Last June, our blog shared a report about controversial plans for a resort development in idyllic Bimini, the Bahamas. The issue of dredging in the area was particularly contentious, pitting local environmentalists and conservationists against a global corporation, in a battle dubbed by some observers as “David vs. Goliath.” A lot of things have happened in the few months since—like expanded services from our very own Port Everglades and more land acquisitions by the resort developers. Kemplon gives a quick rundown of updates.
Resorts World Completes First Phase of Port
Resorts World Bimini is just one of many resorts located all over the world that are operated by global company, Genting Group. The Bimini destination includes a new Port, the first phase of which has been completed. This development, which includes Customs and Immigration facilities, allows vacationers to disembark directly on the island. This is much more convenient than prior arrangements, which involved ferries via tender from Bimini’s ocean side to its bayside, a process that took about 45 minutes away from precious beach time. Direct disembarkation, on the other hand, can give day trippers as much as six hours on Bimini.
Expanded Service from Port Everglades
In response to increasing demand, beginning mid-October, the Bimini SuperFast will be offering select weekday services disembarking from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. These round-trip cruises are slated for Tuesday-Thursday 9am departures, for return at 9pm. Day cruise weekend departures, on the other hand, will continue to come from PortMiami.
While developments are well on the way and the market is expected to be responsive to the resort, concerns from environmentalists and conservationists continue to haunt the project. Activists say that fishing, diving and snorkeling in the area are under threat and coral reefs are in danger, with some of the clearest waters in the Bahamas turning into a “disgusting plume of mud and silt.” Local businessmen are also worried that the massive resort development may end up monopolizing the tourism that comes in, which will not be as helpful to the local economy as the developers claim. Grassroots group Bimini Blue Coalition, however, has been “priced out” of the legal battle, leaving the concerned citizens and stakeholders limited to just a close watch of further developments.
Genting Buys More Property in the Bahamas
Genting Malaysia is reportedly acquiring more land in Bimini, particularly a 16.2-acre area next to Resorts World Bimini, via its indirect 70% owned subsidiary BB Entertainment Ltd (BBEL), which owns and operates the Bimini Casino in Resorts World Bimini. The acquisition, according to the company, will allow them to have better control of future plans and developments.
We at Kemplon Engineering believe in sharing all the wealth and beauty of our planet’s waters. Oftentimes this involves a degree of development, in order to provide access for more people. At the same time, we also understand the concerns of conservationists, and we admire their commitment to the environment and to the well-being of local communities. It is our sincere hope that continuing developments at this resort, and at any other of the Earth’s beautiful destinations, be done in a sustainable and responsible manner. With any luck, we may all come to solutions that work well for all the stakeholders.
To see our previous blog post, click here: http://www.kemplon.com/dredging-bimini-bahamas/
^ Batchelor, Amanda. “Bimini SuperFast expands service from Port Everglades.” Local10.com, 04 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.local10.com/news/bimini-superfast-expands-service-from-port-everglades/27874270
^ Caribbean Journal Staff. “The Caribbean’s Newest cruise Dock.” Caribbean Journal, 4 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.caribjournal.com/2014/09/04/the-caribbeans-newest-cruise-dock/
^ Diane Phillips & Associates. “International experts alarmed over Bimini development.” TheBahamasWeekly.com, 11 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/news/International_experts_alarmed_over_Bimini_development36934.shtml
^ Editor, CNS Business. “Bimini cruise dock putting reefs in peril.” CNS Business, 10 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://cnsbusiness.com/archives/1981
^ The Malay Mail Online. “Genting Malaysia unit pays US$24.6m for land in Bahamas.” The Malay Mail Online, 12 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/genting-malaysia-unit-pays-us24.6m-for-land-in-bahamas
^ Resorts World. “RESORTS WORLD BIMINI OPENS PORT IN BIMINI; EXPANDS SERVICE FROM FORT LAUDERDALE.” Resorts World Bimini, Press Release 04 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://rwbimini.com/about/press-releases
^ Sun Media Corporation. “Genting buy land next to Resorts World Bimini for RM78.7m.” The Sun Daily, 15 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1169334
^ Young, Susan. “Bimini SuperFast Adds Port Everglades Cruises, Bimini Port Project Completes 1st Phase.” Travel Agent Central, 04 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.travelagentcentral.com/bahamas/bimini-superfast-adds-port-everglades-cruises-bimini-port-project-completes-1st-phase-47669