Glossy Bay Marina Opens In Canouan
With the opening of the $250 million Glossy Bay Marina on Canouan, the bar has been raised for future marina development in the southern and eastern Caribbean.
The 120-berth marina, which includes 24 super-yacht berths, was officially opened last Monday and according to Marina manager Bob Hathaway, the facility has made Canouan the yachting centre of the Grenadines.
He said the facility not only provides a place for yachtsmen, but it has also provided the opportunity to develop locals with the skills associated with the industry. Hathaway said already, human resource development has started, as the dock hands are internationally approved operators, trained in first aid and other skills and are currently undertaking firefighting courses.
He said that soon, there will be more direct training in other yacht support activities.
When fully operational, the facility can host 1,000 yachts people, professional crew, charter guests and owners, which Hathaway said is equivalent to a 500-guest hotel, "bigger than anything in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Marina Elena Korach said the initial feasibility studies for the construction of the marina were extensive to ensure that the marina provides a safe harbour and preserves the natural beauty of the beach.
She said that if the marina is emptied, one would find 27-foot wide foundations and walls that are five feet thick and 27 feet high.
The marina has a standby power plant, a waste water treatment plant connected to vacuum pumping facilities on the docks, a fuelling system for boats with dockside fuelling hydrants, as well as a fuel station. There is also remotely metered electricity and water and high speed broadband Internet connections.
Korach added that the marina sets a whole new standard in terms of quayside and finishing and lighting design and that the 300 light posts are designed so as not to interfere with the neighbouring airport.
The Marina also consists of the Marina Capitanerie, with guest bathrooms and laundry facilities and a beach club called Shenanigans, with a garden surrounded by pergolas and a pool with a view of the Grenadines.
The CEO said that while the marina is now open for business, the construction effort is still ongoing, with an extensive landscaping plan for over 50 acres of land to create a lush botanic garden and the construction of the marina plaza, 70,000 square feet of shops and apartments complemented by a bar and restaurant and a yacht club with meeting facilities and a gym.
Korach said that another EC$100 million is expected to be expended to complete the project.
Also present at the opening was chair of the Glossy Bay Marina and main financier Dermot Desmond.
The Irish billionaire said the marina is welcoming, architecturally brilliant and a place that persons can visit on Canouan. He expressed his pride in being able to employ and train Vincentians to provide a leading hospitality service, and thanked the designers, engineers and construction people for creating a beautiful facility.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in his address to the ceremony, disclosed that the Government is a shareholder in the Glossy Bay Marina company, having contributed 50 per cent of the land to the project. He said that now that the land has been developed, the value of the Government’s stake in the joint venture company has diminished to about 17 per cent.
The Prime Minister said he was very happy that the marina has been completed and noted that it has already provided opportunities for local entrepreneurs, who will work in conjunction with management and leadership of the facility.
He said that he is hoping that persons who will sell goods and services can make a lot of money, which is part of the important process of developing an entrepreneurial class in the country.
Gonsalves also noted that when the facility is finished, it will, at full capacity be a 500-room hotel, which is very important to the country, seeing that we have just completed the construction of the Argyle International Airport (AIA).
Last Monday’s ceremony was also attended by several high ranking officials, including Minister of Tourism Cecil McKie, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, Minister of Social Development Frederick Stephenson, Parliamentary Representative for the Southern Grenadines Terrance Ollivierre and director of Grenadines Affairs Edwin Snagg.
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