Posted by: Editor on Jul 28, 2006 – 09:51 AM
newsandinfo Kerzner International has reached a major milestone in the third phase of its billion dollar Paradise Island resort development. And Prime Minister Perry Christie predicted that there would be more phases to come, even though it had not been confirmed with him.
“I assume that when they finish the third phase, the fourth phase will begin,” said Prime Minister Christie. “Because I know that this space won’t be put to waste.”
The prime minister told hundreds of construction workers attending a “Topping Off” ceremony on July 20 that the project would create thousands of jobs and provide a higher quality of life for employees.
During the ocean-side ceremony, the crowd was asked to turn around and watch as a palm tree and Bahamian flag were anchored at the top of the building, signifying a significant step in construction at the site of the former Pirates Cove hotel.
Construction on the 21-floor hotel started 48 months ago, with crews completing an estimated one floor per week.
A topping off ceremony is a tradition within the construction industry that marks the moment when the highest structural point in the building construction has been attained. To celebrate this event, an evergreen tree is customarily placed at the top of the building to symbolize that the project has proceeded well, without injury and as a good luck charm.
Chief Executive Officer of Kerzner International, Sol Kerzner, said he had no doubt the new phase would increase tourism as well as improve the economy and employment. “We’re still on track to employ 3,000 people,” said Mr. Kerzner. “I think in any country that is a significant number of jobs.”
Prime Minister Christie touted how instrumental the Kerzner father and son combination had been in the development of the community and not just the hotel industry.
He pointed to the company’s beautification projects at Montagu Foreshore and their plans to replace the current industrial area near the bridge with a boardwalk so that Bahamians could share in the romantic experience of walking next to the shore.
“This move of the industrial sector to the southwestern part of The Bahamas will be making New Providence a better destination than it is now,” said Mr. Christie, referring to the planned relocation of the downtown shipping container ports. The prime minister admitted that the private sector was far outreaching the public sector and said there were ongoing meetings to discuss a strategy that would make the government as efficient as the private sector.
An estimated 1,800 workers are employed on the Phase III construction site, out of which 80 per cent are Bahamian, including plumbers, masons and electricians.
The 600-room All-Suite tower will host a number of luxuries, including, bigger rooms, nicer bathrooms and several flat screened televisions throughout a suite.
Also included in the phase III development is an extension of the water themed attractions, a 50,000 square foot of additional convention facilities and an 18-hold golf course at Athol Island. The entire third phase of the project is expected to be completed by early 2007.
Source: The Nassau Guardian