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Letters to the Editor

Are you buying this?

March 10, 2011

Dear Sir,

Before the Senate votes on the Tucker's Point SDO, they should ask a few questions.

The first question would be for Mr. Trippe: Can you guarantee if your development goes ahead that in 20 to 30 years the site would not look like the one which sits next to Fort St. Catherine or the one below Gibb's Hill Lighthouse?

The second question is for the MP's who approved the SDO: Do you truly believe Bermuda's viability as a successful tourist destination hinges on this one development?

And the third question is for the residents of Bermuda: Are you buying this whole scenario?

This development is a quick fix to a business problem. The only way Bermuda could fail as a tourist destination is if every grain of sand washed off the beaches and every Bermudian was told under pain of death to be rude and unwelcoming to our visitors. Quite frankly this is starting to smell like a porgy left on a dock three days ago.

STILL FURIOUSJust for fun log on to the Rosewood Hotels website, click on the Press link and then the VERDES link. Here you can read about the company's promise to Value the Earth's Resources and Demonstrate Environmental Sensitivity.

St. George's

Ps

HSBC bailout

March 17, 2011

Dear Sir,

In today's

Royal Gazette there is an article about the Bahamas building a new airport extension. The story mentions that the Bahamas had 5 million tourists last year. A lot of Bermudians remember when our tourist figures regularly exceeded those of the Bahamas.

When will Bermudians wake up to the fact that the bunch of incompetent amateurs are destroying our livelihood and way of life. To think that a PLP government would support the Tucker's Point SDO is beyond comprehension. When did Bermuda real estate development by white foreigners become good policy?

The promised developments at all our other dead hotels are an indicator of what will happen at Tucker's Point. HSBC just announced a $15 billion profit so they should well be able to afford to write off the bad loan that they have made to this developer who should be put into receivership like all the rest. This SDO is to save the Bank, not Bermuda.

TAXPAYERSAVE OUR OPEN SPACE

Warwick

Don't be fooled

March 11, 2011

Dear Sir,

Does one really believe that the Southampton Princess owners care a hoot about the success or failure of Tucker's Point? If one wealthy American land developers, note, not hotelier, gets to destroy one of our most precious remaining virgin landscape as a result of the SDO, how can anybody object to the Princess destroying their Southampton Golf Course to build even more high end homes for non-Bermudians? The only people who lose are Bermudians because we cannot sell our homes to foreigners.

Please, please, please, Senate members consider what Bermuda loses by the final approval of the Tuckers Point SDO. Don't listen to the scare tactics that land developers and other self serving groups are mouthing.

The PLP Government has shown repeatedly over the last seven years that they have absolutely no understanding of business or finance. Let it fail, the bank will sell it off rapidly and a new owner, with less financial baggage can make it work without destroying what little open land we have left.

In a perfect world, when Tucker's Point failed, the Bermuda Government could have bought up all of the “protected” lands for the People of Bermuda to enjoy in perpetuity. Alas, through total mismanagement of our financial resources, there is no money in the kitty to buy it.

Pembroke

SDO will mean jobs

March 17, 2011

The Royal Gazette:

This was sent to the members of the Senate and copied to

To whom it may concern,

I am Sherry Alvarado, a mother of three and an employee of Tucker's Point for six years. I'm urging you, the Senators, to say yes to the Tucker's Point Project.

It will not only enhance the beauty here but also I will be able to keep my job. Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa has hired 90 percent Bermudians and with the new construction that will only create jobs for those who are out of work and very much need work. I would have never met so many of my friends who are members at TPC that are living here or who are owners of our Fractional Units. Also, when you are first hired here, Mr Edward Trippe informs new employees of the history of the property during our orientation. Senators, this is a wonderful place to work. I get to meet new people every day.

I beg you once again please don't take my job away. I have a family to feed and in these difficult times we're living in now it would only get worse, I wouldn't know what I would do. It's hard now finding work just knowing you'll be up against all those thousands of people out of work. This only means if this SDO doesn't go through there will be more people not working. Honestly that is very scary. I believe in work and I have my strength I do not wish to live off of our system. I have kids that need to go to college and at this present time I need to keep a roof over their heads, so I need my job Senators.

I prayed and asked God to humble me and open your hearts in hoping you will make the right decision and say YES in support of our SDO.

SHERRY A ALVARADOGEORGE MOBRAY

Spa, Tucker's Point Hotel and Spa

Feed workers' children

March 14, 2011

Dear Sir,

It is so critical that the Senators of this beautiful Island vote yes to the Tucker's Point SDO. If you ask me why, my answer would be that the project would enhance the tourism industry and the beautiful facilities that already exist at Tucker's Point. The SDO would create jobs, particularly for the working class people of Bermuda, some of whom are hardest hit by this recession.

While I can understand the concerns of the environmentalists, the working class people are move concerned with how to feed their families and send their children off to college. People are in desperate need of jobs. As an employee of Tucker's Point Hotel and Spa, I am proud to say that I work here; the benefits to my family have been enormous.

To oppose the SDO is to deprive many Bermudians of a future opportunity in what may eventually become a driving force in the tourism industry.

Security, Tucker's Point Hotel and Spa

Blacks were forced out

March 15, 2011

Dear Sir,

The Tucker's Point advertisement (March 15) is offensive and wrong. To claim that: “It would be a dishonour to the black Bermudians who gave up their land for tourism to let Tucker's Point fail” is insulting and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of our history and our people. Black Bermudians didn't merrily walk away from their homes to allow for more tourism. They were forced to leave so that a few white Bermudians could profit from luxury tourists. This defence is an offence.

Mr Telford makes a point about saving the green spaces in his concurrent opinion piece: “As I walk around TP … I see many more Chinese Palms and Casuarinas than I do endemics ... [which] are not worth fighting for.” This argument doesn't logically follow. Tear down the trash trees and plant some endemics if you care so much about them, don't pave over them with concrete.

I agree with Mr Telford that Tucker's Point is a world class, superior quality resort and one in which Bermuda's tourism product can be justifiably proud. However, it is also a business that used leverage to bet huge on real estate at the top of the market. The bubble has now burst and instead of doing the prudent thing, accepting this reality and figuring out how to make this great property work, they want to use even more leverage to double down in a falling market. This is a sure recipe for disaster and no respectable investor worth his weight in gold would make such a trade.

Tucker's Point is excellent and should the existing management be unable to continue, will make a great takeover target for any world class resort operator. The chances of it closing forever with a permanent loss in hundreds of Bermudian jobs are slim, and the claim seems more like fear mongering than anything based on fundamentals. What's more likely to happen is the original investors will get wiped out, new investors will move in and and we all will move on. Yes, there may be a temporary loss of jobs as the property transitions ownership, but it will reopen because its assets are simply too valuable to ignore and the jobs will return.

J. YOUNG

Z. SIMMONS

Hamilton Parish

Turned away at hotel

March 13, 2011

Dear Sir,

The Sunday walkabout through Tucker's Point Club revealed a seeming indifference by the developers and their architect to the beauty of the land and its history. Steep embankments along the Fairway and protected woodlands were designated as building sites. Golf balls litter the old cemetery.

As we walked, one Bermudian couple in our group of about 12 recounted having made reservations at the Tucker's Point Hotel restaurant for a birthday celebration only to be turned away at the door the evening of the dinner with the explanation that the restaurant served “members only”; two others in the group described a similar dismissal. Later, a local artist confirmed that she was declined entry to the Spa at the time of her appointment.

Ed Trippe in the Greenwich (Connecticut) Magazine is quoted as saying: “There's a fundamental feeling in Bermuda that land for residential homes should be owned and developed by Bermudians. We had to overcome that philosophy.”

In essence, the developers are asking Bermudians to approve another SDO relinquishing their protected land so they might then be excluded.

L. TOLAND

Paget

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Published March 18, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:51 am)

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