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Four new businesses opening in Dockyard

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Positive message: Andrew Dias, general manager of Wedco, speaks at Dockyard's networking breakfast yesterday (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Residents and tourists seeking a reason to travel up the country were given plenty to consider yesterday as the West End Development Corporation held its annual networking breakfast at historic Royal Naval Dockyard.

Some 200 guests from all sectors of the island’s tourism industry packed a tented outdoor terrace at Bone Fish Bar & Grill for an information session designed to spread the word about Dockyard’s offerings — both old and new — for the ultimate benefit of visitors and residents.

Among the guests were Zane DeSilva, Minister of Tourism and Transport, who hailed Dockyard as “not just a cruise ship port but a magnet for all tourists who come to Bermuda”.

Andrew Dias, general manager of Wedco, said four new businesses were opening in Dockyard, while two have expanded operations, and six seasonal vendors are to begin operating as well.

He encouraged residents to travel to the island’s West End.

“There is something going on year-round at Dockyard,” he said. “Dockyard is not just for visitors — we are very proud that it’s for locals as well. We have a great entertainment and shopping experience for local people.”

Joanna Cranfield, business development manager at Wedco, said she was “proud of what we have done, and what we have on offer”.

“When I arrived 11 years ago,” she recalled, “Andrew said he wanted people to leave their house in Warwick and really have to decide whether to turn left or turn right. Dockyard has restaurants, we have shopping and we have activities. Everything is happening in Dockyard as well. Andrew wants people to have to think about which way to turn.”

The new businesses are Modern Lifestyle aka Bermuda Bags — which began operations as a casual vendor at Destination Dockyard — Caddy Shack Grill at Bermuda Fun Golf, Media Lounge Cinema and WiFi Café in the Neptune Cinema building, and Rum Barrel, a duty-free shop for Gosling’s products and associated items located in the centre gazebo near the ferry stop.

Studio 8 Glass has doubled its space while Grand Bazaar has opened a second outlet focusing on home decor. Both businesses are located in Clocktower Mall.

Six seasonal vendors will ply their trade in between the gazebos near the ferry stop. They are 9 Parishes Authentic Bermuda Rum Swizzle, Bermuda Fudge Co, Duch Pops, Positive Energy, Churchill’s Ltd and Sunkissed Hair & Henna.

Mr Dias said that one legacy of the 2017 America’s Cup, which was headquartered at Dockyard, is the refurbishment of Prince Alfred Terrace, a series of buildings on the right side of Cockburn Road just before the Dockyard gates.

They were modernised, upgraded and restored for use as the Cup’s event village command centre. Now, the ten three-bedroom apartments are available as vacation rentals.

Wedco also confirmed that the temporary pedestrianisation of a portion of Dockyard, near to the Clocktower Mall, is to become permanent.

“Dockyard doesn’t get bigger, but the number of people who visit does,” Ms Cranfield says. “Our visitors will now be able to disembark from a cruise ship and reach Dockyard’s gates without having to cross a road.”

Wedco reported 13 new hires for the 2019 season.

Joining as transport co-ordinators are Alec DeSilva, John Scotland, Cindy Eve, Kevin Simmons, Judy Seymour, Juliette Rewan, Ronue Cann, and Carol Smith.

Hired as Wedco ambassadors are Tristan Martin, Lia Robinson, Zyair Scott, Marissa Nanud, and Malia Bell.

Dockyard holds events year-round, including Saturday’s Earth Hour celebrations, which the locale is hosting for a second time.

Monday marks the return to summer hours at Dockyard. Hours are 9am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Dockyard is closed on just four days annually: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and Good Friday.

For more information about Dockyard, see www.dockyardbermuda.com

Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, pictured at Wedco's networking breakfast (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Andrew Dias, Wedco's general manager (Photograph by Akil Simmons)