Genting architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia, co-principal of Arquitectonica, said after the hearing he will go back to finalizing a plan for a scaled-down version of a gargantuan project the casino giant originally presented last year.
I don't bring this up to be a trouble maker, but because I am concerned about the sequence of events. It's up to you to analyze and come up with your own interpretations.
If you have seen our boating photos, you know we are big fans of The Bimini Islands in The Bahamas. We have been crossing the gulf-stream via boat for years and enjoying the small island feel, the gorgeous beaches and the spectacular diving and snorkeling.
A few years ago we heard a few locals complaining about a new resort that was going to be built and would destroy the island. Some said it would help the economy and bring jobs, others were scared that the resort’s scale would be too big for the infrastructure of the island and would hurt the existing eco-system.
The Horrible Reality behind The Bimini Bay Resort
The truth is that with large resorts, come huge egos, greed and problems. I personally have not gone in-depth into the conflict that the construction of The Bimini Bay Resort has caused, but have seen first hand, the negative impact of the Bimini Bay on the island and its surroundings.
Seeing hundreds of mega-yachts parked in the Bimini Bay Marinas and how they misuse the “iddle speed” necessary to reach their destination through the grasses of the harbor cannot be a good thing. The clearing of trees and mangroves is also evident throughout. Now we are seeing more dredging and land movements.
I’m a true believer that big things should stay in big places and the plans for the Bimini Bay and its expansion, will kill the beauty of the island and will continue to negatively affect the ecosystem and the environment of Bimini.
But please don’t take my word for it. Fabien Cousteau (the grandson of famous Jacques Cousteau), has written and researched The Bimini Bay Resort’s impact on the environment.
Fabien Cousteau’s bio reads:
Growing up on decks of his famous Grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone, Fabien Cousteau was destined to work to protect our planet’s immense and endangered marine habitats.
The beautiful island of Bimini is facing a potential environmental crisis it has never faced before. Blatantly unsustainable building practices are resulting in the perfect model for ecological disaster that would rob its inhabitants of economic and environmental well-being in the near future. If left unchecked, the development threatens to increase the island's seasonal population by over 700%. Already facing water, energy and waste problems currently the island is far too small to accommodate such an overwhelming onslaught. Furthermore there are no signs of "green" material, technological, energy, consumption or waste solutions. In this day and age it is simply unacceptable for us to pilfer what is left of our potential future.
A small paradise island is under assault from short-sighted unsustainable overdevelopment. This case is far from unique around the world but with our planet's health collapsing under our very eyes from a combination of our ignorance, inaction and, in some cases, the blatant disregard of certain entities for our future it is simply not an option to stay by the sidelines when we can still change the tide of our fate. There is still hope for this island but time is short and action must come soon or we stand to lose yet another battle in the struggle that will reflect in our very own survival into the future.
To make things even worse, The Malaysia-base Genting Group has partnered with Alejandro Capo, the CEO of RAV Bahamas, to add a world-class casino. Yes, the Genting Group is the same one that had to scrap their casino plans for Miami when their plans were not approved by the city because of its massive scale.
Please understand that I am not anti-development - I am an architect and Realtor after all and make a living from selling real estate. The question is, why so big? Why couldn’t the resort stay in a small manageable scale that would complement the island, the inhabitants and the ecosystem?
I will leave you with a short video from this weekend. A lovely local by the name of Gwendolyn prepares the best conch salad for us with freshly caught conch when we visit. I happened to ask her how she felt about The Bimini Bay, and I think this will give you the perfect perspective from a local - born and raised in Bimini.
And for the record, I will continue staying in the smaller hotels like The Bimini Sands and The Big Game Club, which are obviously more in tune with tradition, and sensitive to Bimini’s environment. I wonder how Hemingway would feel about all this.
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