|GB hooks $10M Blue Marlin Cove|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Sep 21, 2012
A capital investment of $10 million has revived a condo-hotel development in Grand Bahama geared towards the elite sport of bone fishing.
The Blue Marlin Cove Resort and Marina in Bottle Bay officially reopened its doors yesterday with Prime Minister Perry Christie and Minister of Tourism and Aviation Obie Wilchcombe in attendance. Christie said the development has renovated all 30 of its rooms and added a restaurant, recreation center, health and beauty spa and conference space. A new “Beach Club” is also slated for construction in 2013. The resort comes with an existing 18-slip dock and marina.
The announcement should mean dozens of new jobs in construction and full-time work at the resort for an island grappling with high, double-digit unemployment.
"This official opening affords me the opportunity to assure the people of Grand Bahama that my government is focused on a number of initiatives to revive, grow and sustain the economy," the prime minister said.
The boutique hotel is also being billed as a "high tech" and comfortable location for executives and corporate getaways. Christie noted that an additional $2 million investment is expected, bringing the total bill up to $12 million.
"It is a big opportunity for that community," said David Johnson, the director general at the Ministry of Tourism. "You want to encourage the building of these small resorts that have an ongoing economic impact."
Just as significant for the Marlin Cove Resort is a new partnership with Tommy and Carl Rolle, known as the "Bone Fish Folley Sons". These well-known personalities in the elite sport have been entrusted with the creation of fishing and water sport operations. Given the prestige of the new partner, the developer has announced it will host an annual "Bone Fish Folley Inshore & Offshore Fishing Tournament". This event should provide an added draw for tourists to the island.
According to the company, it intends on investing in new guide boats, offshore and snorkeling sightseeing boats, along with jeeps and vans to carry clients to and from the island experiences.
Joseph Reiger, owner of Blue Marlin, said the new resort will cater to serious fishermen, families and corporate executives. Prices start at $350 per night. He told Guardian Business that discussions are ongoing with government officials on bringing more airlift to the island to support the project.
“We’d really like to have the west end airport reopened,” he said. “I chose the west end of Grand Bahama because it still has culture. We have the best fishing in most of the Bahamian islands. I think better fishing than Bimini.”
Christie insisted that this opening is just the beginning of more projects coming online in Grand Bahama.
After the party swept to power in May, Christie created a specific ministry for the island with Dr. Michael Darville at the helm. He said the government is giving priority to the needs of Grand Bahama going forward.
"We are engaged each day with existing Bahamians and non-Bahamian enterprises as well as prospective new investors in creating the environment and introducing measures to stimulate the economy. In the coming weeks and months these unceasing efforts are expected to create significant new jobs," according to the prime minister.