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Adam Stewart pleased with final look of basketball court

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 30, 2013

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EXUMA, The Bahamas – With a total investment potentially as high as $100 million, Sandals Resorts International is looking to transform Exuma into one of the finest touristic island destinations in The Bahamas.

In terms of community outreach, the only high school on the island, the L.N. Coakley High School, has benefitted significantly.

Sandals donated a new computer lab to the school, and just recently re-paved the basketball court to the tune of $26,000.

Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Stewart said that it is always their intention to assist in community development.

“It is never cheap to build in the out islands. We built three computer labs on the island so far, and we’re trying to complete four more before the end of the year,” he said. “We try to keep the projects relevant, and try to get our customers as involved as possible. I think that four additional computer labs will be a fantastic addition to this island.

“At Sandals, we always try to give the customers more than they expect. Every time I fly into this island, I’m absolutely blown away by its natural beauty. It’s a place we believe that people should come and see many times in their lives,” added Stewart.

Stewart toured the school grounds on Saturday, giving his stamp of approval to the work done on the basketball court, and the construction of the new computer lab. He said that Sandals believes in focusing on the community, and education is a major part of that.

“Supporting the schools is a fundamental part of what we believe we should be doing,” said Stewart. “Too often we see kids not being a part of a team and an essential family. Where we have done this before, we have seen reduction in crime, and increase in team building, leadership and sportsmanship. I hope that the young kids put the court to good use,” he added.

As for the promotion of the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on the island, and the island itself, Stewart said that expansion is key, and is on the horizon, even though he can’t release the details of those plans just yet.

“Exuma has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, but if the world doesn’t know about it, then we’ll never get the customers here,” he said. “We’re running a TV commercial right now in North America, Canada and Europe called Freedom. It is a 60 second commercial that features The Bahamas.

“We loved Exuma long before we were here. If we could get all of America, the Canadian market and even the European market, to respond to that commercial, that will be big for The Bahamas. This has to be one of the hottest tourism destinations in the world.”

With the proposed Baha Mar development in New Providence, Stewart said it will certainly increase airlift and sea arrivals, and bring more income into the country.

“Baha Mar will do a lot for Nassau, and a lot for The Bahamas,” said Stewart. “The more quality product that will come into a destination represents the more income that will come into there. It will have an over-arching effect. Baha Mar overall will only serve to elevate The Bahamas as a destination, and if it is good for The Bahamas, it will be good for Sandals.”

Adam Stewart and his father, Sandals founder and owner Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, were primarily in Exuma for the inaugural Sandals Celebrity Getaway and Golf Weekend which was held at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort.


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