Bimini SuperFast delivers 80% of annual tourists in three months
Published: Oct 30, 2013
BIMINI – In just three months of operation, Bimini SuperFast and Resorts World Bimini have brought more than 40,000 visitors to the island – 80 percent of the annual 50,000 tourists averaged in previous years.
The company said the impact on the island’s economy will be even greater after the completion of the permanent cruise pier in the coming months.
Bimini SuperFast easily maneuvers through the powerful Gulf Stream, which is turbulent this time of year and prevents smaller vessels from crossing, transforming Bimini into a year-round destination. Bimini-based businesses, and those employed in the tourism sector, are experiencing a positive impact from the extended tourist season.
“Some days, my biggest problem is figuring out where to put everyone, so we expanded and built a roof deck to accommodate guests,” said Edith’s Pizza and Take Out proprietor Edith Romer, whose homemade creations like Lobster Pizza are a hit with visitors.
“I can go through 80 pounds of flour on a busy day. It’s incredible.”
Ashley Saunders, owner of The Dolphin House Museum, said they used to close down for six months every year because there was no business, but things are now changing.
“We’ve had so much business this year that we stopped renting rooms and just operated as a museum. In fact, I’ve had to hire two additional tour guides to fulfill the demand.”
Zilpha Kemp, transportation supervisor for Resorts World Bimini, said that traditionally after Labor Day the island received few visitors and resort staff shifts were reduced to two to three days a week.
“This year we’re working full time. I’ve never experienced anything like this in the nine years I’ve worked on the property.”
Edward Reckley, who owns and operates the water sports rental equipment on Paradise Beach said, “I see a great opportunity with Resorts World Bimini. I’m planning to add a variety of water activities for guests next year, including parasailing and a Jet Ski tour.”
At a special Town Council meeting earlier this month, Resorts World Bimini advised it would market Bimini-based businesses on the ship to ensure passengers have ample information about the offerings outside of the resort property.
“Fifty percent of Bimini SuperFast passengers who remain on the island stay at Resorts World Bimini, the rest stay at other properties on the island,” said Resorts World’s Colin Au.
“We are committed to promoting all the businesses and properties on Bimini so that everyone can prosper.”
Some Biminites are already creating new opportunities for themselves. Iona Stuart, who owns a store at the Straw Market in Alice Town, has set up a second shop at Resorts World Bimini’s Fisherman’s Village. Other shopkeepers have been invited to do the same.