$3.8m redevelopment for Horseshoe Bay café
A team of Bermudian entrepreneurs has been chosen as the new leaseholders of the beachside café at Horseshoe Bay.
Delton Ebbin, Carl Vincent and Devon Simons – together, Horseshoe Bay Live – were unveiled as the winning bidders by David Burch, the public works minister.
Mr Burch said HBL will take over the existing facility on April 1 unless an earlier exit can be negotiated with current leaseholders Chops Ltd, whose lease for the Rum Bum Beach Bar expires on March 31.
He added that a $3.8 million redevelopment project, funded by the leaseholders, will begin next November to revamp the facility in time for the 2022 tourist season.
Mr Burch said: “The Horseshoe Bay Live team here today, are experienced young Bermudians of the highest calibre in the hospitality industry. I am confident they are all up to the task of shouldering the enormous responsibility of offering world-class facilities and services at the most popular and iconic beach in Bermuda.”
He added that they “have earned this opportunity and I am sure they will make a success of it. I ask the people of Bermuda to support them 100 per cent, especially as Bermuda and the world are still coming to terms with the devastation, death, and financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Mr Ebbin, who spoke for HBL, has a background in the luxury hotel and resort sectors, having worked at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston, and Sandals St Lucia before returning to the island in 2019.
He said HBL will create a “luxury experience” at Horseshoe.
Mr Ebbin added: “It’s all about service.”
He said the group is “ready to do whatever it takes” to make the business a success.
Mr Ebbin added that the group has “a backer” to support the $3.8 million redevelopment project that will begin a year from now.
He said HBL is “definitely interested” in speaking to current staff at the facility about employment opportunities in the new set-up.
Mr Ebbin added that he anticipates that the facility will be renamed.
Mr Vincent has a background in the luxury yacht sector. He is the co-owner of DropIt Delivery, and is a graduate of the Enterprise Bermuda entrepreneurial programme operated by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, and of the Ignite Bermuda entrepreneurial initiative.
Mr Simons, who was not present at the press conference, is the head chef at Country Kitchen.
Former professional footballer Rai Simons, who played for Chesterfield FC in England, is to develop a sports programme for the facility.
Mr Burch said the ministry received proposals from 16 groups for the operation of the beachside café.
Eight were shortlisted and invited to make presentations, which were scored by a six-person panel representing the public works ministry, the parks department and the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
Mr Burch said the panel’s criteria included: services to be provided, awareness of beach tourism trends, proposed redevelopment design, financial capability, ability to complete within time frame, management ability for beach rentals, environmentally friendly and sustainable services, local employment and visitor benefits.
He added: “This together with overall consideration showing a well thought out plan to support making the Horseshoe Bay Beach facility experience a top tourism destination.”
HBL has been granted a five-year lease with a tenant option to renew for a further five or 10 years, subject to agreement of lease provisions.
Lease terms were not disclosed.
A public works ministry representative said: “The capital investment of $3.8 million is the estimated cost to redevelop the site and provides an indication of what the public should expect from the Horseshoe Bay Beach House Café. The rental earnings will be in addition to the capital investment.
“However, as part of the submission process, the rental value offered for the lease is always a factor in winning the rights to lease the Horseshoe Beach House Cafe. Sharing this information will provide an advantage to other interested parties when making future submissions, while being a disadvantage to the present leaseholder.
“As such, and in all fairness to the past, present, and future leaseholders of the café, the Ministry is unable to share the details of the rental lease agreement.”