The Bahamas Government has signed a heads of agreement (HoA) with Azul Destinations and Calypso Cove Destinations for the development of a resort and cruise port on South Long Island, estimated to cost some $250 mill.
Speaking during the signing ceremony earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister, Chester Cooper (pictured) said the multi-million dollar project, known as Calypso Cove, will consist of a 200-bed hotel, mega yacht marina facilities, interior pools, casinos, a cruise port, cruise pier and 18-hole golf course, among other amenities.
Cooper also expressed optimism that the project will attract more investments to the island, serving as a major economic boost.
“We are pleased to say that the project will employ thousands of Bahamians and independent Bahamian firms so this is good for employment, but also good for entrepreneurship and the empowerment of Bahamians,” he said.
Carlos Torres de Navarra, principle of Azul Destinations and former Carnival executive, explained: “We all had an idea for a destination within a very close proximity of what is the cruise capital of the world, and that’s the state of Florida and when we saw this property, we did our assessment, we noticed that from an environmental perspective, which was the most important thing to us, that there was no roadblocks and we started the process of validating the site.
“I think I speak for all of us from the developer standpoint, we believe that we will have an amazing opportunity for Long Islanders in terms of employment, in terms of economic development for the entire island as well as neighbouring islands.
“And more importantly, The Bahamas product will be something that will be I think accentuated and I think that from our perspective, our focus will be to sell and to promote a Bahamian product,” he added.
Around 300 people are set to be employed during the project’s construction phase, which will take place over a two-year period. It is hoped to break ground by the end of next year.
In the meantime, Cooper said his Ministry will continue to work on plans for the expansion of the Long Island airport, which he said will be a key requirement for the development.
The new cruise port will be able to handle two ‘Oasis’ class cruise ships simultaneously.