BTA joy over Morgan’s Point resort approval
The Bermuda Tourism Authority has applauded news that the Morgan's Point resort has been granted planning approval.
A spokeswoman for the BTA said yesterday the announcement was excellent news for the Bermuda hospitality industry.
“We congratulate the development team and their diligence in getting this important project across the finish line,” she said. While the spokeswoman added that the additional hotel rooms and marina facilities would be helpful in hosting the surge of visitors expected to travel to the Island for the America's Cup, there are plans in place in case the hotel is not ready in time for the 2017 event.
“There is a plan under way that combines the resources of local hotels, vacation rentals, cruise ships and yachts which gives us the inventory needed to assure the strong economic impact we are expecting from the event is fully realised,” she said. “If for some reason the hotel project is not completed on time, Bermuda can still adequately accommodate our AC visitors.”
The Morgan's Point Resort project has been the subject of conversation for several years. The developers first agreed to receive the land — the former home of a US Naval Air Station — from the Government in a land-swap arrangement in 2008.
The development was announced as a $2 billion luxury tourist complex including three hotels, residential units and a marina for visiting superyachts.
However, before work could begin, the Government was tasked with cleaning up the brownfield site, which was reportedly heavily polluted with asbestos, metals, petroleum products and other chemicals.
The handover was made official in June 2012, at which point remediation work began in earnest.
Planning applications for the first phase of the project were submitted earlier this year, detailing an 84-key hotel, a 77-slip marina and a total of 149 residential condominium units on the Southampton property, along with a range of hotel amenities including a spa and three restaurants.
The Development Applications Board formally approved that application on Wednesday, giving the developers a green light to move forward with the project.
The first phase is set to include Craig Christensen, the CEO of Morgan's Point Resort Ltd, expressed his excitement about the decision on Thursday, stating that it is hoped to break ground on the project soon.
However, he said the entirety of the first phase might not be completed in time for the 2017 America's Cup, stating that the development team is looking at how to best move forward with the project.