Praising the developers for this bold initiative, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe
said that whilst this project is looked at as a progressive step and it is recognized that business is headed in the right direction, "it is important for us to appreciate that over a significant period of time, some Bahamians have been holding this island and this area in particular together."He
added that they have provided opportunities, and without those chances, "we would have really gone under!"Minister Wilchcombe confessed that since the closure of the Jack Tar Hotel, West End has been experiencing difficult times, and "that was evidence enough for us to appreciate that whilst we wish to sometimes do it alone, the reality is the world was built with inter-relationships."
"And so we are here because you had faith and hoped that it could happen," Mr. Wilchcombe
said."And it is about to happen."
As a native of West End, Mr. Wilchcombe
has always been concerned of the fact that there was astronomical growth in Freeport, and the growth of East and West Grand Bahama has not kept pace.
"I said that the development of Freeport has caused the under-development of these areas," he
said."But in retrospect, maybe it had to happen that way, because you had to have something working before you have the confidence for other parts of the island."He
added that the Government is utilizing all of its resources to ensure that developers have the opportunity to branch out in the out-lying areas.
"And I want to congratulate all those partners involved in getting this project off the ground," Mr. Wilchcombe
Noting that opportunities are available not only for foreign investors, but also for Bahamians, he
added, "I believe all of us from this area must begin to look internally.We cannot surrender our opportunities, but we must also put efforts into building these communities."He
stressed that the true reality is that "we must also invest in West Grand Bahama."and take "some of the beauty that we have and turn it into economic opportunities, create jobs for our people and create economic opportunities for ourselves."Minister Wilchcombe said there is no excuse!