the world from which it hopes to draw guests, channelling in gamblers who will then buy up hotel rooms and take advantage of what the resort as a whole has to offer. He suggested that having internationally competitive gaming laws will be a key part of Baha Mar's ability to tap into new international tourism markets, such as Asia, where destinations such as Macau are already utilising gaming technology far ahead of that permitted in The Bahamas.
The COO yesterday described his new post at Baha Mar as the "culmination of (his) career".
"With a hospitality background in some of the greatest hotels in the world that I've managed, and to have been at the pinnacle of the casino industry, and then to come here and look at this campus which has been a fierce competitor of mine over the years... it's a challenge really to anyone in my position and it's very exciting to be able to come in and operate this, and really be a part of making the essence of what will make this unique."
The Government has indicated plans to bring the Gaming Bill up for consideration in the current parliamentary session.
ABACO - A representative from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, along with a multi-agency team came together on May 9 with a small group of stakeholders to discuss ideas for a sporting facility in Abaco.
Eugene Poitier, deputy permanent secretary at the ministry, said the government is seeking to increase the country's ability to develop new talent and manage elite talent by building sporting complexes at international standards on several island in The Bahamas.
He also said that this is a "front burner" project for the government and this initial trip was designed to visit the site, and to meet with stakeholders in order to craft a vision for Abaco.
Abaco is slated to be home of the first project, which will be carried out by Integrated Building Services (IBS). The company was contracted to serve as planner, civil engineering designer, construction manager and project quality control for the ministry.
"This is a part of the government's project to increase the level of sporting awareness, activity and expertise on the Family Islands and hopefully (increase) our resource pool when it comes to selecting national teams," he said.
The stakeholders present were asked for input into types of facilities they would like to see for Abaco.
Stakeholders requested fields and facilities for track and field, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and swimming.
Dean said they plan to ensure that within their budget they will be able to build and equip the facilities, as well as make sure the facilities are managed.
After the discussion the team visited a proposed site in Murphy Town, next to Abaco Central High School, to assess the facilities and land available. The team included representatives from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and Water and Sewerage, as well as a consultants from the Office of the Prime Minister.
LONDON, England - A 26-member Bahamian team is in very high spirits, and one of the reasons why is because of the atmosphere created by the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) at the week-long training camp prior to the games. The Olympic Games got underway this morning in London, and will run through Sunday, August 12.
According to reports, everything was in place for the athletes to be as comfortable as they needed to be headed into the games. All of the amenities were well taken care of by the BOC, and the athletes could just focus on training and preparing for competition. The only swimmer on this year's team, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, will see action first for The Bahamas when she hits the pool at the Aquatic Centre on Wednesday, in the heats of the women's 100-meter (m) free.
"In the BOC, it is time for us to make things happen," said team's Chef de Mission Roy Colebrooke. "We have to think outside of the box in 2012. In our view, the athletes are first, and my job as Chef de Mission is to ensure that we create this harmonious environment where the only thing that our athletes are focusing on, would be their specific events. I feel that we were able to do that at the training camp in Crawley."
Crawley is a town in West Sussex, England, located about 30 miles south of the British capital London. The team experienced an ambience there that was conducive to training. Not only that, but in conjunction with BTC and Cable and Wireless here in London, the BOC spearheaded a reception for the team on Wednesday night, and then the following night, the BOC joined up with the The Bahamas' High Commission in London to host the team to a reception at the commissioner's house. The function on Thursday was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Governor General Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes, and The Bahamas' Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson. The dwelling, dubbed 'The Bahamas House', served as a home away from home for the athletes for that one night. They were treated to local dishes and drinks, and a steel drum band played Bahamian songs.
"We believe that it is very special for something like this to happen," said Colebrooke. "We want our athletes to be able to come somewhere in a foreign place, and feel at home. With this taking place, we feel it is now possible for them to enjoy the festivities of the London Olympic Games. They can mix and mingle with the Bahamians who are here in London, and who were desperate to see them up close."
The Bahamas House is expected to be open to Bahamians for the duration of the games. A Bahamian chef, flown in by the BOC, is on hand to prepare Bahamian cuisine on a nightly basis.
"This is the kind of treatment that we want to give our athletes," said Colebrooke. "It all started at the training camp. You have heard the stories from all of them. They were blown away.
"All of the athletes who had minor injuries were checked out and all of them are fit and ready to compete. I had the opportunity to speak with most of them, and they are saying that they're feeling tremendous, so we are expecting some very good things from our Bahamian athletes."
Colebrooke said that as long as he is an executive member of the BOC, this is the kind of treatment that Bahamian athletes can expect on a regular basis going forward.
"The only way we can go from here is forward. We will continuously take the bar higher and higher because we believe that we have to create the environment to ensure that our athletes are comfortable and ready to compete," he said. "When the athletes know that they are backed like this, they perform tremendously, so we have no other option than to continue providing top service for our athletes."
After a grand opening ceremony last night, Team Bahamas appears ready to see action at these Olympic Games. Competition officially got underway this morning, but The Bahamas won't see action until next Wednesday when swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will hit the waters.
Chairman of the COB Council Alfred Sears should generally be applauded for insisting that the next president of the college should be a Bahamian.
Still, this columnist believes that the search should be open to other Caribbean nationals. By example, what if we are able to find a Caribbean national of the caliber of Sir Hilary Beckles, professor of history and pro-vice-chancellor and principal at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies?
The devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which devastated Haiti in early January 2010, also sent emotional aftershocks throughout the region as the Caribbean mourned yet another setback for the country.
Following the earthquake, Sir Hilary penned a brief essay entitled "The Hate and the Quake". Such essays rarely go viral. His did because he captured the cries of many for Haiti, chronicling a colonial legacy which put Haiti's history into greater context.
Sir Hilary provided the quality of intellectual and ethical reflection that is at the heart of the role of the head of a college or university. As a native Barbadian and historian of the region, he also provided a Caribbean voice.
The next president of The College of The Bahamas should speak with a Caribbean voice accented by a global worldview. The recent non-Caribbean heads of the college are to be applauded for their contributions to the country.
But as COB moves towards university status and 40 years after independence, the need for a more indigenous voice is essential in light of the role that COB and its president play in national development.
CaribbeanThat voice includes a Caribbean idiom better able to inspire, and to reflect our history and development goals. Such a voice can highlight our successes while being brutally honest about our shortcomings.
The president of COB should be one of the leading intellectual voices in the country, able to speak to a myriad of issues with reason and deliberation, including the ability to speak to issues of public policy in a nonpartisan manner.
The president must speak to the challenges and aspirations of a small developing state, and of the role of education in national development.
The audiences and constituencies of the president include the nation-at-large, but more particularly stakeholders within the college, and potential donors.
The president's voice must be strong enough to insist on institutional autonomy, and strong enough to stand up to political leaders when necessary, with finesse and intelligence.
Within the institution, the president must be able to inspire students, faculty and staff. Further, the president will need the political wiles and determination to pursue the broader good of the institution amidst some of the outsized egos, rivalries and fiefdoms at the college.
The "Profile of the President" issued for the presidential search details a number of qualities a candidate should possess generally, and in terms of leadership and professional experience.
The profile notes that no one candidate is likely to possess all of the qualities desired. Yet what are some of the essential qualities a new president should possess?
He or she should be an individual of demonstrated intellectual ability, namely the capacity for discernment and critical thinking. Notably, academic achievement and intellectual capacity are not necessarily synonymous. There are many academics fluent in their field, yet lack the capacity for critical thinking and informed commentary.
The new president should be able to read and to understand a considerable amount of information, and a capacity to learn quickly. He or she should also be an articulate public speaker and a superior writer.
Other essential qualities include the capacity to raise money and to cultivate donors, as well as general public relations skills. Equally important is the need for demonstrated administrative and managerial skills, including an understanding of finances and budgets.
Given these qualities, who are some Bahamians who possess the leadership and professional experience to lead COB?
The search profile noted that candidates "will preferably possess an earned doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher learning; and will preferably have at least seven years of senior leadership/administrative experience in progressively more responsible positions, with a strong record of achievement, preferably in an institution of higher education."
The word preferably suggests that the COB Council is open to a candidate who may not possess a doctorate or may not have spent considerable time in an academic setting, but who has extensive professional and leadership experience.
All of which leaves the door open to a more diverse pool of talent. There are a number of international tertiary institutions led by individuals who, though they do not possess a doctorate, proved extremely capable in a given field, making them ideal candidates to lead an institution of higher learning.
It is not that we are without potential candidates to lead COB. The question is whether certain potential candidates would consider leading the institution for a designated period while helping to identify and prepare possible successors.
It is a testament to her extensive experience and knowledge that Dr. Paulette Bethel is currently chef de cabinet for the president of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Bethel has a Ph.D. in sociology. She served as an educator, negotiator and diplomat, with time spent in the private sector. She has taught at COB and served for a brief period as chairperson of the Social Sciences Department.
Bethel has extensive international experience having served The Bahamas as a diplomat at both the UN and in Washington D.C. She served as the country's UN ambassador under both the PLP and the FNM.
Sean McWeeney, Q.C., possesses one of the finest intellects in the country. Well-read, he is highly articulate as a speaker and as a writer, someone who possesses the ability to improve the quality of public discourse in the country.
One of the leading trust attorneys in the country, he served as attorney general and in a number of other capacities including, presently, as chairman of the Constitutional Commission.
He served as advisor, speechwriter and counselor to Prime Ministers Sir Lynden Pindling and Perry Christie. The urbane McWeeney might be a good choice to help COB to raise significant funds.
Teresa Butler, who earned a master's degree in international economics from Georgetown University, is one of the most capable public servants of her generation, having also taught in the government-operated school system.
Following a distinguished career in the public service, including as a diplomat, she rose to the level of permanent secretary.
She has an extraordinary understanding of the public service and is one of the country's leading experts in public policy. An avid environmentalist, Butler has an extensive record of involvement in community service.
Therese Turner Jones is currently the Inter-American Development Bank's country representative in Jamaica. She has a master's degree in economics and served at the IMF and at the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
With extraordinary international experience, she also "has over 20 years of experience in the areas of macroeconomics and economic development, with particular emphasis in the Caribbean".
Dr. Reginald Eldon has a doctorate in theology and extensive administrative and leadership experience in various capacities with the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church. He is also a gifted writer and public speaker.
He has extensive experience as an educator and in youth development, including having taught college level courses overseas. He is presently dean of the Centre for Leadership, Education and Training (CLET).
There are other Bahamians at home and abroad who may prove to be a novel choice as the next head of COB, including a number of medical doctors, international bankers or attorneys who meet the essential qualifications necessary to serve.
To attract the best talent possible we should be willing to handsomely remunerate the next president of COB, paying them a very good salary along with generous benefits. This is standard fare at many institutions of higher learning seeking to attract outstanding leaders.
We are often quite happy to pay foreign consultants all manner of handsome sums. The president of COB is a central figure in the life of the nation. He or he should be financially secure in order to lead one of our important national institutions.
o firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bahamapundit.com.
Although senior aviation officials insist American Airline's recent filing for bankruptcy protection won't impact travel to The Bahamas, at least one local executive sees it as an opportunity for domestic airlines to take a greater role in travel to the Family Islands.
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace told Guardian Business that American Airlines filing for Chapter 11 is not at all unusual, as they were the last to hold out of all the trump carriers.
The restructuring, he said, will run its course with minimal disruption.
"We're fairly certain this is not going to affect us in any way," he said.
"We do not expect disruption to service from American Airlines or American Eagle."
On Tuesday, not only did American Airlines file for bankruptcy protection, but it also replaced its chief executive. The crux of the matter, according to reports, hinges on labor issues and the 88,000 employees at the company. American Airlines has also assured the public there will be no disruption to its normal flight schedule.
As of Wednesday morning, American Airlines had seven flights leaving for Miami. The carrier does brisk business to The Bahamas, in addition to service through its subsidiary American Eagle to the Family Islands.
The president and CEO of Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), Stewart Steeves, echoed the sentiments of the Minister of Tourism, saying the filing for bankruptcy is meant to give the airline flexibility to cancel or change contracts as part of its restructuring.
American Airlines does not have a contract with Lynden Pindling International Airport, he noted, and instead pays fees on a flight-by-flight basis.
"I don't expect that they will scale back their flights," he told Guardian Business.
"We expect overall service to continue as they sort out their labor contracts."
But Randy Butler, the CEO of SkyBahamas, did not express quite so much optimism concerning American Airlines in The Bahamas. In particular, he felt American Eagle, the subsidiary flying to the Family Islands, could be first on the chopping block if cutbacks occurred down the road.
"This speaks further to why the government should support their national airlines and give them the right mandate," he explained.
"American Eagle is a service where we are connecting ourselves to the Family Islands. I think you might have more effect there than anything. How are we going to develop these islands?"
Butler felt it was an example of how local carriers could step up and not be at the mercy of swings among international companies.
With more than 122 locals employed with SkyBahamas, he said the local airlines must be more "empowered" and given more responsibility and incentives.
The new Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce is calling the first business outlook this week a "huge step" in the development of the island.
Insisting that Eleuthera is still in the grips of a "30-year recession", the chamber's president said the upcoming event will be used to raise its profile for true national development.
"If we are going to take this country to the next level, Eleuthera and other Family Islands need to play a crucial role in the health of the economy. Support must be given to make that happen," according to Thomas Sands, who is also a successful entrepreneur on the island. "South Eleuthera is still challenged. There are parts seeing activity, but other parts remain seriously challenged economically. For Eleuthera, it has been a 30-year recession."
The chamber president, however, views recent events as significant reasons for optimism. Back in September 2012, a group of businessmen and community leaders successfully formed the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce after three years of preparation.
And on Thursday, the inaugural Eleuthera Business Outlook will be headlined by Prime Minister Perry Christie.
"We hope to give Eleuthera a national level of recognition. We are capable people and for years some of us have been carrying the flame," he told Guardian Business yesterday. "We want to continue the development taking place and bring confidence to investors."
A few new developments have indeed injected confidence into the community.
French Leave, a new resort overlooking Governor's Harbour, is now "well bore" into construction, according to its management. Including cottages, a bar and grill, pool, fitness facility and wedding pavilion, French Leave is being spearheaded by Shaner Bahamas, a company founded by U.S. hospitality giant Lance T. Shaner.
Meanwhile, the $30 million Cove Eleuthera, built by New Orleans developer Sidney Torres, has created dozens of jobs and boasted a monthly payroll of more than $100,000.
Christie personally flew down to The Cove for its grand opening last month.
"Although these developments are important, we need to encourage more local businesses and employers [to help] these developers," Sands explained. "These resorts need services and other amenities to help them be sustainable. We need to make sure they are not just a one-off. Success requires multiple partnerships."
Other speakers at the upcoming Eleuthera Business Outlook include Astrid Wynter, representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to The Bahamas; Craig Symonette; Shaun Ingraham from Island Journeys and Chandler Sands from Campbell Shipping Company.
SkyBahamas has invested $1.4 million in a new maintenance hanger at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) and plans to train up to 20 Bahamians as technicians.
The CEO of the local carrier, Captain Randy Butler, said the materials for the new facility are currently "on the dock" at Arawak Cay. The airline is waiting for final approvals from LPIA, and hopes to launch the maintenance facility in three months.
The initiative is being seen as not only a means to service aircraft at SkyBahamas, but also to provide an alternative maintenance facility for other airlines.
"We will bring people in and train Bahamians to get Bahamian and U.S. maintenance technician licenses," Butler revealed. "Initially, we will take on 15 to 20 guys. We want to start training our people to fix and maintain airlines, so I'm hoping The College of The Bahamas and the government can help with that."
With an emphasis on "developing our people", the SkyBahamas chief is targeting an entirely new revenue stream for the local airline.
Meanwhile, Butler told Guardian Business that most of his airline's domestic routes are doing "extremely well".
For SkyBahamas, the challenge continues to be the international market. The airline is hoping to gain government support to develop the Florida market in particular. Butler believes that more incentives for domestic carriers are needed, which would ultimately create jobs for Bahamians.
Vision Airlines, a U.S. airline that received considerable incentives from the former Free National Movement (FNM) administration, operated several direct routes from the U.S. to Grand Bahama last year. Bahamasair will take up many of these routes in 2012, and Butler hopes similar opportunities will be made available to SkyBahamas.
"I also feel strongly about establishing a civil aviation authority here to have a division between the government, the operator and the regulatory committee. We need to create some sort of dialogue between the industry stakeholders and the government, where the stakeholders can help with the way forward," he added.
In other words, the country needs an aviation authority that empowers leaders to help shape the industry.
The framework is in place, he explained, and documents exist on how to move forward. There just needs to be the political will to make it happen.
Butler said he looks forward to working with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and whoever is selected as minister of tourism and aviation.
Last year the SkyBahamas chief was an outspoken critic of the FNM government, blasting Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the former minister of tourism and aviation, for failing to support local airlines.
He also criticized the government for high aviation fees that make it too expensive for tourists to explore the Family Islands.
"How in the world can domestic carriers play an effective role?" Butler asked. "Our costs are more, and most of these costs are driven by fees and taxes the government has put in place."
How can creativity help grow a vibrant city of critical thinkers - especially in a city that doesn't value or encourage entrepreneurism that ventures beyond vending phone cards?
Following their panel on design and sustainable development last month, tmg* talks, led by the strategy and design agency the method group (tmg*), returns with their second installment in a three-part series of thought-provoking discussions that examine how the creative class impacts city life. This time, the panel - held at a new location of Custom Computers Ltd. in Harbour Bay on Thursday, July 19 - will focus on "Entrepreneurism and the Creative Class".
For this discussion, says panel moderator and branding specialist at tmg*, Royann Dean, the focus will encompass how the creative class and can realize their entrepreneurial ventures in a city with few resources to assist those visions.
"I see the creative class as being an underserved community here," said Dean. "It's not functioning as well as it could. I know we have a small market but it's hard for people we consider creative to make a living."
"They aren't really valued in the same way as a lawyer or doctor is valued," she added. "So there's no drive to diversify the pool of operations. There should be a push to demonstrate the value of those traditionally creative industries to the economy."
The creative class is the key to future economic growth in The Bahamas. In cities all over the world - such as Detroit, Michigan and Nantes, France - whose singular economies have collapsed, creative thinkers have moved in to revive and redefine local economy through creative ventures, bringing new life to stagnant cities.
Indeed the defining trait of the creative class, points out Dean, is that ability to use ideas to shape society, which is what makes them so vital to cities. It includes artists, gallery owners, architects and the like, but also engineers, designers and entrepreneurs, who all commodify ideas and encourage us to think differently about our spaces and ourselves.
"If you are living in a creative environment, you tend to be open to new things, you tend to be open to diversity and building a better environment and collaborating to solve bigger problems," said Dean. "We need to have support to value this type of thinking - this is how industries get developed."
In a city like Nassau, support for these ventures, especially through funding and education, are sorely lacking, points out Dean. The panel will help to identify these needs, the few resources available to creative thinkers with ideas-based commodities, and brainstorm how the Bahamian community can expand the resources to encourage creative thinking. Such a move would be highly beneficial at a time of global economic distress, and help Bahamians think beyond the one-dimensional and unsustainable tourism economy.
"If you have a business that is an ideas-based business, it's more difficult to demonstrate what your income flow is because it's based on an intangible exchange," said Dean. "If you are a creative entrepreneur, you are not only the vehicle for selling the product but you're actually also creating it, and you may not have the training and support to sell your service."
"There are no resources readily available to help you figure out how to do you what you need to do in order to make a sale for your product or service," she continued. "For people who have these businesses or concepts that have not already been done, I want it to be identified where they go to get the support and funding they need. And that will come from our speakers."
On the panel is young entrepreneur Jaime Lewis, founder of Islandz. Offering cell phone skins with designs by local artists, USB drives featuring local flair, as well as most recently tours of art galleries and spaces in downtown Nassau, Islandz is a perfect example of local creative entrepreneurism. Lewis will be able to shed light on the inception of the project and its importance to society and the economy.
Joining him will be Edward Rolle, fund administrator of the Entrepreneurial Venture Fund and Chester Cooper, the chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, to speak on resources already available to entrepreneurs desiring to get their business off the ground.
In a first for tmg* talks, panelist Dr. Basil Springer, project manager of the Barbados Business Enterprise Corporation, will join the discussion via Skype from our Caribbean neighbor Barbados. Such a move places the discussion in a regional context and examines how regional models like those in Barbados can be put in place to benefit Bahamian communities.
"In Barbados, they have a fund - the Barbados Entrepreneurial Fund - and what they do is hold a lot of seminars with international speakers for a resource to entrappers," explains Dean. "Their objective is to make Barbados the best place to do business in the world by 2020. So they have a long-term vision for what they want their people to do. How do we start to encourage that?"
"It's a big deal to bring someone else from another island that seems to be doing something we need to be doing here," she adds. "We don't need to reinvent the wheel - when we look at another country in the same region that is doing something we should be doing, let's look at it and adapt it to our city."
Indeed, The Bahamas is in almost dire need of this kind of long-term planning that creative thinkers and entrepreneurs can help create - if given a chance. The panel next week by tmg* talks will not only allow panelists to provide their insight, but also participants to share their input, hopefully sparking future collaborations and strides made in creating the kind of exciting and vibrant creative environment they'd like to see in Nassau.
"These conversations allow for knowledge transfer - and not in a formal way," said Dean. "These conversations allow people from different industries to talk to each other and exchange ideas and form collaborations. That's how you change things and see possibility."
"Entrepreneurism and the Creative Class", a panel by tmg* talks, will be held at Custom Computers Ltd. in Harbour Bay on Thursday July 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
A $4 million renovation of the former Peace & Plenty Bonefish Lodge in Great Exuma has turned the property into a high-end boutique hotel.
The redevelopment has brought back to life a vacation destination closed for around three and a half years, creating jobs for 28 on Great Exuma in the process.
After a year of work to renovate the property, Venezuelan investors reopened the former lodge as Turquoise Cay three weeks ago.
The resort includes an eight-room hotel that aims to offer a "home away from home" for its guests, a 58-diner capacity restaurant offering a mix of French, Peruvian, Japanese and Spanish cuisine, an infinity pool and luxuriously-appointed rooms which cost from $300 to $400 per night.
"The response has been amazing so far," said Gabriela Chiriboga, who spearheaded the renovation efforts on behalf of the investors.
"Already most of our guests are return visitors. We had an Australian family who came for eight days to Exuma, and for five days running they came to eat in the hotel."
Chiriboga said a major selling point of the property is its intention to deliver personalized service to its guests.
"It's like their house. It's really extremely relaxing and private. We have a set menu but if they feel like having something different to eat we can do that. When they leave, they realize it's really truly like their home. We have this 'wow factor'."
Despite only opening last month, Turquoise Cay is already gaining strong bookings for January, February and March of 2013, said Chiriboga.
Meanwhile, press from around the world have visited the property in recent weeks to photograph and write travel features highlighting the hotel.
"The best magazine in Paris was here shooting some photographs recently. A lot of our guests at the moment are in the media business, taking pictures to put in features in their countries."
Chiriboga said the redevelopment of the former lodge involved a total overhaul.
"We bought all new equipment, changed all the electricity infrastructure; it's like a new building," she added.
Turquoise Cay is the second boutique hotel to open in Great Exuma this year, creating additional employment on the island.
Earlier in 2013, the nine-room Exuma Beach Resort - the former Coconut Cove Hotel - opened, following renovations undertaken by U.S. developer John McGarvey.
That property initially took on nine employees, increasing to 24 by October.
As I informed Members of the House of Assembly yesterday I will be using the occasion of my visit to Canada for the Annual Meetings of the Inter-American Development Bank to lead a trade and investment promotion mission while in Canada. The mission will include stops in Western and Eastern Canada.
I will be joined in the Trade and Investment Mission by the Attorney General, Sen. the Hon. John Delaney, QC and the Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace and by Minister of State, Zhivargo Laing who is attending the IDB Meeting and who departed for Canada this morning.
It was an oversight on my part not to have previously mentioned the Attorney General’s participation in the trade mission.
As you may be aware Senator Delaney holds portfolio responsibility for the promotion of the financial services sector while the Ministry of Finance holds responsibilities connected to the regulation of the sector and the negotiation and implementation of Tax Information Exchange Agreements.
Our trade mission to Canada will include officials from the Office of the Prime Minister/Bahamas Investment Authority, Ministry of Tourism, The Bahamas Maritime Authority, members of the Bahamas Financial Services Board including bankers, lawyers, and hoteliers, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) and the Head Officers of the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board and the Out Island Promotion Board, the President of The Bahamas Real Estate Association and representatives of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and BORCO.
The BFSB will host financial services and international business seminars in both Calgary and Toronto. The seminar in Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta in Western Canada, will be followed by a luncheoan meeting at the Calgary Petroleum Club during which Government and private sector presentations will be made on business opportunities in The Bahamas.
In Toronto, the Royal Bank of Canada and Scotia Bank will jointly sponsor a luncheon meeting at the Toronto Board of Trade where again we will have the opportunity to make Government and private sector presentations to interested persons of note in Canadian business and commerce. I am advised that we closed the Toronto luncheon event at 1:00 PM yesterday at which time some 218 persons had confirmed attendance.
While in Calgary, I will be interviewed by The Globe and Mail newspaper for an article scheduled for publication in their national newspaper next Thursday.
In Toronto I am scheduled to be interviewed by the Sun News Network for a programme to air in April and by the Business News Network for an interview that will air on Wednesday 30th March at 12 noon with a repeat at 6pm.
I wish to unveil to you this afternoon the promotional material which The Bahamas Investment Authority will be taking to Canada.
The principal piece is an updated edition of our promotional booklet entitled “The Bahamas – A Paradise for Many Reasons”. Additionally, there are three individual flyers – one each for Tourism, Financial Services and Grand Bahama.
You should note that when these documents were first developed in 1994/95 they were produced overseas.
These new and updated versions have been produced in their entirety in The Bahamas.
The revisions to the text, taking into account new developments in our economy, new infrastructural developments, new legislation enacted, and new and additional overseas offices of the Government, were all done by the officers of the Bahamas Investment Authority.
Mr. Knowles also spearheaded the introduction of new photos. The photos were provided by BIS and the Ministry of Tourism as well as by a number of private banks and trust companies and other private sector companies.
The BIA was fortunate to obtain the assistance in the final layout of the new brochure by Benchmark Publishing, whose principal had also been instrumental in assisting with an earlier update of the brochure in the late 1990s.
I am especially pleased to say that the books have been printed in-house by the Government Printing Department – from cover to cover. I told them today, that they must not be so modest as they have been this time. In the future I expect them to place on this document “Printed by Government Printing Department”.
I am happy to make copies of the brochure and flyers available to the press together with a list of the participants in the Trade and Investment Mission. I am happy to take your questions.