Thursday, August 16, 2018

242NewsBahamas -The Grand Debate and (& Weekly News Highlights)

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  The Grand Debate

Dear Readers,

This week, the government announced plans to purchase the Grand Lucayan Resort on Grand Bahama Island.

Once the deal is done, the government will likely spend somewhere in the vicinity of 100 million dollars to acquire, renovate, and market the property and get it back to its "fighting weight".

For Grand Bahamians, many of whom have already lived through a major hotel closure and felt the very REAL LIFE impact of that reality on the island and on their lives: this news was WELCOMED! Every resident of Freeport who remembers the vibrancy of the International Bazaar, which thrived when the Princess Towers (later renamed the Royal Oasis) was open, are understandably terrified that the Port Lucaya Marketplace which depends heavily on the Grand Lucayan property, could suffer a similar fate. In days of boom, the Port Lucaya marketplace was flooded with tourists and as a result, all of the nearby businesses flourished. Restaurants and Bars, Jewelry Stores, Clothing Stores, and of course Straw Vendors. In recent years, and in the wake of devastating hurricanes, the property has suffered and by extension so have the businesses, families and individuals who depend on it. For those persons, the government's announcement represents a glimmer of hope.

Not everyone sees it that way though. In fact, there has been so much opposition to the idea of the purchase. Government officials, opposition politicians, business people, everyone says the government has no business being in the hotel business; and perhaps they're right. But the question is: can the residents of Grand Bahama Island survive if history were to repeat itself? What are the alternatives?

At the heart of many of the issues surrounding the property has been contentions with the owners who seem unwilling to let the property go, while at the same time refusing to do what is necessary to make it a viable tourist attraction again. In fact, the country recently became aware of the dissolution of months and months of negotiations which fell apart with the Wynn Group because Hutchison refused to budge on some key issues. Clearly, investors need an owner they can play ball with.

Now, while he has yet to make his promised speech detailing the plan, the PM says the government intends to acquire it and then resell it to another buyer as soon as it can, which if done right, solves the big issue by hopefully putting the property in the hands of experienced hoteliers with a vested interest in seeing the property thrive.

That's the ideal situation, the proposed purchase could pose other issues. If mishandled, the government could very well plunge the national economy into a tailspin by increasing its expenses.

As the country waits to hear the full scope of the government's plans, I, like my friends and family in Freeport, can't help but feel hopeful. I'm optimistic that there is light at the end of this dark economic tunnel, and I'm praying that Grand Bahama comes out on the other side drenched in the magic which once gave the island its nickname!

This Week's 242 News
Prime Minister Accompanies Minister of Education on Tour of Schools
Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis accompanied Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd to inspect the level of readiness of several government schools, prior to 2018 Fall Term.
The schools visited on Saturday, August 10, 2018 were: H.O. Nash Junior High on Dolphin Drive, Eva Hilton Primary School (under construction) on Gregory Street, T.G. Glover Primary School on Horse Shoe Drive, A.F. Adderley Junior High on Harold Road (under extensive repairs), S.C. McPherson Junior High School on Baillou Hill Road, and Doris Johnson Senior High School on Prince Charles Drive. Read More
Jewel Edwards, Appointed NTA's Executive Chairman
Ms. Edwards is a respected corporate executive, business consultant, motivational speaker and transformational leader.
Passionate about excellence, empowerment, and service, she is a native of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, who began her career as a Hospitality Executive in Tourism, working in various capacities as Director of Sales & Marketing, Human Resources Director, and Operations Manager with Starwood, Sheraton, ACCOR , Westin, Choice, Enchantment and IHG hotel groups. Read More
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on Sir Roland Symonette's National Hero honour.
he policy for the Award of National Hero is that all Prime Ministers are awarded it. So why not Sir Roland?
If the truth were told, Sir Roland was the first Premier/Prime Minister of The Bahamas. It was in 1964 when The Bahamas got, for the first time, Internal Self Government. Sir Roland became Premier of The Bahamas. Sir Roland held that position and was called Premier until January 10, 1967 when the PLP, headed by Sir Lynden Pindling, won the 1967 general election.  Read More
University of The Bahamas to Honour Outstanding Alumni
University of The Bahamas (UB) alumni, who are making vast contributions to the development of the public and private sector, embody the scholarly, social and innovative vitality of the academy. In November, UB will honour former students who have distinguished themselves in diverse business, governmental, entrepreneurial, civil society, community-building and humanitarian endeavours at the Hall of Fame and Outstanding Alumni Awards.  Read More
Minister of Education calls on teacher education grant recipients to make a positive difference
The Government of The Bahamas has invested in 54 teacher education grant recipients who have been awarded scholarships tenable at the University of The Bahamas. The group, comprising four young men and 50 young women from across the archipelago, received their certificates and special awards during the first Teacher Education Grant Award Ceremony, August 13, 2018 at National Training Agency. Read More
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Sandals Foundation Joins Bahamas National Trust to Spread Environmental Awareness in the Bahamas
Further amplifying its mission to engage adults and children across the Caribbean in environmental protection and conservation, the Sandals Foundation has lent its support to the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) annual Discovery Club Leadership Symposium which seeks to put conservation directly in the hands of young Bahamians. Read More
Bahamian glass blower creates works of art for Conchman Triathlon
Sidney Pratt, Grand Bahama's own glass blower, has been making the unique and highly-treasured Conchman Triathlon trophies for the last 30 years. He now has his shop in Port Lucaya where tourists are able to view and purchase hand-made Bahamian glass pieces. Read More
A Brokerage Account is Becoming More Mainstream in The Bahamas
A lot has happened since Royal Fidelity set up its investment and advisory service on Frederick Street in Nassau twenty years ago. Today, its experts advise on not just the country's largest corporate mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings but also to an ever expanding base of individuals anxious to learn and capitalise on the firms' knowledge base of creating and managing wealth. Read More
2018 Grand Bahama Regatta Dubbed a Great Success

Grand Bahama Island's annual regatta weekend was filled with intense sailing, and throngs of locals and visitors all excited to see who would take home the trophy. Shockingly the Regatta's two-time winner Sacrifice out of Long Island placed second this year, resulting in a new overall winner, Termite out of Exuma. Read More
Click Below for this week's weather in The Bahamas:
We know you have opinions and we love to hear from you each week. In a brand new section which we've dubbed "In Response" we will feature insightful, interesting and opposing your perspectives to our weekly editorials. So weigh in and have your say, because we all have our 5 cents...In Response.

This is  Lee McCoy's Response to our editorial on July 5th, 2018.
Click Here read editorial

Aren't you happy for tour operators that best internationals standards and set the bar high? Too bad the Bahamian government just allows every one else to just copy without paying any duty, vat, port fees, business license fees, insurance, safety, training, etc.
Upcoming Calendar
New Providence
Grand Bahama
  • August 18th, 2018
    • BASRA Swim Race & Beach Party at Coral Beach 
  • August 29th, 2018
    • Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Monthly Business Meeting 12:30pm at Delphine Room,Pelican Bay Hotel
  • August 31st, 2018
    • Bahamas Federation of Performing Arts One Shot Photography Competition 7:00pm at Grand Lucayan
Family Islands
  • August 19th, 2018 
    • Goombay Summer Festival Long Island at Clarence Town Dock, Long Island
  • August 28th, 2018 
    • Mangrove Cay Seafood Festival in South Andros
For More Abaco Events click the photo below
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