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A key Family Island resort is boasting about its 20 per cent increase in revenue for 2013.
The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina continues to show impressive business growth for the year.
"We are pacing to be one of the better performing properties in The Bahamas this year," said General Manager Michael Weber.
"And 2014 is off to a great start with several weekends already sold out."
Closed for two years, the Big Game Club, which was founded as a dinner club in 1936, was re-opened in 2010 following completion of a $3.5 million renovation that included all guest rooms, the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, Hemingway Rum Bar and Social Lounge, Gulfstream Conference Center and the Outfitter Shop.
Weber and his wife, Diana, who handles sales and marketing, credits "hard work and creative thinking" to positioning and promoting the 51-room, 75-slip marina property located in Alice Town.
"We continue to exhibit at various boat shows and other trade shows to generate more business to the resort. We've also re-established big game tournaments drawing large turnouts, created the world's first dockside bull shark cage experience, increased our group dive bookings drawing European and Canadian visitors and improved our food and beverage offerings adding a Shark Bar, private labeled Big Game Club Ale and introduced holistic menus for those requesting gluten-free and vegetarian meals, as well as meeting other dietary requests," said Diana Weber.
"We've also seen an increase in our marina business thanks to seasonal discount specials and long-term slip rentals."
Also joining the Big Game Club in 2013 is the Bimini- Quebec Watersports operation that offers a variety of watersports including back country kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, bicycle rentals, sailing and bareboat rentals.
"Especially popular with families is our free pool 'Intro to scuba dive' class for all guests with a PADI dive instructor," said Diana Weber.
The Webers continue to plan more events to attract guests in 2014, including a return of the highly popular "Wahoo Smackdown" tournament in February and in April the first ever "NFL Hall of Fame Billfish Invitational."
This past weekend, the Beast Mode Fight Team competed at the 16th Annual International Chinese Martial Arts Championships (ICMAC) in Orlando, Fla. The event was held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and hosted the largest amount of competitors since the 2007 version of the event.
Athletes traveled from all over the world to compete in four disciplines -- Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Wushu and Sanda. The Beast Mode Fight Team competed in the Sanda discipline and brought back seven medals - the most of any club present at the meet.
Winning gold medals for the club were Dijonaisse "D.J." Brown (lightweight title), Cameron Lewis and Kenny Neymour. Giovanni Johnson and Neil King won silver medals, and Andrew Simmons and Wayne Mackey brought home bronze medals.
Sanda, also known as Sanshou, is a martial art which was originally developed by the Chinese military based upon the study and practices of traditional Kung Fu and modern combat fighting techniques. It combines full-contact kickboxing, which includes close range and rapid successive punches and kicks, with wrestling, takedowns, throws, sweeps, kick catches, and in some competitions, even elbow and knee strikes.
Dr. Kent Bazard has been a long time fighter in several disciplines, but this time he served as the head coach for the team.
"This time it was a lot different for me because I really had to control my excitement, because usually when I go to an event I prepare a certain way and do certain things and focus on my warm-ups. With this event I had to be focused on other people's mental state, making sure the weigh-ins were done correctly and making sure that they were matched up correctly. It was different, but it was exciting," said Bazard.
"I also think that this event helped me to mature as a fighter and as a coach. As far as fighters go, I'm probably in my twilight. I'm 36-years-old and even though that's not old in terms of fighting, that's really old. I probably won't be fighting much longer so it was bittersweet to watch them, but I was also proud to see the Bahamian team doing well."
Countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Brazil, which are all hot beds for mixed martial arts and have been known for producing champion fighters, all competed in the championships. Given that the Bahamian fighters competed against this level of competition bodes well for them. It made their victories that much more impressive.
"A lot of fighters from those countries go to schools that just teach martial arts alone, so they came in and are very high quality fighters. It was good being in an environment like that on a big stage with a lot of high quality fighters," said Bazard.
"We had the highest medal count as far as the teams went, so the guys did very well for their first time out. There were only two knockouts on the evening and one of our beginners got one of them. Kenny Neymour defeated his opponent from Uzbekistan in the first round. What was really impressive was that it was Kenny's first full contact fight."
As times goes on, Bazard hopes that the sport will become more popular here in The Bahamas because he sees a lot of potential in some Bahamian fighters.
"I always say that I think The Bahamas has natural talent and natural physical ability. We have naturally good fighters; growing up all children play a game called 'dashing'. The slaves actually brought that game here so it is in our genes. We are naturally strong and athletic and I'm looking forward to seeing more fighters come forward, and seeing the sport grow," said Bazard.
In September, the fight club will be returning to Orlando once again, but this time it will be the females out of the camp competing in cage matches. Bazard expects to spend the rest of his summer getting them ready to take to the big stage and ensuring that they are ready to take on the best in the world.
Alice Town, Bimini,
The Bahamas - The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina today announced
plans for a unique one-day guaranteed shark encounter experience that will also
help fund regional shark tagging and conservation efforts through a partnership
with the Shark-Free Marinas initiative.
The Bimini Bull Run is a first for the global shark diving
industry, providing divers and non-divers with an up-close and personal
adrenaline packed thrill of shark encounters from the safety of specially
designed cage systems attached directly to the docks at The Big Game Club
Marina. The system will employ a unique "Hooka' air system, allowing
non-certified divers to experience the opportunity in addition to those certified
divers who would prefer to SCUBA
ALICE TOWN, Bimini -- The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina announced plans Monday for a unique one-day guaranteed shark encounter experience that will also help fund regional shark tagging and conservation efforts through a partnership with the Shark-Free Marinas initiative.
The Bimini Bull Run is a first for the global shark diving industry, providing divers and non-divers with an up-close and personal adrenaline packed thrill of shark encounters from the safety of specially designed cage systems attached directly to the docks at The Big Game Club Marina. The system will employ a unique "Hooka' air system, allowing non-certified divers to experience the opportunity in addition to those certified divers who would prefer to SCUBA.
"You can fly from South Florida, check into your hotel room and be in a Shark Cage all in less than an hour," said Michael Weber, Big Game Club General Manager.
For those who prefer to stay firmly on dry land, the Bimini Big Game Club is also constructing a new bar at Bimini Bull Run to allow those interested in an educational look at these wonderful sharks from behind safety rails. Bimini Big Game Club also conducts other types of dive expeditions in Bimini, a tiny, but historically significant Bahamas out-island less than 30 minutes flight-time from Southeast Florida. The 51-room resort and marina offers various wreck and reef dives, thrilling offshore shark dives, and world-class offshore big game fishing trips and well as a variety of family-friendly watersport activities.
Weber said the Bimini Bull Run operation will feature safe encounters with a variety of sharks, including Bull, Tiger and Lemon sharks.
Cedric Munroe is a self-professed pessimist. He always thought the odds were stacked against him, so he never gave entering competitions a second thought. But there was something about the sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay competition that enticed him to give his writing skills a whirl. He went with his gut instinct and it paid off. Munroe's essay written on Maya Angelou proved to be a winner. He bested the 120 entries from around the country.
"I was elated," said the Doris Johnson High School senior. "When you enter things like this, you go in not knowing what will come of it ... if you will even place. But I knew within myself that if I worked hard enough I definitely would get something from it," he said.
His winning essay earned his school a visit from the United States Charge d'Affaires, John Dinkelman who presented Cedric with an iPad and a certificate noting his accomplishment in front of his peers. Six other students from the school were also presented with certificates for penning essays to enter as well.
Students had to select any American civil rights leader who was inspired by Martin Luther King and write an original essay of 500 words or less that articulated his/her contributions to the civil rights movement. Students also had to describe what they could do or what they have done in their own community to contribute to a more peaceful and non-violent world.
Cedric wrote on how King Jr. influenced poet, author and activist Maya Angelou.
"I chose Maya Angelou because she is different and I love that she has done a lot through her poetry, books and speeches. She has really done a lot through her work by inspiring people -- particularly teen mothers. She was able to use her own tragedies, rape and teen pregnancy as a way to encourage other people, especially younger women to keep on striving."
The 17-year-old said he enjoyed writing the essay because what he learned made him feel good. He said that writing, like other art forms, requires patience and time to make it perfect, which he did to make it the best possible entry he could. Although winning was great, Cedric's hope is that people really learn something from what he wrote about.
Fifteen-year-old, Channon Pennicooke, also entered an essay in the competition. Although she didn't win, she said the process of writing the essay was an invaluable experience because it forced her to research black history from an angle she hadn't been taught in school.
The tenth grade student at Doris Johnson penned her essay on Amelia Boynton-Robinson, a yong woman who campaigned for women's suffrage, and was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama. She was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Medal in 1990.
"I was thinking of doing it on another person like Rosa Parks or Jesse Jackson but my English teacher advised me not to since they are both popular activists and numerous other students were likely to write on them. Although it would've been easier to write on one of the more popular people, I am glad I did write on Boynton-Robinson because I never even heard of her before the competition."
As she did her research, Pennicooke said she didn't find a lot of information on Boynton-Robinson, which forced her to look at her topic in a new way. As she found more information, she said it became really interesting.
Shashla Bethune, Dominic Cooper, Brittany Saunders, Shanise McLennon and Rodney Brown were the other Doris Johnson School students that entered essays into the competition.
Dinkelman presented Munroe with his prize and the other participants from the school with certificates of participation. He was pleased that so many young people participated in the essay competition and had so much to say.
Although Dinkelman did not have a say in deciding on the best entry, he said what struck him about the winning essay was that it was one filled with earnestness and genuine emotion. He said putting oneself into one's work and writing from the heart is probably one of the main reasons why Munroe outshone his peers and took home the prize.
Doris Johnson School principal Linda Major, was proud that her students participated in the competition and especially of Munroe whose essay earned the school its second consecutive win in the annual competition. She was even more proud that the winners had been males, which she said set a positive example for their counterparts.
"This is so great to see that the students are doing so well -- especially the males," said Major. "The winner of last year's competition was D'Angelo Rahming. He's now in grade 12 and still doing well. So for Cedric to come and win the competition shows that we really have talent in our school and our young men are doing something great. This is a good boost for other young men to aim to do their best and soar. We can see that they can and we are proud of them," she said.
Cedric Munroe's winning essay
"It's not a past tense for me. Dr. King continues to have an impact on my life, as he does upon the lives of many people in the world. A dream never dies. I'm trying to be that fair person, that kind, generous and courageous person, that loving person that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was and encouraged us to become." -- Maya Angelou.
Marguerite Ann Johnson, more commonly known as Dr. Maya Angelou, was born on April 4, 1928. She is a known actress, activist, poet, author and an Academy of Achievement inductee. This "Phenomenal Woman" has inspired many persons. She has inspired me to write poetry of my own, a few of which have won awards. Dr. Angelou fights for civil rights. She advocates equality among all races and same sex marriages, and motivates teen mothers and neglected persons to surmount their struggles.
Maya Angelou has traveled the world teaching moral values and virtues. She has been the voice for those who don't have the courage to speak. Dr. Angelou volunteers her time at high schools around America to divulge her life experiences. Having been a teenage mother, she knows the cruel pejoratives that premature mothers face. She has dedicated a portion of her autobiography, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" to them. Dr. Angelou has counseled teen mothers, built their courage and motivated them to aspire for transcendence.
In addition, Dr. Angelou has focused on neglect within the black community. After witnessing blacks fighting blacks and committing adultery, she perceives these as "acts of negligence." To this end, Dr. Angelou has spent much time educating blacks of the importance of being their brother's keeper. Through her lectures at Wake Forest University, she has encouraged youths to be concerned for the welfare of others.
Furthermore, Dr. Angelou is an advocate of same sex marriage. Dr. King's teachings are evident in the works of Dr. Angelou. In order to eradicate this prejudice in society, Dr. Angelou has used her poetry to make others tolerant and more accepting of the gay community. She has recited her poem, "Still I Rise" at same sex conferences across America. Presently, she fights for the rights of gays with the intention of abolishing discrimination against them.
Both Dr. King and Dr. Angelou have inspired me to be a difference maker. I have made it my goal to make the world a more peaceful place. At my school, I'm the vice-president of the Interact Club. We've donated money and labor to the needy, and also comforted the elderly. My student council body and I have implemented a peer-tutoring program, to work with the academically challenged at my school. Additionally, as a prefect, I have taken time to talk with my male peers about anger management. Dr. Angelou's words, "You may encounter many defeats but you must never be defeated" serves as my motto. Dr. King inspired Dr. Maya Angelou, and she has inspired me. Now, I must inspire my peers to personify Dr. King's morals.
Paradise Island is cracking down on crime among its employees and explaining that unethical behavior is impacting revenue goals and bonus payouts.
Atlantis, the largest private sector employer in the country, has reported losses of at least $225,000 in 2012 due to a series of scams perpetrated by workers. According to an internal publication at the mega resort, a scam involving water accounts at Ocean Club Estates cost the company in excess of $50,000. A "wrist band scandal", whereby Discovery Atlantis passes were being sold to taxi cab drivers under the table, was estimated to cost upwards of $75,000. The mega resort also took a $100,000 hit from a medical scam where line staff and managers were found to have cheated Atlantis, the hospital, national insurance and the union.
Meanwhile, Paradise Island made international headlines last year after workers attempted to rob the casino's main cashier cage.
Crime dominated the entire front page of the resort's recent internal newspaper.
Atlantis is attempting a "new approach" with its P.S.S.T. Initiative (Prevent, Stop, Save, Talk), whereby workers are encouraged to actively participate in the fight against company theft.
"We are very tough on crime," Markantonis told Guardian Business yesterday. "We have a lot of investigations ongoing. We know the loopholes and won't hesitate to take people to court and charge them, or just terminate them if there is evidence they are defrauding the company or have engaged in criminal acts."
The top executive said the resort is highlighting the fact that crime hurts everyone's pocket book. Bonuses are based on overall revenue, and according to the internal publication, crime in 2012 nearly impacted its targets.
Turning to the issue of crime at large, Markantonis said all Bahamians must realize that security is not just police business. It only takes one incident to permanently impact the country's primary source of income.
The concern is being echoed by the Ministry of Tourism.
Obie Wilchcombe, the minister of tourism, said yesterday that the government is poised to launch a "domestic campaign" educating Bahamians on the impact of crime on the economy.
"This is a serious campaign talking to our people. With discipline and understanding we can take the arms out of our hands and use the same arms to embrace people," he said. "It will promote the greater role people have to play in tourism and encourage better service."
The senior government official went so far as to suggest The Bahamas is "getting killed" in its levels of service.
The domestic campaign will hit radio television and newspapers by the start of next week.
The push against crime follows a recent advisory by the U.S. Embassy warning Americans about a rise in armed robberies in the country. Prime Minister Perry Christie noted at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace tourism conference last month that crime is the biggest threat to Caribbean tourism.
"The combination of travel advisories against certain destinations, coupled with media publicity in the major markets discouraging tourism travel to certain destinations, is a trend that is bound to not only continue, but to accelerate and widen unless we manage to bring criminal activity down, way down, in our respective countries across the region," Christie said.
Saturday 27th October 2012 8:00 PM
5th Annual CosPlay and Halloween Party Get ready for The C.A.G.E. Club’s 5th Annual Halloween Party & Cosplay Competition!! This year is go na be krunk cuz we're hosting the first ever SUPA SEXY AWESOME ASIAN DANCE as apart of the fun, goodies and games. Remember its $5 entrance w/ costume, $15 if your are in regular clothing. Thank you and hopes to see you there! The one and only Hobby Store on the island. For all your Cardfight!! Vanguard, Yu-Gi-Oh Cards, Naruto Cards, your favorite Anime, Video Games and East Asian Entertainment needs, enter The CAGE.
Management at the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina continues to report a healthy 2013 with a 12% "high season" increase over 2012 based on room occupancy and food and beverage earnings...