Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama present Guy Fawkes on the beach

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- It is time again for GUY FAWKES on the beach - an annual event organised by the Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama.
When? Sunday, November 7th, 2010 from 4 p.m. until …
Where? Margaritavilla Sand Bar, Mather Town
Come out and enjoy delicious food, lots of great raffle prizes and why not enter the fun “Guy” competition where you can win fabulous prizes, in the following categories:

· Best GUY made by a School – Wins a floating trophy + a prize to be announced

· Best GUY made by an adult – Wins a one night’s stay in a suite at Pelican Bay hotel

· Best GUY made by a child – The prize will be announced at the event

· Best GUY made by a Rotary Club – Wins a floating trophy

It is all happening on Sunday, November 7th from 4:00 bring your friends and family and enjoy the beautiful bonfire on the beach.

Adults - $10 includes BBQ Ribs or Chicken with your choice of side order and dessert.

Children - $5 includes Hamburger or Hot Dog with your choice of side order and dessert.

All proceeds go towards community projects by the three Rotary Clubs in Grand Bahama.
Tickets can be purchased at Bell Channel Inn (373-1053), Le RendezVous (352-9610), Margaritavilla Sand Bar, Seventeen Shop or from members of the three Rotary Clubs – WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Fort Lauderdale boat show is diving into new territory

Sheri Daye of Boca Raton created the Blue Wild Dive and Travel Show that will be part of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The Miami Herald

For the first time in 51 years, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show -- which runs Thursday through Monday at five locations -- will offer an expo devoted to diving, complete with seminars, retailers and travel agents.

The Blue Wild Dive and Travel Show will be located near the entrance to the Broward County Convention Center.

The Blue Wild is the creation of U.S. champion spearfisher and Outdoor Channel television personality Sheri Daye of Boca Raton, who launched it four years ago in South Florida as a stand-alone, specialty expo. In June, it drew a crowd of about 2,000 to the convention center.

Dane Graziano, senior vice president of Show Management, Inc., expects the new element to enhance the experience for show goers.

``We're trying to make some good, positive changes to the show to make it something for everybody,'' Graziano said.

``Diving has always been a popular sport, but it never got its recognition here.''

Daye has lined up an eclectic range of speakers. They include: internationally acclaimed freediving coach Kirk Krack and South Florida safety expert Julie Richardson on breath-hold diving; shark-bite survivors/captains Mike Beach and Kent Bonde of Miami Beach on shark conservation; U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue experts Kent Reinhold and Bob Hovey on rescues at sea; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission law enforcement personnel Lt. Dave Bingham, officers Rob Murphy and Hank Juntunen and Juntunen's dog, Gauge; Daye and colleague Dave Earp on spearfishing and lobstering tactics; and boating and diving in the Bahamas with spearfisher/angler Jon Cooper and boat dealer Gary Lawson.

Several local retailers will display scuba and freediving gear for sale, and a host of travel agencies will present their dive vacation packages. Show goers will be able to meet and chat with speakers at happy hour Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., featuring refreshments and raffles.

Daye said he hopes the displays and seminars will attract new diving enthusiasts.

``A lot of boaters do dive,'' she said. ``I think a lot more fishermen should jump in and look around. ''

The boat show almost always has showcased fishing, and this year is no different. But new this time is the International Game Fish Association's eight minisessions of its popular School of Sportfishing at the convention center.

From Thursday through Sunday, would-be anglers can learn the fundamentals of sportfishing from captain Tony DiGiulian; kingfish, sailfish, wahoo, and dolphin tactics from captains Jamie Bunn, Josh Brown and Ray Rosher; swordfish strategies from captain Bouncer Smith; inshore snook, tarpon and trout fishing by captain Mike Holliday; marlin and tuna fishing from captain Karl Anderson; and flats fishing with captain Rick Murphy.

Saturday and Sunday will feature fishing opportunities for children. Don Dingman, founder and host of Hook the Future, will conduct youth fishing clinics from noon to 2 p.m. at the convention center for ages 5-16.

For the niche market of saltwater fly fishers, Hell's Bay Boatworks -- maker of custom flats skiffs -- will hold a joint public appearance by two of the sport's greats, Flip Pallot, creator/producer of the long-runningcable television show Walkers Cay Chronicles, and Chico Fernandez, author and expert fly caster.

Pallot and Fernandez will be at Hell's Bay's booth No. 2040 in the convention center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Humane Society of Grand Bahama's 'Howl at the Moon' fundraiser a great night for everyone

Tip Burrows, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Grand Bahama presents the grand raffle prize to winner Joseph Major.

 Submitted by Kenton Pinder
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Humane Society of Grand Bahama held their fall fundraiser, “Howl at the Moon”, party this past Saturday, October 23rd, at the Junkanoo Beach Club on Taino Beach. It was definitely a fun night to be had by all those who came out to support the Humane Society.

Guests made their way through a spooky graveyard decor to enter the beach club which was decorated and reminiscent of an old ghost ship. As guests entered they received the special drink of the night the Howler, which was “to die for.” The musical talents and sounds of Steve Davies filled the air as people mixed and mingled, danced, and enjoyed some great food and great company.

As guests made their way around the room they admired, and bid on, the beautiful selection of different items that were in both the Silent Auction and Chinese Raffle, hoping to be a winner and take home some of the great prizes. People also purchased tickets for the main Howl at the Moon Raffle which consisted of great prizes sponsored by American Airlines/American Eagle, Harbourside Resort at Atlantis, Dolly Madison, Western Air, BTC, Ginn Sur Mer/Old Bahama Bay, Celebration Cruise Lines and Mr. & Mrs. Scott Albury.

“Our Board of Directors and volunteers really outdid themselves for Howl at the Moon! All the guests really seemed to enjoy it,” said Tip Burrows, Executive Director of the Humane Society. “We the HSGB offer heartfelt thanks to everyone who came out or supported in other ways. Our four legged friends at the shelter are very grateful!”

As the night progressed people danced the rest of the night away to the grooving tunes of DJ Prolific, who took us back in time and brought us back to the present.

Then the moment people were all waiting for finally arrived, the time to pick the winners for the Howl At The Moon Raffle. The winners were as follows:

1st Prize – Joseph Major Tkt # 20835 – 4 Nights at Harbourside Resort at Atlantis on Paradise Island and 2 round trip tickets to Nassau on Western Air.
2nd Prize – Luc Lindor Tkt # 19886 – 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in the USA, Caribbean or Mexico on American Airlines.
3rd Prize – Mike Stafford Tkt # 9934 – One Week Stay at “Lubber Lee” in Abaco.
4th Prize – Vic Skinner Tkt #7218 – 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in the Continental USA on American Airlines.
5th Prize – Elaine Rasch Tkt # 3177 – Weekend for 2 at Old Bahama Bay, West End.
6th Prize – Jeremy Wong Tkt #18552 – 2 round trip tickets to West Palm Beach on board Celebration Cruise Lines.
7th Prize – Dr. Charlene Reid Tkt #0564 – Television from Dolly Madison
8th Prize – Luciano Tkt # 14640 – Sony Eriksson Cell Phone from BTC.

Howl at the Moon was a great night and everyone who came out had a great time in supporting the Humane Society of Grand Bahama.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

VIDEO- The Bahamas in Technicolour-

The Bahamas in Technicolor from Ryan Lightbourn on Vimeo.

Ryan Lightbourn, a favorite cinematographer of Taste of Grand Bahama, has produced and released another short film of highlights of The Bahamas, This time focusing on Abaco and Harbour Island.
Watch and enjoy

New Tenant's Association breathes life into International Bazaar

Members of the International Bazaar Tenants’ Association are pictured in the bazaar’s world famous shopping arcade which tourists and locals alike are beginning to patronize once more. Left to right: Cindy Hall (Cindy’s Roti Hut); June Henderson ( Le Rendevous); Anitha Cooper (Bahamian Illustrated); Letishea Cooper (Bahamian Illustrated); Quentin Russell (DQ Swag Center); RuthAnn Newton Lightbourne (196); Mary-Ann Cooper (Kids World). Back row, Arizona Bain (Essentials); Marsha Cooper (Pretzel House); Roshema Rolle (Cogia’s Organic Food Café); Terez Bullard (T’s Junction); Ken Thompson (Jewelry Repair); Besheva Eve (La Maison de Besh) and Sharon T. Wallace (The Perfect Match). Photo courtesy of Tribune Media Services 

 Freeport, Bahamas - When you walk along the narrow corridors of the International Bazaar it seems like its many ghosts have left.
They have been replaced by the sounds of hammers and drills that are putting up new walls, stalls and countertops in stores that have for over six years bore the sign: Closed. There are people walking, shopping, mingling, laughing as they explore that which many deemed impossible and implausible.
The Bazaar has come back to life! Many stores are open and ready for business!

Clothes (for the big girls and the size twos), shoes and jewelry stores, toys, perfumes, bags, photo studios, business centers, food, drink, you name it, it’s there – all in one place for your one-stop shopping pleasure.
With each new day, the bazaar, which was haunted by the island’s failing economy, is being revitalized with the establishment of a new International Bazaar Tenants Association. This group is committed to restoring this once celebrated international tourist shopping mecca to its former glory, and renew its service to the community.
Since it opened in 1967, the International Bazaar grew to be a major tourist shopping area, luring people from all over the world with its inimitable multinational-themed architectural design that made the ten-acre property live up to its name. In 2004, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne quashed its economic lifeline with the closure of the neighboring Royal Oasis Resort.
Only two words could adequately describe the Bazaar in the aftermath of the storms: Ghost Town. Tenancy reduced from 90 to just over 30 tenants, but in 2010, that number has now swelled to nearly 60 and some believe it’s as a result of the new rental concessions and discounted business license fees by the Grand Bahama Port Authority. Yet others place the blame solely on faith.
New tenants have exercised clever business acumen by opening businesses that will not only assuage the tastes of tourists but primarily gain the allure of local consumers as well. The association also launched an aggressive marketing campaign to attract Grand Bahamians back to what many so fondly remember as a “special place” - for family, for friends, for a really great time.
Included in the slate of events to wind down the year are A Trick & Treat Through the Bazaar on October 30, from 3-8 p.m.; a Treasure Hunt on November 13; a Block Party on November 20th; and Open House and Cocktail Party on December 4.
Vice President of the International Bazaar’s Tenants’Association and co-owner of Le Rendevous Restaurant, Ron Jones, commented that more persons are encouraged to open businesses in the bazaar – filling up every vacancy and doing their part to pump life back into the Grand Bahama economy.
“I think there is a misconception in the community about the International Bazaar. What has happened is that for so many years it has depended on the Royal Oasis to survive and it’s been a tourist destination. There is a straw market here and we have been encouraging the straw vendors to come out and open their stores and that will bring tourists here,” he said.
“We don’t want tourists to come here and discover that there are only a few straw market stalls open. That defeats the whole purpose. So it is important that they come out, it will take a while before they make a profit for their efforts but if you’re not open, no-one will ever come. If you’re open, there’s reason to come.”
Anitha Cooper, Marketing Executive and owner of Bahamian Illustrated said the Bazaar is being restored to a place that is most inviting.
“When you get off from work, come on down. We have so much to offer; a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options.” Chairman, RuthAnn Newton-Lightbourne, owner of 1-9-6, said that the main purpose of the association is to bring about the unification of all the businesses under one common goal.
“It’s all about bringing back the Bazaar as a total entity and not each store trying to advertise by themselves, which allows us to lower the advertising expenses as a group, instead of individual businesses.”
Other members of the Association’s board are: June Henderson (Le Rendevous), Secretary; Randall Cooper, ( Kids World) Treasurer; Anthony Gee (Goldilocks Jewelry Store, Assistant Treasurer; Nikki Cooper, Assistant Marketing Executive (The Pretzel House and Clippendales) and Letishea Cooper, (Bahamian Illustrated) Assistant Secretary.
While tenants bask in the new found air of potential that has been birthed from their sacrifices, there are those among them that cling to the belief that God’s hands have brought the Midas touch to the International Bazaar.
“It’s a miracle,” exclaimed Sophia Rolle, owner of Jubulee Bath and Body, who has been operating her business there for the past eight years.
“I remember the Seven Days of Washing last year and when people came here to pray and they prayed for seven days – walking around the bazaar at six o’clock in the morning, just praying for this bazaar to turn around. That was it! A year ago, nothing was happening but one year after prayer and seeking God’s face – in fact, within nine months - we saw a total transformation. This is just the beginning, but you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Para-triathlete Hector Picard to compete in Conchman 2010

American triathlete Hector Picard

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama- American triathlete Hector Picard has registered for this year's Conchman triathlon which takes place on November 6 in Grand Bahama Island.
Hector suffered an accident while on the job as an electrician where he received 13,000 volts through his body that resulted in the amputation of his right arm and half his left, as well as second and third degree burns over 40 per cent of his body.

From July, 2009, through to November, 2010, Picard will have competed in more than 30 triathlon events including two Half Iron, five Olympic, two International, two Classic and 19 Sprint distances through out the state of Florida and Freeport.
"I am excited to be competing at the Conchman in Grand Bahama. It will give me the chance to show a different culture what a physically challenged athlete can do," said Picard.
He is the recipient of the 2010 Paul Mitchell Spirit award for Para-triathlete of the year in the USA.
Picard was born on May 5, 1966, in Miami to Cuban parents Georgina and Leo Picard and has two younger brothers. He is a college graduate and is a real estate professional in the South Florida market, as well as a motivational speaker. He is the father of two daughters from a previous marriage, and is married to Wendy Pennington-Marquard, previous resident of Grand Bahama. He has two step children.

Friday, October 22, 2010

St. Georges, Haywards back running the Port Authority as equal shareholders

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- With a settlement agreement regarding ownership in the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) three months behind them, the Hayward and St. George families are reportedly working together again to develop a "bright future" for Freeport.

The families were feuding for some four years over the fact that GBPA Honorary Chairman Sir Jack Hayward was insisting that he owned 75 percent of the company, while the Estate of Edward St. George held firm that their ownership status was at 50 percent. The long court battle which had reached the Court of Appeal by February, came to an end in July, however, the terms of the settlement agreement between Sir Jack, the St. George Estate and former Chairman Hannes Babak are confidential.

 Fred Smith QC
Sir Jack was said to be out of the country when The Freeport News contacted his office for an up-date. However, Fred Smith, attorney for the Estate of Edward St. George (pictured), said the agreement had brought an end to a very destructive war between the parties. "It will help to bring peace and a positive energy in the future development of Freeport through the Grand Bahama Port Authority," he said.

By July, the Court of Appeal had sanctioned and sealed a consent order in which all of the appeals and all of the Supreme Court litigation were settled.

"This effectively means that the St. Georges and the Haywards are back running the Port Authority as equal shareholders. Both families are looking to a bright and cooperative future, not only for the benefit of the families, but obviously for the benefit of the Port Group of Companies and by extension for the benefit of the residents of Freeport," Smith said.

"After all, he added, far too much negative energy was spent by everybody involved over the last five years in this war and now that everyone concerned can focus their energies on what needs to be done to bring in investors, to run the Port Group of Companies as a proper city, to help businesses here and to promote a general state of commune cooperation between the government, Port Authority, the licensees and residents."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No. 33 Shoreline-Listing ID 1803

The gated Shoreline community has a lavish, newly built home waiting on some special person to make them feel welcome! Step out your front door and be amazed by the beauty of our tranquil beaches, white sand, and crystal clear waters all in your very own back yard. This fully furnished three bedroom, three and a half bath has everything you need, all we ask of you is happiness of living in your very own home.
Listing ID# 1803

Trip Advisor- Port Lucaya Marketplace: Traveler Reviews

“Great Variety”
We loved spending time at the Port Lucaya Marketplace. We took advantage of almost everything it has to offer: shops, restaurants, bars, excursions and the straw market. My sister and I had a blast at the straw market. Yes, the vendors try to get you to buy their stuff, and yes, some of it is overpriced, but we never found them to be rude or aggressive. Most of the vendors are actually very friendly and willing to barter. It pays to be pleasant and not walk in with an attitude.
The arts and crafts section of the straw market had some wonderful and unique items. You must visit Shelly's shop if you are looking for beautiful handmade dolls. Of course, that is assuming that she has had time to make more dolls since my sister practically bought out her entire shop! We bought some very cool adjustable magnetic bracelets/necklaces that we gave as gifts when we got home. Everyone loved them. The first time we were there we bought them for $10 each; by the end of our trip we figured out that some vendors will sell them for 3 for $15. That is all part of the fun, and even at $10 we thought they were a good deal.

In the middle of the Marketplace there is a stage and outdoor seating area called Count Basie Square. It seemed kind of dead during the week, but on Friday and Saturday nights it came alive. It was so much fun to listen to the music and people watch. The bars are full of people, yet it is also very family friendly. We never once felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

The Marketplace has a couple of convenience stores and also a couple of liquor stores. It was nice to be able to buy a few things that we could bring back and keep in our hotel room. The prices seemed reasonable enough, all things considered. And finally, a must stop is the little fruit stand in the middle of the Marketplace. They have the best pina coladas, and you can order them with or without rum.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Memories – A String of Pearls' – a great success for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home

Barefoot Marketing

Honorable Loretta Butler-Turner, Minister of State for Social Development, far right with the GBCH Fundraising Committee behind her. (Photo: / Bahamas 2000 Media)

 FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Hundreds of supporters celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home in the Grand Ballroom at Our Lucaya on Friday, October 15, 2010.

The Grand Ballroom was transformed for “Memories – A String of Pearls” - a dazzling black, white and pearl celebration complete with fabulous food, moving video tribute, exquisite show of jewelry modeled by reigning Grand Bahama beauty queens, fantastic entertainment thanks to the Freeport Players Guild and Gloria McGlone, the cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Dalia Feldman - all topped off with dancing fun from MLD Productions.

“What a wonderful way to celebrate the important work done at the Home for the past 30 years,” said Sheila Smith, Executive Committee member, GB Children’s Home. “We are so grateful for the spectacular turnout. We have received tremendous support from the Grand Bahama community and, of course, from our patron Lady Joan Foulkes, the Honorable Loretta Butler-Turner, Minister of State for Social Development, and Atlanta Consul General Kay Smith who all traveled to Freeport to help make the evening a success,” added Mrs. Smith.

And the winner is... Guests also got a chance to win fantastic art from Chantal Y.E. Bethel and Claudette Dean, stunning jewelry pieces and a host of other prizes in the evening’s Grand Raffle – which was a tremendous success thanks to the generous donations from individuals and companies in the Grand Bahama community. Pictured is Beth Albury (left) winner of the Claudette Dean piece 'Caribbean Pearls'  giclee along with the night's patron Lady Foulkes (right). (Photo: Derek Carroll Photography)

Guests also got a chance to win fantastic art from Chantal Y.E. Bethel and Claudette Dean, stunning jewelry pieces and a host of other prizes in the evening’s Grand Raffle – which was a tremendous success thanks to the generous donations from individuals and companies in the Grand Bahama community.
“We have always said that it takes a village to raise a child. Tonight, so many in our community did just that by coming together to have a wonderful time and, more importantly, to support the efforts that are so needed at the Home,” said Mrs. Geneva Rutherford, Executive Committee Member.

The committee was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community – particularly at a time with there is significant economic challenges and hardship. Supporters purchased tickets, donated gifts, services and money – all of which will directly help the Home meet the significant shortfall in funds to cover operational expenses. “We thank everyone for the great support and we assure you all of it will go to continuing to provide a safe haven for abused, neglected and abandoned children – as has been done for over 2,000 little boys and girls in the past 30 years,” added Mrs. Rutherford.

Is this a Party or WHAT! It was definitely a party scene in the Our Lucaya Ballroom for the 30th Anniversary of the GB Children’s Home.  Thanks to Emcee Karen Bain Fergsuon and MLD Productions, the dance floor was packed with the hundreds of supporters.  Even Lady Foulkes showed attendees how to 'get funky' on the floor. (Photo: / Bahamas 2000 Media)

Our Special Thanks - The Children’s Home committee was extremely grateful to Lady Joan Foulkes for agreeing to be the Patron of the Home's annual fundraiser.  As a token of thanks she received a one of kind conch shell creation by local artist Cathy Laing.  Presenting the gift are (left to right) Lynne Fraino, GBCH Fundraising Committee, Lady Foulkes, Karen Bain-Fergsuon, Emcee and GBCH Fundraising Committee and the Honorable Loretta Butler-Turner, Minister of State for Social Development.  (Photo: / Bahamas 2000 Media)

The Children’s Home committee is grateful to all of the corporations that have contributed to this event. In particular, the tremendous support from Our Lucaya made it one of the Home’s best events ever. “We are so thankful to the Our Lucaya team who worked tirelessly to put together a wonderful evening. From the delicious and plentiful food and the delectable desserts to all of the meetings and plans to bring it all together, Our Lucaya has been a wonderful partner,” said Jean Hivert, Executive Committee member. “We also had great support from other corporate and private supporters like all the Bahamas media, local printers, Bristol Wines and Spirits, Colombian Emeralds International, Freeport Players Guild performers and many others who helped make our 30th anniversary a great success – and a beautiful, memorable evening that will go a long way in helping our children,” added Mrs. Hivert.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fire destroys farm and maintenance administration building on Grand Bahama Highway

Freeport News

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - A major service and landscaping business was destroyed by fire Monday evening, leaving the owner Ted Russell devastated and some 50 employees out of work.
When firemen arrived at the scene shortly before 6pm, the Care Maintenance/DAPL Farms and Garden Centre on Grand Bahama Highway was fully engulfed in flames.

Russell and his family watched as his business went up in flames. The company provided several services, including landscaping, farming/gardening supplies, and janitorial service.

"I am devastated," said Mr Russell. "We don't know what happened."
When The Tribune arrived at the scene, a crowd of onlookers were gathered in the area.
Thick black smoke drifted into the evening sky and small explosions could be heard going off as the fire and heat intensified.
Supt Macktavius Daniel, officer in charge of Central Division, reported that the business had already closed for the day and no one was at the business or on the property when the fire started.
"At about 5.40pm smoke was seen emanating from the building and the fire department was alerted," he told The Tribune.
Two fire trucks responded to the scene. Firemen from the Grand Bahama Airport Company also assisted.
"When firemen arrived the building was fully engulfed with flames and the owners arrived shortly afterwards and attempted to extinguish the fire, but it appears the fire was already out of control," said Supt Daniels.
"Nobody was inside because the business closed at 4pm," Mr Russell said the business employed 50 persons.amp;view=article&id=6816:fire-destroys-farm-and-maintenance-administration-building-on-grand-bahama-highway&catid=33:News%20&%20Info%20about%20Grand%20Bahama&Itemid=146" linkindex="115">CLICK HERE TO WATCH GBTV VIDEO

100-job 'wave' from energy testing ground


Tribune Business Editor
Grand Bahama is being eyed as a 2011 first half testing ground for a unique technology that aims to generate electricity from ocean wave kinetic energy, the project's Bahamian partner telling Tribune Business that if commercial viability was proven it could create up to 100 manufacturing jobs in Freeport coupled with export production.

Scott Albury, president of Neptune Wave Power (Caribbean), speaking to Tribune Business at last week's Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), said the $3-$4 million research and development (R&D) phase of the company's project was scheduled to start in early 2011, with a 90-day testing cycle anticipated to begin at the first quarter end/second quarter start.

Mr Albury, who is also president of Atlantic Jet Management, an aviation consulting and management company, said the project had received a Letter of Intent from Grand Bahama Power Company, pledging to purchase its electricity if the project's commercial viability was proven.

Adding that support had also been received from Earl Deveaux, minister of the environment, and Phenton Neymour, minister of state for the environment, plus the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), Mr Albury said Neptune's technology would completely eliminate the $0.10-plus per kilowatt hour fuel surcharge attached to Bahamian electricity bills, since it used no fuel.


Explaining that Neptune was a Dallas-based company with whom he had been working for two years, Mr Albury said he had succeeded in bringing its officials to Grand Bahama to assess what the island had to offer.

Following three to four trips to the island, and the receipt of financing for its RDA phase, Mr Albury said Neptune was moving to build its first energy-producing buoy, and deploy it, in Grand Bahama.

Talks were being held, he added, with both Grand Bahama Shipyard and QSL over the contract to construct the first test buoy, while Grand Bahama Power chief executive, Alan Kelley, had been "very co-operative in supporting our efforts.

"We have a Letter of Intent with Grand Bahama Power," Mr Kelley said. "They've agreed to help us any way they can."

Construction of the buoy, which will contain the kinetic energy-producing technology, is scheduled to take place in Spring next year, with deployment in the waters off Grand Bahama for a 90-day testing cycle to follow shortly.

If testing proved successful, Mr Albury said Neptune would move to construct an "array" of three-four buoys to further determine commercial viability, and added: "We need to two-three feet of sea water in order to be 80 per cent efficient with the buoy.

"It's all designed to feed power into the grid and save on power costs. This thing doesn't need fuel."

Moving to mass production, though, will depend on the testing results, available financing, likely costs and the returns in terms of how much electricity the buoys can produce, and the Mega Watts (MW) demanded by customers.

Not to mention the Government permitting and sea bed leases required.

Yet, if all went swimmingly, Mr Albury said of Neptune's Grand Bahama manufacturing potential: "We think there'll certainly be in excess of 100 people involved in manufacturing when this gets up to the scale of commercial viability.

"We're also talking, and this will be an important part of the process, that we think there will be an opportunity to export this product from the Bahamas to other Caribbean countries from the Harbour in Freeport."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Net income in banks rise 10 percent in 1Q


Guardian Business Reporter
The net income of banks operating in The Bahamas grew by 10 percent to$64.4 million in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, but a pair of financial experts say the increase shouldn't be interpreted as a breakthrough for financial institutions.
The figures were revealed in the Quarterly Economic Review recently released by the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
Former Minister of State for Finance James Smith toldGuardian Businessthe growth in net income shouldn't be viewed as a massive improvement because progress made in previous years should be taken into consideration.

"The 10 percent net income increase could represent growth from a historically low level."Smith said, who is also a former Central Bank governor."It means that it has turned around but it hasn't returned to pre-recession levels. If there is two successive quarters of positive growth then basically you can say that[banks]have turned the corner."

Smith's statements are backed by the previous Quarterly Economic Review released in July, which indicated a sharp decline in net income after a strong performance in the first quarter of 2008.

The report said:"Since achieving a level of$80 million in the first three months of 2008, banks'net income fell sharply, by an annualized average of 18.0%($14.7 million)during the subsequent quarters to end-2009, and contracted by a further 9.2%($5.3 million)to$51.8 million over the review quarter."

While Smith said it's too early to tell what direction net income is heading, another financial analyst said the approach taken by local banks led to the improvement.

President and CEO of Providence Advisors Ken Kerr told Guardian Business that financial institutions have taken the proper steps that resulted in an increase in net income compared to last year.

"What[banks]have done is tighten up like all other businesses, contained cost significantly and stepped up on collections and that has allowed them to remain[profitable]and increase profitability,"Kerr said."Notwithstanding the fact that times are uncertain and challenging, people still need money and those who qualify have gone to access the banks for cash."Compared to the same period last year, operating costs for banks rose by 1.6 percent to$70.2 million and net interest income grew by 4.4 percent to$125.6 million. Provisions for bad debts decreased by$2.3 million, and earnings from non-core activities turned a profit for the first time in over a year at$3.6 million.

Kerr said banks have stepped it up, which is the reason why they have experienced a productive first quarter.

"Stepping up on collections and better underwriting of loans has led to the improved profitability,"he said."So it's not necessarily that the economy is turning around although it might be very slowly, the banks have done a better job of management." Original Article HERE

Ways to improve Grand Bahama tourism

Some times whilst going through my alerts, I come acroos letters and posts that fill me with a little hope, I hope visitors like Scott continue to visit Grand Bahama and recommend the Island to more friends and family.

Read his Letter to the Editor of The Nassau Guardian:

Dear Editor,

My wife and I have been to The Bahamas three times and love your nation. We traveled once to New Providence and twice to Grand Bahama. Although my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Nassau during our stay at Cable Beach, we found the traffic and crowds(particularly when multiple cruise ships were in port)to be overwhelming.

On our second visit we fell in love with Grand Bahama and to this day sing its praises to all our friends and family. After having our daughter it was a no brainer that we would go to GBI where we felt more comfortable with a child given the throngs of people and speeding cars in Nassau.

Many Americans like myself can't afford to book a family vacation at the Atlantis and with the construction of Baha Mar, stays on New Providence are only going to get costlier.

I have recently been reading inThe Freeport Newsabout ideas to draw American tourists like ourselves to GBI and as a visitor to your beautiful country would like to weigh in. My own experience makes me think that Grand Bahama should market itself as a family destination rather than competing head to head with New Providence which clearly is more suited for couples or wealthier families.

Our 3-1/2-year-old loved her time on the beach and at the UNEXSO dolphin experience. She was fascinated by the beautiful gardens, birds and animals at Garden of the Groves. Her eyes were as wide as saucers at the Junkanoo Rush out we attended.

Everywhere we went she made friends with the children of other tourists or the children of local merchants. We spent time with a gracious family through the People to People program. Like all visitors we did our share of shopping and dining out. GBI should promote itself as the more relaxed alternative to Nassau and Orlando, family friendly while still being a great place for a romantic getaway with the bars, restaurants and the casino at Our Lucaya.

As our daughter grows older there will be snorkeling, scuba and cave exploring to look forward too. Along the lines of this family theme, a Bahamas history center, pirate museum or eco-centre would be an additional draw for tourists with older children(maybe near the International Bazaar to bring more customers to that area). I plan on vacationing on your island as often as my job and wallet will allow and hope for the continued success of your tourist industry.

Yours, etc.,


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition family vacations on Grand Bahama while home is madeover

Submitted by Weber Shandwick

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Grommesh family from Fargo, North Dakota, traveled to Grand Bahama Island last week as the cast of ABC’s hit show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition worked to convert their home into a handicap-accessible oasis.

Each episode of the hit show features a family that has faced some sort of recent or ongoing hardship – such as a natural disaster or a family member with a life-threatening illness or disability. The show's producers coordinate with various companies to make over the family's home while the family vacations elsewhere – this time, in The Bahamas. During the trip, cast members check in with the family to give them glimpses into the home improvements, and the viewers at home are treated to beauty shots of the destination.

While awaiting their home’s reconstruction, the family vacationed at Our Lucaya and experienced a dolphin encounter with UNEXSO. For a family who’d never before seen the beach, this trip was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

The episode is expected to air during the holidays, keep an eye out for Grand Bahama on national television. The show's producers send thanks to the folks on Grand Bahama Island for all their help in setting up this very special trip. The Grommesh family absolutely adored their adventure!

AP press release below:MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - Their faces said it all. As the Bill and Adair Grommesh family set eyes for the first time on their brand-new Moorhead home, their reactions were a visibly overwhelming mix of shock, joy, tears and pure happiness.

Those precious seconds of raw emotion marked a rare unscripted moment during Sunday's reveal of the Grommesh residence, which was constructed as part of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

The reality show's production crews surprised the Grommeshes last week with news that their former modest home off Eighth Street South would be relocated and a new handicapped-accessible home would be built in its place in just 106 hours.

The Grommeshes have two children: 10-year-old son Garrett, who was born with spina bifida and must use a wheelchair to get around, and 11-year-old daughter Peighton, who has a pancreatic enzyme deficiency known as Axenfeld-Reiger's syndrome.

The spectacle of the home's unveiling Sunday drew thousands of observers to the streets around the Grommeshes' home.

Heritage Homes, the local builder for the project, estimated about 8,000 people had flocked to the area by 2 p.m.

Production crews and volunteers were on site Sunday morning, making last-minute preparations.

Filming began in the afternoon, with numerous staged shots of the vast crowd cheering and chanting, "Move that bus!"

Just before 3 p.m., a white stretch limo brought the Grommesh family home, where the lively audience waited.

Even before seeing the house, the family was brought to tears by the thousands of onlookers.
"We love you guys so much," Adair Grommesh shouted to the exuberant crowd.

A few minutes later, the infamous bus moved out of the way to a roar of cheers.

More tears and hugs ensued as the Grommesh family exchanged disbelieving gawks at their new two-story home.

The family interacted a bit with the crowd, and the show's host Ty Pennington spoke with them out front.

A short while later, the Grommeshes were allowed to go inside a moment followed by additional surprised reactions when the family got their first looks of the interior.

As the front door closed behind them, Bill Grommesh stuck his arm out for a thumbs-up to the crowd.

The exact details of the Grommeshes' new home remain a mystery to all but the family, the production crews, the volunteers and the rare other few who've gotten a glimpse inside.

The episode featuring the Grommesh family is expected to air sometime between mid-November and mid-December. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" airs at 7 p.m. on Sundays.

The 5,200-square-foot residence includes three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a two-car garage, an elevator and an indoor pool with a lift for Garrett, Heritage Homes' spokeswoman Megan Messer said.

None of the Grommesh family, the show's producers or on-air talent was available to talk Sunday following the reveal.

Crews were slated to spend about four hours Sunday evening filming the Grommeshes' reactions inside the home.

The family will be available to speak publicly for the first time today about their experience.Meanwhile, family members of the Grommeshes who observed Sunday's reveal were equally as overwhelmed by emotion.

Adair Grommesh's sister, Yvette Krzyzaniak, described the scene as "amazing" and "surreal."

"We are so grateful and thankful for everything that has come our way," she said.

While the home was constructed last week, the four Grommeshes were sent on vacation to the Bahamas.

The project's representatives said an ABC producer was with the family throughout the vacation to ensure they had no access to TV, Internet or cell phones and no contact with anyone who might spoil the surprise.

The family arrived back in town by Saturday afternoon to see their old home passed on to another deserving family.

The Grommeshes' history of giving back to the community and son Garrett's idea to donate their former house to the Izja and Valdete Hajdari family inspired the theme for the show's Moorhead projects: "Pay It Forward."

"That was one of the most incredible gestures of generosity that we had ever heard," executive producer Brady Connell said of Garrett's idea.

"We probably should have known that this was the perfect place to come for a 'Pay It Forward' episode because the volunteer spirit here is alive and well," Connell said to the crowd Sunday. "This is a fantastic example to the rest of the country on how everyone should be treating their neighbor."

Although the formal project is complete, crews are expected to remain working at the Grommesh home until midday Tuesday.

More photos avaiable at

Grand Bahama Artist Association hosting Thanksgiving Art Exhibition

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Rand Nature Center is once again hosting the Grand Bahama Artist Association Thanksgiving Art Exhibition.

To insure that residents and visitors are aware of where this upcoming event will take place members of the GBAA are standing by the Art Gallery Sign on East Settlers Way in the photo.

The GBAA Thanksgiving Art Exhibition opens Thursday November 4, 2010 and continues in the Glory Banks Art Gallery until Saturday November 27th. The Exhibition includes the works of local and international artists in a variety of mediums. For more information call (242) 353 4333.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Classic Tropical Architecture of Alfred Browning Parker on Grand Bahama Island

Slide show photography by Christine Matthäi

by Paula Boyd Farrington

Alfred Browning Parker—an architect best known for his acclaimed trend-setting work in the 1950s, 60s and 70s—shared a passion for organic architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright, building with a sensitivity to local climate, indigenous materials, and elements of cutting-edge social and technological advances that keep their designs fresh, modern, and still celebrated today.

In the years following World War II, Alfred Browning Parker worked primarily in South Florida—the residences he designed often finding their way onto the cover of America’s leading architectural House Beautiful magazine. Parker had a style of blending natural materials like mahogany and limestone with then-new techniques in poured concrete, all while allowing naturally cooling ocean breezes to flow through his tropical homes in the days before widespread air conditioning existed.

The early developers of modern-day Grand Bahama Island—a mere 68 miles off the coast of South Florida—also called on Alfred Browning Parker’s unique talents to design many of the island’s first commercial buildings as well as some of their own executive residences. One of these homes was recently sold by Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty—with the new owners determined to maintain its architectural and historic integrity.

Fine art photographer Christine Matthäi captured the timeless relaxed elegance of this Sea Shell House property in Grand Bahama. Her beautiful dreamy images show the organic nature of the home and its effortless flow from interior to exterior.

In addition to his grander designs, Parker also embraced the same principles of easy island living in modest everyday homes—one of which still exists in Grand Bahama right here.

Hats off to Parker’s classic tropical masterpieces on Grand Bahama Island—each built on a passionate appreciation for our natural environment which is shared by island lovers the world over.

Take the Stress Out of Homebuying on Grand Bahama

Images are homes listed with James Sarles Realty, Call 351 9081

by Jim Reed

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

1. Find a real estate agent whom you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the agent you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer. You risk losing out on the home of your dreams.

3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family and friends — the people who will be living in and enjoying the home.

4. Accept that no house is perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take. Our Coldwell Banker agents are trained and experienced negotiators.

6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities and schools, and other aspects that will have a big impact on your quality of life.

7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and want to make an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers. Our Coldwell Banker agents can explain fully the process and what you need to do in what order.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and then let your home deteriorate. This adds even more stress.

9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home in the first place, and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. A home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Stop by our Coldwell Banker office and talk to any of our knowledgeable agents about taking the stress out of your buying experience.

Our Lucaya gives back to the children on Grand Bahama

 The Crescent Pool is going to make a gorgeous back drop for our event and the food and beverage department has pulled out all the stops for us too – calling it impressive is an understatement!' (Photo courtesy of Our Lucaya)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Slated to be the biggest event of the fall calendar, the 30th Anniversary celebrations for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home is an annual fundraiser for abandoned and neglected children of the island.

Set for Friday, October the 15th, at the Crescent pool of Our Lucaya, the fundraiser will also be a celebration of the Children’s Home’s 30 years of service to the children of Bahamas. “I can still remember the first Children’s Home,” said Shelia Smith, Executive Committee Member. “We used drawers for cribs for the babies, because of lack of space – we’ve come a long way to where we are now thanks to the community.”

It is this same community that is being asked to support the Home again as raising over 2,000 children during its time has been an ongoing challenge. “We’ve had our good and bad times,” noted Smith “but somehow we’ve managed to keep our doors open and take care of so many. Each penny raised truly makes a difference for us.”

This year, the committee is thrilled to having the special 30th Anniversary celebration at Our Lucaya. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Our Lucaya Team and their new General Manger, Michael Weber,” noted Barbara Stollery, Fundraising Committee Member. “The Crescent Pool is going to make a gorgeous back drop for our event and the food and beverage department has pulled out all the stops for us too – calling it impressive is an understatement!”

The fundraising committee has been working with Carmel Churchill Resort Group Sales Manager, Executive Chef, Dwaine Clare and the Conventions team: Laurel Bartlett and Kevin Clarke. “We’ve found the staff extremely helpful and very cooperative,” added Stollery. “This has opened a wonderful new door for Our Lucaya and its partnership with the Grand Bahama community and our Home.”

Set at the far east of the property, the night will commence with a welcome glass of wine and delicious hors d'œuvres throughout the evening. In addition to this, the committee has been working with Gloria McGlone and the Freeport Player’s Guild who will be showcasing various numbers from their acclaimed show ‘Ain't Misbehavin'.’

Pictured are four of the talented cast performing earlier this year at the Regency Theatre. Tickets for the event are now on sale at Barefoot Marketing, GBPA, Chamber of Commerce, Le Rendezvous and the Seventeen Shop. (Photo: Erik J. Russell / Keen i Media Ltd)

“We are planning just a few numbers for the night, an elegant jewelry showing and a wonderful surprise presentation too,” added Geneva Rutherford, Executive Committee Member and Co-Emcee for the evening. “We are also thrilled that the Minister of State for Social Services, Loretta Turner Butler will be in attendance as well as our Patron for the night, Lady Joan Foulkes,” she added.

Tickets for the event have been selling well with tremendous corporate support also coming in from: Focol, Bradford Marine, Polymers, First Caribbean, RBC, GB Shipyard, Pharmachem, Vopak and two of their annual supporters GB Devco and Millie’s Car Rental. Tickets are $75 in advance, $80 at the door, and can be purchased at The Seventeen Shop, Barefoot Marketing, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, and Le Rendezvous Restaurant in the International Bazaar.

“We are looking forward to a wonderful night and are asking for the community’s support,” said Rutherford. “As they say it takes a village to raise a child and these children above all need our help and love. We want everyone to know each penny raised reaches our Home – and the funds are needed on this 30th Anniversary more than ever.”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BIFF presents their 7th Annual Film Festival Poster by artist Dede Brown

Nassau, Bahamas - Bahamas International Film Festival present their 2010 Festival Poster designed by Dede Brown.

Dede Brown - Artist, Designer and Photographer

"When I was first approached about designing BIFF’s 7th Annual Film Festival Poster, I felt that it was a great opportunity for me, to engage in, what I consider to be a professional, creative and challenging design project. It also gave me the chance to build on my rrelationship with BIFF. As artists, individual or collective groups/entities, I feel that it is very important that we all support and encourage one another as we all make up the Bahamian Arts Community, a small yet steady growing enterprise, which will continue to grow as long as we’re all working together," said Brown.

Born in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and is currently living and working in Nassau, Bahamas.

She has a BFA in Interior Design, Minor in Photography, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah Georgia, 2002- 2006

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Listing of the Week- Bahamia Single Family Lot BSD160,000 Listing ID-5545

Bahamia Single Family Lot
Edinburgh Place
Over100 ft of Canal Font
19,300 sq. ft.
Listing ID#5545

Situated in Bahamia on Edinburgh place this Single Family lot offers great potential. This canal lot in Bahamia has 114 feet on the canal.
Click here for more info & photos.

Call 242 351 9081 to speak to an Agent TODAY!!!!!

Guy Harvey and Vaughn Cochran Team to Create Black Fly Bimini at the Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort & Marina

OCTOBER 6, 2010

Vaughn Cochran with Bonefish

Guy Harvey announced today he is teamingwith fellow artist, conservationist and fly fishing personality, Vaughn Cochran, to launch Black Fly Bimini, a Guy Harvey Outpost Outfitter operation.

Black Fly Bimini will operate out of the newly reopened Bimini Big Game
Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Marina.

In making the announcement, Harvey commented ³this legendary Club overlooks
flats abundant with bonefish and permit. Vaughn has the skills and passion
to help us promote Bimini¹s remarkable back-country fishery for its great
fishing and mesmerizing natural beauty.² Commenting on the varied fishing
opportunities his Bimini Outpost has to offer, and their spirited
competition as renown offshore and back country anglers, Harvey is quick to
add, ³looking at Vaughn is a bit like looking in the mirror, so I¹m sure
glad he keeps his fishing to skinny water!

Black Fly Bimini will organize all of the Big Game Club¹s backcountry
fishing programs, with on-site staff, operations and merchandising support.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Cochran and his fly fishing wife, Jean,
oversee Black Fly Inc., a collection of enterprises featuring fly fishing
merchandise, art and travel. The couple has recently opened Black Fly
Bonefish Club, their newest lodge, located on Great Abaco Island in the

Hands down any day, for a pure adrenaline rush, the Grey Ghosts of Bimini
can hold their own against the Man in the Blue Suit², Cochran notes,
referring to the Blue Marlin that is synonymous with Bimini's reputation
among off-shore anglers. Now with the help of the island's legendary
bonefishing guides, we're going to revitalize awareness of the great
bonefishing that Bimini offers.

In addition to featuring Guy Harvey sportswear and gifts, the Outfitter shop
at the Bimini Big Game Club will feature Black Fly merchandise and fly
fishing supplies, including assorted flies developed by Cochran especially
for conditions on the Bimini flats.

About Vaughn Cochran

A Florida native, Cochran grew up in the art community of St. Augustine and
earned art degrees in ceramics and painting at the internationally known and
respected Art and Printmaking Department of the University of South Florida.
Arriving in Key West in 1972, he started his fishing career, teaching Jimmy
Buffet how to fly fish while playing the washboard, banjo and bass guitar
for his Coral Reefer Band. Becoming one of the most respected fly fishing
guides in the Florida Keys, Cochran later managed some of the legendary
fishing lodges of the Caribbean and Central America, including Parismina
Tarpon Rancho in Costa Rica and Turneffe Island Lodge in Belize. Along the
way, he nurtured his artistic calling, and today his works are found in
numerous private and corporate collections, including a recent one-man
exhibition at the IGFA¹s main gallery.

"Although I still enjoy painting the traditional fishing and seascape scenes
that I'm known for, my newest work is in the pop style from earlier in my
painting career. I started with pop art fish and have moved on to other
images and icons of the fishing industry, he said." These paintings are now
available as prints as are many of his more traditional scenes of the flats
he fished on a regular basis.

With his quick wit and entertaining laid back style, Cochran is a frequent
host and guest of various fly-fishing TV shows including the popular
Spanish Fly with fishing pal, Jose Wejebe.

What started out as Vaughn Cochran's marine art gallery years ago has turned
into one of the most unique destination fly shops in the U.S., Black Fly
Outfitter, a full service technical fly shop specializing in saltwater
flies, custom fly kits, fly rods, fly reels and clothing for tropical fly
fishing destinations around the world.

The company¹s sumi-style Black Fly logo adorns a complete line of fly
fishing merchandise, gear and gifts. Original paintings, fine art prints,
ceramic tiles and art pottery, Black Fly merchandise and additional T-shirts
are available at

About Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Marina

Founded as a dinner club in 1936 in Alice Town, the island¹s cultural hub,
by Nassau entrepreneur and bon-vivant, Neville Stuart, the Big Game Club has
over the last 74 years hosted world-class fishermen, major tournaments,
international celebrities and tens of thousands guests looking to bask in
the unique Islands in the Stream mantra made famous by author Ernest
Hemingway who fished and lived in Bimini in the mid 1930s.

Today, the Big Game Club¹s Outpost concept is designed to take the resort
beyond that of a ³fishing lodge (though admittedly a majority of visitors
will be there for the world class fishing) to create an eco-destination
attracting both fishing and diving enthusiasts while focusing on adventure
travel, sustainable tourism and marine conservation.

The Big Game Club, which is located on the main navigation channel in Bimini
Bay, currently features a 51-room resort and a 75-slip marina capable of
accommodating boats up to 145 linear feet. By Spring 2011, a full service
fuel dock will be operational.

There are Phase II plans that will include a Guy Harvey Theater, guest
lecture series and interactive sessions with Dr. Harvey and the Guy Harvey
Research Institute at NOVA Southeastern Oceanographic Center and day trips
to the Bimini Biological Field Station¹s world-famous shark lab.

Location: Alice Town (North Bimini¹s Southern Tip)
Facilities: 75 Slips
Regular Rooms: 35
Penthouse Suites: 4
Cottage Rooms: 12
Restaurants: Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill
Pools: Freshwater
Activities: Outpost Outfitter Shop
Reservation: 1-800-867-4764

GB Bridge construction delayed

GBPA Chairman Ian Rolle  Photo: Lyndah Wells

Hutchison Whampoa is delaying construction of the $4 million alternate bridge in East Grand Bahama despite the project already getting approval from its partners, The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).

In an interview with The Freeport News yesterday, GBPA president Ian Rolle said that the Port Group Limited has already approved the project and are awaiting a decision from Hutchison who have been deliberating on the matter for some time.

The Grand Bahama Development Company (DEVCO) and GBPA announced plans for the construction of a new bridge across the Grand Lucayan Waterway some time last year.

Officials at the time had stated that the construction of the new bridge will continue with DEVCO and GBPA's vision for Grand Bahama's future development and complete the Grand Bahama Highway, making travel to the eastern end of the island easier.

"We need feedback from Hutchison because the company that is building the bridge is Lucaya Service Company and they own 50 percent of that, but the Port Group had approved this for a while now and are waiting on them to finish their deliberations," Rolle explained.

"Its really for redundancy purposes. We want to ensure that the island is never cut in half so we are waiting on them to make a decision because the Port Group has made a decision and have approved the project."

Rolle maintained that they are in constant discussion with Hutchison to help move the process along.

If Hutchison does gives the green light for the project to continue, the new bridge will consist of four lanes and a side-walk and utility path. It will also begin at the intersection of Grand Bahama Highway and Fortune Bay Drive, spanning the channel opening and continue onto the east side of the highway.

Officials said that when completed, the bridge will be of great benefit to all of the residents of East Lucaya and the eastern end of Grand Bahama. Most importantly it will provide a very necessary alternative route across the Grand Lucayan Waterway.

The new bridge is expected to be of concrete construction, which will allow the safe transport of heavy equipment, machinery and materials to East Lucaya and East Grand Bahama for future developments.

Construction of the bridge is anticipated to provide approximately 45-50 new construction jobs for the duration of the project and will provide a stimulus for the local economy.

The Casuarina Bridge currently connects the East and Western ends of the island and is more than 40 years old. According to reports it was not designed to handle heavy construction traffic and for years residents residing in East Grand Bahama have had only one means in and out of their communities.

Work on the new bridge was expected to commence in April of this year, but without approvals from Hutchison Whampoa it is unclear if or when the project will begin.

Bahamas is good break for Interval


Business Reporter

ORLANDO, Florida - Interval International's affiliated timeshare properties in the Bahamas continue to generate a high market share when compared to other Caribbean islands, the company's regional sales and service director told Tribune Business yesterday, as it eyes expanding that inventory to properties attached to high-end brands.

Neil Kolton said Grand Bahama's Island Seas Resort and Paradise Island's Harborside Resort properties have sold - and continue to sell - extremely well. Harborside recently revealed that its inventory is 97 per cent sold out, and Mr Kolton, coy about the actual figures, added that Island Seas was selling a large amount of units yearly.

He said that despite the depressed Grand Bahama market and foundering stopover visitor numbers, the property, with its timeshare model, draws those owners to their vacation spot yearly.

Mr Kolton added that these islands' proximity to the US was also a huge draw for individuals who want to purchase shared ownership properties.

However, he lamented that like many other Caribbean islands, the barriers to doing business in the Bahamas often dissuade investment in large, branded, mixed-use and exclusively timeshare -entred properties.

President of Ragatz and Associates, Richard Ragatz, speaking yesterday at Interval International's Vacation Ownership Investment Conference, outlined the expansion of fractional properties across the shared ownership market, and which markets are best suited for the niche offering.

While not stating specific markets, what he outlined aptly described the Bahamas' natural, economic and physical attributes, including: High-end tourist profile and repeat guests; demand for whole-ownership properties (second home); good proximity and limited seasonality.

According to him, fractionals have the lowest depreciation rate next to second homes, and far lower than that of timeshares. And while the Bahamas could be a good fit for fractional properties, more hotel branding and high-end property affiliaitons are the key to introducing more ownership-style properties to the Bahamas that draw a sustainable, year-round stopover client.

Bahamian play set to take place in Grand Bahama in November

One Big Circle promises to be a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The new stage production by writer/director Conrad Knowles makes a number of promises, including a well-written, well-directed and well-acted stage play. Perhaps the biggest promises the new production can make is that everyone who attends will be able to relate to the story and the characters in one way or the other.

Knowles say that the script came out of his frustration of seeing the divide that exsist between people in church and people in clubs and on the streets.

"It felt like there is a great divide between these two sets of people and I felt like there has to be a way to bring these two together," said Knowles.

"So, when I wrote this play, I had that at the forefront. It appeared that the people in church did not want to go anywhere where those people were drinking and cussing and the people out in the world, seemingly did not want to go to church where they felt fake people were.

"But the truth is they need each other. So, I came up with One Big Circle."

Conrad Knowles is no stranger to productions, having been around acting and productions for more than 15 years. His résumé of acting and writing include "You musse gat dat ting", "traffic court", "the fatal fabric", "Poison in the mother's milk" and "fame-the musical".

He's also been involved in a few films in Nassau.

But getting to write One Big Circle did not come without its challenges. For the most part, the biggest challenge for Knowles and actually completing the script was more emotional and mental than anything else.

It took him five years to write and rewrite One Big Circle, until he was satisfied with the final production.

For Conrad, this production serves as a statement of him taking control of his career as an actor, writer and director.

"When I first read the script, I not only enjoyed it, but I somehow related to it and I believe that the story is so true that there are many people in our society who will be able to relate to the story and to the characters," said Alexis Pelecanos, who plays Katie Cummings , the down to earth, shy house wife who happens to be going through some rough times in her marriage.

However, because her mother is one who does not believe in divorce, Katie does her best to bear with her situation and put on a good face.

"All of the characters have their own unique set of problems and because of that it comes together wonderfully, especially in the end. I believe that people will enjoy this."

Pelecanos is not new to the stage, having been a part of a number of productions, but mostly musicals. Theatre fans would remember Pelecanos from her most recent role in Dream girls, where she played Effie. This will be the first production where she will come from behind her singing and focus more on her acting.

"For me, this is different, but I like it because now I get to concentrate on the character, the emotions and the way the character feels, rather than depending on my singing," admits Pelecanos.

"In a way it has been a bit easier for me."

As one of the lead characters in One Big Circle, Pelecanos will get to test just how much her acting has improved over the years, without having to depend on her singing. Her character of Katie is not only one of the lead characters in the production, but because many women will be able to relate to her, Pelecanos knows she has her hands full.

In the meantime, her husband Virgil, played by Earl 'Daddy Steelie' Neilly, is a businessman, who is a go-getter, but who also has to face the issues that is taking place in his marriage.

Neilly is convinced that his character in One Big Circle could be any guy, any husband who has to struggle through everyday life. Like his stage wife, Katie, he feels that all of the guys who will be in the audience watching the production will be able to relate to his character.

"There will be some humour in it, but at the same time, they will be able to see the positive side of it," said Neilly.

This will be Neilly's second stage production, but his first big production, where he holds a major role. Having grown up watching other family members take part in stage productions, Neilly is hoping to make a big impression.

Conrad Knowles said that although he has written a number of short scripts before, he wanted to embark on a big production because he was tired of having to wait on some foreign company to bring a big production to The Bahamas.

"Although I have been a part of the theatre for years, I want fans to know that there is nothing like this play," said Knowles.

"This is totally Bahamian. It's written, directed by Bahamians with an all Bahamian cast. Other actors expected to be a part of this production include Wesley Butler and Diane Morgan, both of whom are well-known stage actors.

And what can theatre fans expect when they attend One Big Circle?

"They can expect a roller coaster of emotions, inclusive of drama, humour and the possibility of even shedding a tear," explained Pelecanos.

"The best thing would be for the fans to come to the theatre with their minds open and with high expectations."

One Big Circle is presently in rehearsal and is expected to hit the stage November 13-14. The final venue has not yet been decided.