FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The redevelopment of the troubled Grand Lucayan properties and cruise port in Grand Bahama is expected to create 3,000 direct and indirect jobs and additional employment opportunities for Bahamians, said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Prime Minister Minnis was speaking on Monday 2 March at the Heads of Agreement signing ceremony for the project, which represents an investment of $300 million by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) and ITM (Bahamas Port Investments Ltd.).
“After many false dawns, there is an exciting new horizon for our second most populous island and economic center,” said the Prime Minister following the signing. “Both the Government and the developer are investing in the future and possibilities of Grand Bahama.”
The development is even more critical in light of a series of hurricanes to hit the island over the years, especially the recent destruction and, in some areas, devastation, caused by Hurricane Dorian, said Prime Minister Minnis.
Benefits from the project will also include capital investment, employment opportunities for Bahamian workers in the tourism and construction industries, increase commerce for local businesses in the Port Lucaya Market Place and beyond; taxi drivers and tour operations; and increased revenue to enable the Government to support infrastructural programs, said the Prime Minister.
Training programs for Bahamians will be available through the RCCL Training Academy, and many opportunities for small businesses and Bahamian entrepreneurs, including the producers of a wide variety of products.
“With Grand Bahama’s proximity to the large Florida market, in particular, this investment will promote sustainable economic growth and development on Grand Bahama,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
“This investment will also expand the experience for cruise passengers to The Bahamas.”
Elements of the project include Harbour Village, which is the enhancement and expansion of the cruise port area, featuring three additional berths, retail space, a beach and wellness area as well as shore excursions.
The Lucaya Property will include a 526-room hotel, retail space, 40,000 square foot convention centre, water and adventure park and other amenities.
A multi-modal transportation hub is expected to improve the infrastructure in and to Grand Bahama for water ferries and additional ground transportation, and new shore excursions featuring local businesses are also part of the development.
The construction of the Harbour Village and Lucaya Property is expected to take 24 months.
“[This] investment will go a long way in revitalizing Grand Bahama, with myriad economic and employment opportunities for more Grand Bahamians,” said the Prime Minister.