Five superyacht marina sites in Anguilla, identified by Edgewater Resources LLC, following a feasibility study commissioned by the island’s Government, are now being marketed for investment and development.
A Memorandum of Understanding to that effect was signed on Wednesday, October 31, by Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks, and Mr. Ronald Schults, Principal of Edgewater Resources LLC.
Mr. Banks told media representatives that Edgewater Resources had not only identified the sites, but came up with artistic conceptions of what the designs of the marinas should look like. “They are here today because we have gone through that process and now we, as Government, are signing an agreement with them to market and secure investment for the sites they have identified,” he explained.
“By virtue of this meeting, we are signing that agreement and there are certain guarantees that we are ensuring that they are able to deliver within a given time. That also entails some aspects of financing. The Government of Anguilla is fortunate that in this arrangement it is not required to make any financing. The Social Security Board has been part of this from the very beginning. The Board has helped us to secure the financing for the initial phases of the feasibility study. It also has an interest not only from that standpoint but the fact that it has some property [at Little Harbour] which can also be included in this project.”
Mr. Schults said in part: “It is a very exciting time in Anguilla – a next step in the process of creating jobs and improving the economic activity already on the island…It is really a good business. The yachts are currently in the Caribbean and they need a place to come to. The great complementary activity of the mega yacht industry is that the persons on the yachts are looking to take advantage of the fine restaurants, the spas, golf – and all the other activities are already here. It is just a matter of creating an access point for them to come to Anguilla, start spending money and creating jobs locally.”
He continued: “It is really a great opportunity, and the economy right now in the United States is very strong – as well as in many other parts of the world. We are talking to a lot of different investment groups… and what we are finding is that there is an honest concern about investment in certain parts of the world, in particular the Middle East and Latin America, because of the obvious problems. We are finding that they are very concerned and want investment in secure areas.
“It is not even so much the return on investment. We just want the investment to be secure so that we don’t lose it. The focus that we are hearing from the Middle East, China and the United States markets is that they want the investments in a secure location. That means the US or the UK-backed islands such as Anguilla. The support from the British Government makes it a very secure investment – and very desirable – so we are seeing a lot of attention coming to places like Anguilla, right now, in the coming weeks and months. That is particularly exciting because the direction is definitely on the Caribbean. We are ready to kick off. In fact, tomorrow morning I have meetings in Fort Lauderdale at the International Boat Show – the world’s largest boat show, and I have two meetings with investors already.”
Other speakers were Mr. Timothy Hodge, Director of Social Security, who disclosed that financing amounting to $75,000 US dollars was provided to fund aspects of the feasibility study but was refundable; Mr. Marcel Fahie, Chairman of the Anguilla Air and Sea Ports Authority, who expressed delight if one of the first marinas could be built at Blowing Port where a comprehensive port development is soon to be undertaken; Ministers Curtis Richardson and Evans McNiel Rogers; Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism, Mr. Cardigan Connor; Mr. Jamal Rochester of the Anguilla Tourist Board; Permanent Secretary, Tourism, Mr. Larry Franklin; and Mr. Claudel Romney of BDO and a partner of Edgewater Resources.
In wrapping up the meeting, Chief Minister Banks noted that two other marinas were under discussion in Anguilla – one in the area of Altamer Resort at West End; and the other, part the Conch Bay Development Project in The Forest Bay area.
The five proposed superyacht marina sites identified by Edgewater Resources are Sandy Ground, Blowing Point, Rendezvous Bay, Little Harbour and Scrub Island. It is estimated that each project ranges in cost from US$26 million to US$81 million.