On April 28th, the 10th Eleuthera Business Outlook was held at the Eleuthera Business Hub in Rock Sound approximately 20 miles north of Disney’s new port development project, Lighthouse Point.
The overall event focused on Eleuthera which is posed for growth. The morning session included a presentation about Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point project in Southern Eleuthera.
Thomas Sands, President of the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce welcomed everyone to the event which was held in a hybrid format with a virtual option. Sand went on to thank those responsible, including major donor Disney Cruise Line, for helping to build the Business Hub during a pandemic.
Sands recalled a time when he was contacted by the Bahamian Chamber of Commerce to meet with Disney Cruise Line.
One of my first meetings with Disney Cruise Line was a result of a call from a call from Michael Maura, the then president of Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, and he asked that the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce attend a meeting with the United States Embassy and Disney Cruise Lines related to a project in the Eleuthera. Disney Cruise Lines at that time made it clear they wish to have a fair opportunity to present a project and additionally committed that they intended to be a model corporate citizen and a partner with the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce. This has been the case, they have additionally committed to continue to support and foster a relationship into the future.Thomas Sands, President of the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce
Sands welcomes on behalf invite other developers and investors to participate at a comparative level to Disney Cruise Line.
Below is part of Sand’s presentation with a focus on his comments on Disney Cruise Line and the overall cruise industry as it relates to Eleuthera’s economy.
Joey Gaskins Jr., Regional Public Affairs Director, The Bahamas & Caribbean, Disney took to the podium to provide an update on Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point development project. Gaskins’ nearly 20-minute presentation highlighted Disney Cruise Line’s commitments to The Bahamas and the Heads of Agreement which includes strict environmental commitments. Additionally, there will be more than double the promised number of Bahamian construction jobs created for the development of the project.
There will be a significant difference between Disney’s Lighthouse Point and Disney’s Castaway Cay. Lighthouse Point will be anchored in Bahamian Culture rather than an imaginary destination. Castaway Cay, designed and built by Disney and is not necessary “Bahamian”. According to Gaskins, Lighthouse Point will be steeped in true Bahamian culture and reflect cultural practitioners and traditions that make The Bahamas an amazing place.
All necessary approvals have been granted by the Government of The Bahamas to start landside work. The Bahamian Government approved a test pile program on the marine side and that work is nearly complete. The site plan was approved in February 2022 and preparation work at the site has started. Disney is currently expecting completion in 2024 which is on track based on the development update presented during the 9th Eleuthera Business Outlook in August 2021.
Below is the full Disney Project Update from the Eleuthera Business Outlook on April 28th.
The following are slides from the Lighthouse Point project update presentation.
Gaskins also shared part of the meeting in his Twitter feed.
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