GIV Bahamas News

Michelin star chef returns to Grand Isle

From August 14 to August 18, Chef Alyn Williams to offer daily specials, live cooking demonstrations and a special four-course tasting menu

Grand Isle Resort and the renowned Chef Alyn Williams will once again join forces this summer for a limited engagement filled with gourmet food and interactive cooking demonstrations.

The former National Chef of the Year in the UK, who holds a Michelin star at his London establishment, The Westbury, plans to offer guests of Grand Isle a delectable menu of culinary treats for five straight days.

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Chef Alyn Williams preparing starters during last year’s ‘Foodies of Exuma’ event at Catch A Fire restaurant – RENO CURLING

From August 14th  to August 16th, Chef Alyn will prepare a special dish for guests, which can be ordered a la carte at the amazing Palapa Grill. And in a first for the resort, on August 17th, these dishes will then be prepared during live cooking demonstrations by the infinity pool, allowing guests to observe and ask questions as the chef brings them to life. While the elements are still being conceived, rumor has it that risotto, capellini, salmon ceviche and a meat dish harkening back to his English roots could be in the works.

In his highly decorated career, Chef Alyn has worked in some of the UK’s finest restaurants and served under several culinary giants, including Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsey. Many restaurants won a coveted Michelin star while he was in their kitchens, until finally, in 2011, he opened his own place and received the accolade just one year later.

But despite his refined palate and culinary pedigree, this chef has always been drawn to the simplicity and raw beauty of the Exumas.

“I have been coming to Exuma and Grand Isle for over a decade,” said Chef Alyn, who also plans to build in some much needed relaxation with his family. “It has always been a special place for us, so I really enjoy sharing my craft while also soaking in the area’s gorgeous water and beaches. I think the cooking demos will really give guests an added culinary experience that hopefully will form some really great holiday memories.”

The daily specials and cooking demonstrations all lead up to the finale, on August 18th, when Chef Alyn will unveil his final tasting menu.

Grand Isle will also offer its usual menu alongside Chef Alyn for the convenience of all guests. Room service is also available. Residents and tourists staying elsewhere on Exuma are also welcome to make reservations at Palapa Grill from August 14th to August 18th.

Peter Nicholson, President of GIV Bahamas Inc. and the largest owner at Grand Isle, befriended the English chef years ago during one of his many trips to the island.

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Peter Nicholson, left, President of GIV Bahamas Inc pictured here during Chef Alyn’s visit to Exuma in 2016 – RENO CURLING

For Nicholson, a varied and world-class culinary experience is absolutely essential to the tourism product.

“Grand Isle has always had some of the best food in Exuma,” he said. “So it is appropriate that Chef Alyn will put on this amazing week of festivities. Our company is focused on bringing an exciting culinary scene to Exuma and certainly this experience is an important step. These days, when people travel, food is an essential amenity. I want to thank Grand Isle and Chef Alyn for all their hard work in making this event a reality.”

 

Exuma Foundation of Canada celebrates second AGM

EFC releases first pamphlet on philanthropic activities, with focus on community outreach, education and health

While some foundations only offer money to worthy causes, the Exuma Foundation of Canada (EFC) is different.

Since it was founded by GIV Bahamas Inc more than two years ago, EFC has sought to create community events and grass root initiative to not only provide financial assistance where it’s needed, but also inspire unity and positive change on the island itself.

This goal was a central theme during EFC’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), when board members invited the public and offered a report on its ongoing projects. The board also unveiled its first pamphlet, which reviews of all of philanthropic activities and goals to date (click the link on the newsletter home page to view).

Run for Pompey, now entering its third year, commemorates the life of a slave who led a rebellion on the island of Exuma back in 1830. The run – offering professionally timed races for all skill levels – brings together youth on the island and delivers the annual Pompey Scholarship to one student each year so him or her can attend college or university. Run for Pompey, running from October 6 to October 8, is fortunate to be supported by many wonderful sponsors.

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Ride for Exuma, also going into its third year on February 10, invites philanthropists with a keen interest in cycling to Exuma’s world famous waters and beaches. Raising significant funds for the community each year, the event also brings the island’s youth together with the philanthropists from abroad. In fact, in addition to many other charitable gifts, Ride for Exuma is embarking on a cycling club in collaboration with L N Coakley High School.

Organizers of the event plan will add to the club’s stockpile of bikes, as EFC seeks to engage youth, promote education and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Following along these themes, EFC is engaged in a few other medium-to-long-term projects for the community.

Earlier this year, the foundation made a donation to the main Exuma Foundation as part of a basketball court and park restoration in downtown George Town (the main settlement of Exuma). While more funds will be needed for this project, the vision is to make this public meeting area a jewel once again of this community and revitalize a once flourishing basketball league for the island’s youth.

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A second major project for the long term is the construction of the Marge Carlson Children Shelter. This initiative, undertaken primarily by the main Exuma Foundation, is being supported wholeheartedly by EFC. The foundation has already a made sizeable donation to the project and will continue to help finance it as the building begins to rise from the ground.

The Marge Carlson Children’s Shelter recently hosted a groundbreaking on the Exuma Foundation’s 10-acre campus. The new building will be owned by the foundation and administered by the Department of Social Services.

The Exuma Foundation, which has operated a school for the mentally challenged for years, will provide the first centre for at-risk youth on the island, with enough space for four boys, four girls, a common living space, an apartment for a qualified “house parent” and a permaculture garden.

EFC is always seeking volunteers, donations, ideas and enthusiasm from like-minded Canadians. For more information on these programs, or to get involved, you can email Jeff Todd at Jeffrey.todd@givexuma.com

‘Stunned’ Rolle receives Pompey Scholarship

Third time’s a charm as Run for Pompey – October 6 to October 8 –  welcomes a new sponsor and partnership with National Family Island Regatta

A senior at L N Coakley High School in Exuma became the second recipient of The Pompey Scholarship this week, with ambitious plans to study in Canada this fall and return to Exuma as a primary school educator.

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From left: Chester Cooper, MP of Exuma and Ragged Island and President of BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Limited, Demi Rolle, the winner of The Pompey Scholarship and Lynmore Taylor from GIV Bahamas Inc.

 

Demi Rolle, whose favourite subjects include English and history, will join her friend Troyann Forbes, the first winner of this scholarship, at Acadia University on the Canadian east coast.

 

 

 

 

 

“I was really just stunned. Me? Really? When they called my name, I couldn’t believe it. It was really exciting,” Rolle said, who picked up her over-sized cheque at L N Coakley’s graduation ceremony, held at Sandals Emerald Bay last Tuesday.

“I plan to come back home [to Exuma],  but I want to get that experience abroad as well and then perhaps open up my own pre-school when I return. I heard it is very nice in Canada and I have friends over there.”

Rolle’s big win is the end result of last year’s Run for Pompey, the second installment in an annual event that is rapidly becoming a fixture on the sports tourism calendar.

As the old saying goes, the third time’s a charm. The next Run for Pompey, taking place over National Heroes Day Weekend from October 6 to October 8 in Exuma, promises to be largest yet, featuring a new collaboration with the National Family Island Regatta. On October 7, or race day, runners from The Bahamas and abroad will be treated to a festival atmosphere in the park with a full bar, food stalls, Bahamians entertainment and a “mini-regatta” in Elizabeth Harbour.

1-IMG_0673Run for Pompey is also thrilled to announce a new sponsor of the event. Aliv, the emerging telecommunications company, will become a valued supporter.

The event is led by title sponsor BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Limited and MRI Nassau.

 

GIV Bahamas Inc., the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Grand Isle Resort, Sands Beer, Caribbean and Bottling Company, Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill, Catch A Fire, Chat N’ Chill, BahamasLocal.com, SuperClubs Breezes and Diane Phillips & Associates round out Run for Pompey’s strong network of sponsors.

Legendary “Golden Girl” Pauline Davis-Thompson will serve as Run for Pompey’s patron for the third consecutive time, draping medals around each and every neck at the finish line. She also provides a special keynote address at Grand Isle’s pasta night for runners the night before the race.

“The level of support for this event has been outstanding,” said Jeff Todd, Director of Communications at GIV Bahamas Inc., who founded the race with Kevin Taylor, the owner of DreamKatcher Media. “With the race as its centerpiece, Pompey is growing into a weekend-long celebration of Bahamian history and culture. The fact it takes place on National Heroes Day Weekend only makes Run for Pompey more poignant. Registration is already very strong and we expect a huge turnout in our third year.”

In 1830, Pompey, a 32-year-old slave, defied a transfer order on Exuma that would have separated 77 men, women and children from their families. While his rebellion was eventually squashed, it is widely seen as a key moment in the Bahamian fight for freedom.

To commemorate his memory, Run for Pompey features races for all ages, skill levels and abilities, including the 2K “George Town Dash”, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and the country’s first and only 50K ultra marathon. All races are professionally timed. Past events have attracted hundreds of runners from various countries, including Canada, the United States, the UK and The Bahamas.

1-IMG_0779Don Barr, the principal of L N Coakley High School, believes the history of Pompey is an essential ingredient in the event and the educational process.

“From the historical aspect of it, students know of Pompey, and the fact there is a whole committee and event surrounding it all, that in itself deserves praise,” he explained. “These scholarships means a lot to us. I believe it will inspire more students to do the same thing and follow in Demi’s footsteps.”

With two Pompey Scholarship winners now at Acadia University, the approach appears to be working, as students from Exuma continue to write their own page in the Pompey history books.

The donation will be paid directly to Acadia University on Rolle’s behalf by the Exuma Foundation of Canada.

To learn more about the Run for Pompey and sign up for the 2017 event, you can visit its website at http://runforpompey.com/.

‘Hidden Treasure’ revealed on ‘Native Traveler’

Canada Talks on Sirius FM broadcasts hour-long show on the rustic magic of the Exumas and the polished luxury of Grand Isle

There is a certain authenticity about listening to a story on the radio.

In an age where we are constantly bombarded with images, video and flashing lights, the medium of radio, with its subtle sounds, still has the ability to create feelings and emotions in the listener that are more profound.

We craft the images in our mind.

UKFyMgbSG61PkihST0Ga_Exumas-Paradise-Island-1600x900Native Traveler, a new show on Sirius Radio – Canada Talks, channel 167 – took full advantage of this form of storytelling when producer Cara Ferguson and Chef Philip Pearce travelled to Exuma and Grand Isle Resort.

The show, which aired earlier this month, not only provided vivid sounds and descriptions of the island, but also offered candid interviews with locals on the history of Exuma and what makes this place tick. The nearly hour-long segment was appropriately entitled “Hidden Treasure”.

The show also included in-studio interviews with Cameron Hepple, District & Business Development Manager for Canada at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, who spoke about the country’s overall tourism outreach in the Great White North. Hepple and Native Traveler first met back in January when Grand Isle Resort collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism at The Outdoor Adventure Show, held at the International Centre in Mississauga, just a short drive from Toronto.

Ferguson stopped by the booth to meet Hepple and learn a bit more about their upcoming trip to Exuma. Fast forward a couple months, and Ferguson and Pearce were on a plane to paradise.

Emerging from the clouds, Pearce describes the swirling blues and whites of the Exuma archipelago as a “painter’s palate”.

“I know I’m not alone in the excitement I’m feeling,” he said on the show. “My clothes feel too heavy. My head, lighter. My life from four hours ago in cold, wet Toronto begins to feel like an archaic mainland memory, sluggish and grey. Our wide eyes take it in from above and I can’t wait to walk out onto the tarmac, and feel Exuma all around me.”

For Pearce, it wasn’t the first time he had visited Exuma, or even the second, but he still felt that same rush.

Years ago, Pearce had been introduced to the area by Peter Nicholson, the President of GIV Bahamas, who enlisted his culinary expertise for special events. On the show, Pearce reminisces about the “pioneering spirit on Exuma”, a certain authenticity and feeling that the rat race of the 21st century has been left far behind.

3671_grandisleaerialPearce’s recent return to Exuma as a radio host, once again a guest of GIV Bahamas Inc. at Grand Isle Resort, began with checking into a luxurious villa, followed by a Goombay Smash at the bar.  He walked down to the mile-long Emerald Bay Beach, just steps from the bar, and took a deep breath, “one I feel like I have been holding since the last time I was here”.

This trip was Ferguson’s first exposure to the island, but she immediately understood what made the island so special.

The duo left their luxurious perch at Grand Isle and hit the road, in search of experiences. They didn’t have to look for long.

“Very welcoming,” Ferguson said.  “I have never felt that in all the countries I travelled to … such a genuine … they just accept you for who you are, and include you.”

From speaking with cab drivers, to local fishermen, to conch salad chefs, Ferguson and Pearce paint a beautiful portrait of Exuma that appeals to the senses. They describe the giant string rays that curl around your ankles, like “water cats”. During a trip to the Fish Fry, they encounter a mountain of conch shells on the beach, and fall into conversation with a local fishermen returning with the day’s catch. The Exumians show them the pen where they keep the conch, and how they prepare for the afternoon rush of tourists and locals seeking their fresh salads.

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“And sure enough, at 4pm, 20 people showed up for conch salad,” Ferguson remembered. “When it’s gone, it’s gone.” Watch video here.

Similarly, both Ferguson and Pearce wonder how long a place like Exuma, in all its purity, can last. A sense of discovery followed them everywhere, Pearce explained. It has the feel of cottage country, tropical style, where the trip is defined by the experiences you have and the people you meet.

“It’s like the place has a secret, a story to tell, a buried treasure. And it’s up to you to find it,” he added.

Indeed, for many owners at Grand Isle Resort, it is exactly this originality and richness of experience that inspires them to make the island their second or third home. While Grand Isle provides all the amenities and luxury one could need, it is also a gateway to genuine adventure.

IMG_1306Be sure to read Phil Pearce’s blog post on his experience here.

For more information on the show Native Traveler and Grand Isle’s ownership opportunities, click here.

Atabey unveils vision for Exuma

Multi-Billionaire Dona Bertarelli’s $200M project, the latest in her Ledunfly Hospitality Collection, to provide economic stimulus and play role in community building

Amid great expectations, a new resort development in the Exumas recently unveiled its name: Atabey.

EXUMASNamed after the Taino goddess, known as “mother of waters”, Atabey is expected to break ground on the islands of William’s Cay and Children’s Bay Cay this summer. These idyllic islands are located just off the coast of Berre Terre, the northernmost tip of Great Exuma, and only a short drive from Grand Isle Resort.

The new development, geared specifically to the high-net-worth, is the latest offering by Ledunfly Hospitality. Atabey joins an exclusive menu of properties, such as Park Gstaad in the Swiss Alps, Five Seas Hotel Cannes and Country Club Geneva.

This collection seeks a novel approach to luxury living, by focusing on meaningful experiences, authenticity, a sense of belonging and an unexpected individuality in unique settings.

“We aim to offer today’s discerning traveler what they desire: a life more thoughtful,” Dona Bertarelli, the founder of Ledunfly Hospitality, said in the recent announcement.

Dona Bertarelli

Dona Bertarelli

“My vision of modern luxury is to be completely at ease, sharing authentic experiences in truly special settings.”

A long-time visitor of the Exumas, and a passionate environmentalist, Bertarelli has the perfect canvas on which to paint her latest hospitality vision. The $200 million project has also assembled a dream team to help bring this development to reality.

The CEO of Ledunfly Hospitality, Grace Leo, is considered a pioneer in the design-led boutique hotel movement. With projects spanning across the globe, she recently opened the second Four Seasons in the City of London. Leo is a member of the Executive Committee of Leading Hotels of the World and has won many international awards.

Michel Neutelings, the Project Director of Atabey, brings a wealth of experience in the creation of multiple 5-star resort developments, perhaps most notably Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. He served as the President of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association for four years, from 2013 to early 2017.

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Grace Leo

“In addition to providing economic stimulus for the mainland of Exuma, Atabey will play a significant role in community building,” he said.

Indeed, stakeholders throughout Exuma have kept a close watch as Atabey begins its emergence on the island’s scene.

Earlier this year, Neutelings held a town hall meeting at St. Andrew’s Church in downtown George Town, allowing residents, tourists and investors to ask questions about the upcoming development. Atabey continued this community outreach during the National Family Island Regatta in April, coming on as a silver sponsor during Exuma’s largest annual event.

Regatta had an expanded presence this year, with a large, dedicated area for pop-up food stalls and festival activities, as locals and tourists from abroad took in the usual compliment of native sloop races.

All of the Exumas eagerly await the next step for Atabey, when it officially breaks ground on the project as early as this summer. The development will welcome its first guests in 2020.

“Atabey and its team are world class,” said Peter Nicholson, the President of GIV Bahamas Inc. and the largest owner of villas at Grand Isle Resort. “I have been incredibly impressed by their vision for Exuma, and we look forward to supporting the project in any way we can.”

Owner’s Hour offers new spin on Grand Isle living

Weekly cocktail reception, on Fridays from 6pm to 7pm, gives guests a relaxed, informal environment to ask questions about life in Exuma

A new tradition has begun at Grand Isle Resort – Owner’s Hour.

IMG_1312 2Every Friday, from 6pm to 7pm, guests of Grand Isle are invited to an optional cocktail reception beside the resort’s infinity pool. Organized by the Villa Sales Office, the new Owner’s Hour is intended to provide an informal opportunity to learn about what it’s like living in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

“Buying a villa here is about a lot more than dollars and cents,” said Julie O’Connor, who owns two villas at Grand Isle Resort.

“Those that invest here and spend time here are equally invested in the island lifestyle. And you really gain an appreciation for what that is like by chatting with someone who lives it, ideally over a colorful drink overlooking our incredible beach.”

While Grand Isle Resort offers a simple, luxurious, turn-key solution for high-end tropical living, many of the community’s owners become intimately familiar with the entire island chain.

Owner’s Hour allows guests to satiate their curiosity on what lies beyond Grand Isle’s gates.

IMG_1316“We all have our favorite dining spots. Our favorite beaches. Who is the best boat captain or fisherman on the island?” O’Connor added. “What’s great about Exuma, however, is because the locals are so warm and friendly, everyone will discover their own hidden gems. Our owners at Grand Isle also make Exuma their own.”

Owner’s Hour features complimentary rum punch, fruit platters and even a teaser massage from one of the talented beauty technicians at the SeaStar Spa at Grand Isle Resort.

Guests of the hotel will also have the chance to learn about all the major developments happening in and around Grand Isle.

Exuma is undergoing a period of unprecedented growth. With its 365 islands, close proximity to the United States and Canada, and arguably the best water & beaches in the world, this archipelago is attracting record numbers of tourists and investors.

One of the more hotly anticipated developments in Exuma includes the imminent groundbreaking of Atabey, the 5-star project on nearby Williams Cay and Children’s Bay Cay.

Meanwhile, the swimming pigs of Exuma continue to generate huge crowds and garner international attention.  “As someone who has been investing in Exuma for more than 13 years, I have never been more encouraged by where we are headed in Exuma,” said Peter Nicholson, the President of GIV Bahamas Inc. “Grand Isle is the highest-end product on Great Exuma, so I see great things in store for the property as the island continues to grow.”

 

 

Grand Isle hosts record-setting fly out

GIV Bahamas and Heaven’s Landing entertain Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association and deliver full Exuma experience

Exuma was packed with pilots this month as a record-setting number of Cirrus Aircraft owners flew over 365 jaw-dropping islands and had a soft landing at Grand Isle Resort for their annual Bahamian adventure.

From April 20 to April 23, more than 60 members of the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (COPA) took part in a custom GIV Bahamas Inc program.

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The experience started off with a cocktail reception overlooking Emerald Bay, affectionately known as Grand Isle’s “billion-dollar beach”. Sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, COPA members enjoyed complimentary cocktails and appetizers at this torch-lit reception.

The next day, the pilots embarked on an adventurous excursion up the Exuma Cays, stopping off at the giant iguanas, the Dragon’s Breath Blowholes, Question Mark Sandbar, Thunderball  Grotto, and of course, the world famous swimming pigs.

The group stopped for lunch at Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill on Little Farmer’s Cay.

A private beach, volleyball court, high-speed Internet and cable television provided a mix of modernity but with a private island feel. The island’s 2,700-foot airstrip also allowed Cirrus pilots not keen on the high seas to meet the group for a bite to eat.

On Saturday, after enjoying island life at their own pace, COPA held its official banquet dinner at Catch A Fire. Prime rib, fresh grouper, conch fritters and other favourites were on the menu as guests were treated to a Bahamian band, dancing and shark feeding. As part of the itinerary, pilots are encouraged to do as much or as little as they wish, while enjoying Grand Isle’s luxurious villas and extensive amenities.

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“Grand Isle and the Exuma Cays allows us to provide the perfect experience for pilots,” said Jeff Todd, Director of Communications for GIV Bahamas. “It is all about giving our clients maximum flexibility and choice, while also providing a “‘one-stop-shop’ for all all the pilots’ needs. COPA is an exceptional organization of friendly and committed owners and we were happy to show them a great time here in the Exumas.”

The COPA Bahamas Adventure is just one of many fly outs recently hosted by GIV Bahamas Inc. at Grand Isle Resort.

GIV Bahamas Inc. has partnered with Heaven’s Landing, a premier fly-in community in north-east Georgia, to deliver unparalleled service, as both entities seek to revolutionize the lifestyle offerings in private aviation.

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For more information on fly outs to the Exumas, contact Jeff Todd at jeffrey.todd@givexuma.com

Exuma plays starring role at aviation show

GIV Bahamas Inc and Heaven’s Landing form triple booth and turn some heads at Sun N Fun International Fly In and Expo in Florida

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is glowing following an impressive showing at this year’s  Sun N Fun International Fly In and Expo, with GIV Bahamas Inc and the island of Exuma playing a starring role.

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For the second straight year, GIV Bahamas and its hospitality offerings, including Grand Isle Resort, were on prominent display at the second largest aviation show in the world. More than 200,000 people filtered through the grounds in Lakeland, Florida, which features hundreds of booths, incredible airshows and countless attractions and activities for plane aficionados.

This year, however, was special, with GIV Bahamas combined forces with Heaven’s Landing, forming an imposing triple booth with both a mermaid (representing the blue ocean of Exuma, Bahamas) and angel (from the green mountains of Georgia, USA). GIV Bahamas and Heaven’s Landing invited the participants to consider an entirely new lifestyle concept that’s unique to the aviation industry.

Namely, connected properties, in radically different environments, which focus on providing the best service, amenities and experience possible to its clients.

The approach thus far has proven fruitful.

Jeff Todd, Director of Communications for the GIV Bahamas Inc, said he “has seen a tremendous growth in fly-ins to Exuma as a result of our first participation at Sun n Fun in 2016.  We will have some 64 pilots from the fly ins in to Grand Isle later this year and we have established some new partnerships (with Heaven’s Landing) and are exploring the possibilities of conducting our own air show in Exuma,” he said. GIV Bahamas Inc. is the largest owner of villas at Grand Isle.

Todd was interviewed by Tourism Today, the local television broadcast in The Bahamas, and featured in an official press release.

GIV Bahamas’ focus on private aviation has not gone unnoticed by others in the hospitality industry. \

During the show earlier this month, several other hotels in The Bahamas threw their hats in the ring as possible destinations for pilots. The turnout is encouraging for tourism executives.

“Based on the high level of exposure the Islands of The Bahamas received through its prominent brand displays and strong partnership with Sun n Fun, along with numerous live radio and television broadcasts, seminars, one on one meetings with pilots and other contracted business opportunities our hoteliers procured, we could not have been more pleased,” said Omar Isaacs, General Manager of Vertical Markets at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

“The fact that our hoteliers, new and old are already planning to attend this expo in 2018, speaks volume of their excitement, confidence and knowledge of the importance of this Expo to their business development,” he said.

Forever innovating, GIV Bahamas will be unveiling new concepts for pilots through its properties in Exuma, as the company continues to push the envelope and provide new lifestyle options for pilots.

GIV Bahamas is a unique hospitality company comprised of villas at Grand Isle Resort, restaurants, homes for rent and significant land interests. Heaven’s Landing, located just a stone’s throw from Clayton, Georgia, and Lake Burton, is a premier fly-in community with a 5,200-foot airstrip.

Peace & Plenty buyout latest in Exuma Buzz

GIV Bahamas Inc. unveils first “Exuma Buzz List” ahead of Fyre Festival, Bertarellis and other construction projects

Exuma is buzzing with new construction projects, events and most recently the acquisition of the historic Club Peace & Plenty resort, with the new owners announcing more than $700,000 in upgrades to the property.

The excitement is palatable around Grand Isle Resort’s infinity pool. As the highest-end product on Great Exuma, Grand Isle is busting at the seams and continues to be the primary hive for all the activity happening along the archipelago.

The audible buzz is aided considerably by the imminent start of the Fyre Festival from April 28-30 and May 5-7.

The massive event, featuring A-List musical talent and celebrities, is expected to bring unprecedented attention to Exuma at an already busy time.

The announcement that Club Peace & Plenty is changing hands is only one of many ongoing projects in the area.

“Now we have Government approvals, we’re moving to close the deal right now, within the next 30-60 days,” Burton Rodgers told a local daily in The Bahamas this month. “The group includes myself and a group of investors in Florida, who own some hotels in Key West and the Great Miami area.”

Rodgers called Club Peace & Plenty one of the most historically significant hotels in the country. Dating back to the late 1950s, the resort was a pioneer of the Exuma tourism industry and hosted a long list of well-known celebrities over the years.

While the news of the 38-room Club Peace & Plenty has been met with a great deal of optimism, there is much more buzz elsewhere on the island. The number of projects have become so considerable that GIV Bahamas has begun compiling an “Exuma Buzz List” for prospective investors.

Back at Emerald Bay, homeowners and renters at Grand Isle Resort are eagerly awapeace-and-plenty-7iting the opening of the “White House”. This cathedral-like structure on Emerald Bay Beach will soon become a highly anticipated special events venue, beach bar and dining venue. The new facility is expected to open in 2018.

Across the street, at Roker’s Point, a development located beside Emerald Bay Marina is expecting an uptick in activity due to the Fyre Festival selecting this spot as the main concert area.

Not far from Emerald Bay, just off the coast of Berre Terre, Dona Bertarelli is poised to break ground on the much anticipated $200 million, plus Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay development. The high-end, eco-friendly resort recently held a town hall meeting in downtown George Town to reveal its future plans.

It is expected the project will host an official ground breaking in the next few months.

An airport redevelopment, the new hospital and new construction projects on Stocking Island all add to the buzz around Exuma these days.

“It has been amazing to see Exuma grow these past few years,” said Peter Nicholson, President of GIV Bahamas Inc and the largest owner of villas at Grand Isle Resort. “The Swimming Pigs have been wonderful ambassadors for us and helped get Exuma on the map and now it’s great to see the island taking the next step.”

 

Bahamas Tourism Industry Partners Happy About New Business Opportunities at 2017 Sun n Fun

By: D. Earnestine Moxyz

Bahamas Tourism Industry Partners Happy About New Business Opportunities at 2017 Sun n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida. Event Attended by more than 200,000 Persons
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) along with its hotel industry partners who attended the 2017 Sun n Fun International Fly In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, April 4-9, 2017 are happy with the group leads and new business opportunities they obtained during the 6-days aviation Expo.
“Based on the high level of exposure the Islands of The Bahamas received through its prominent brand displays and strong partnership with Sun n Fun, along with numerous live radio and television broadcasts, seminars, one-on-one meetings with pilots and other contracted business opportunities our hoteliers procured, we could not have been more pleased,” said Omar Isaacs, General Manager of Vertical Markets at the BMOT.
“The fact that our hoteliers, new and old are already planning to attend this expo in 2018, speaks volume of their excitement, confidence and knowledge of the importance of this Expo to their business development,” he said.

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Jeff Todd, Director of Communications for GIV Bahamas, the largest owner of villas at Grand Isle Resort in Exuma, said he “has seen a tremendous growth in fly-ins to Exuma as a result of our first participation at Sun n Fun in 2016. We have some 64 COPA pilots flying into Grand Isle later this year and we have established some new partnerships (with Heaven’s Landing) and exploring the possibilities of conducting our own air show in Exuma,” he said.
First time participant at Sun ‘n Fun, Richard Keyworth, Director of Sales at Ocean Heights, a new hotel now under construction in Long Island, said the “caliber of clientele at the Expo is exactly what our upscale property is targeting. This show has exceeded our expectations in every way and we are so very pleased with the turnout and level of interest shown in Long Island and our property,” he said.

Some of The Bahamas’ other leading hoteliers that participated in the weeklong event included Small Hope Bay Lodge (Andros), Valentine’s Inn (Eleuthera), Fernandez Bay Village (Cat Island), Resorts World Bimini, and Old Bahama Bay, Whyndham Viva Fortuna and Flamingo Bay Hotel in Freeport. Representatives from the Grand Bahama Island Promotion Board as well as three of The Bahamas’ preferred fixed base operators, Banyan, Marathon General and Atlantic Aviation also attended the event.

Now in its 43rd year, according to Sun n Fun’s chairman, Bob Knight, “this year’s event shattered all of our previous records.”

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The largest convention in Florida and the second largest aviation show in the world, it is estimated that more than 200,000 persons, from over 60 nations, inclusive of 500 manufacturers and exhibitors, pilots, campers and aviation enthusiasts attended the six days event, which showcased daily aerobatic air shows. More than 10,000 aircraft movements were recorded, during the 6 days event, which featured aircrafts ranging from Warbirds and vintage bomber jets to light sport home built experimental aircrafts.

Some 225 private pilots, interested in flying into The Bahamas participated in special seminars on the policies, procedures and ease of flying into The Bahamas, which were conducted by the Bahamas Flying Ambassadors; seasoned pilots with extensive experience in flying to and around the Islands of The Bahamas.

The BMOT also hosted members of the international press, aviation performers, industry partners and executives of Sun n Fun to a dinner reception.

“Our relationship with the BMOT continues to be strengthened, year after year and we are excited about our projects with the Bahamas and to preserving the aviation industry” said Mr. Knight.

Through its partnership with Sun n Fun, pilots attending the Sun n Fun show, conduct fly outs to various islands in The Bahamas following the Lakeland Expo. In addition to this, in April 2016, the MOT along with Sun n Fun launched the first Grand Bahama Air Show. This year’s aerobatic air show is scheduled to take place, May 19-20, 2017 over the pristine waters at Taino Beach.

 

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