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Groundbreaking ‘a sign of greater things’

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Michael Dunkley described Caroline Bay as “a sign of greater things on the horizon” at a groundbreaking ceremony for the luxury resort yesterday.

Attending the event at Morgan's Point alongside the Premier were representatives from the Ritz-Carlton Company, whose $400 million Reserve resort will be built on the property.

The group included Herve Humler, co-founder and president of the company, market vice-president Katherine Monahan and area vice-president of sales and marketing Graeme Benn.

During his address, Mr Dunkley noted Mr Humler's longstanding ties with the island, having started in the industry by working at the Hamilton Princess in the early 1970s.

“From Government's perspective, this project is so much more than just bricks and mortar,” he said. “The Ritz brand in Bermuda will provide significant opportunity for Bermudians.”

Recounting the history of the project, Craig Christensen, chief executive of Morgan's Point, pointed to the vision of former premier Alex Scott, who was integral to the start of the proposed development.

“Then Premier Scott had the vision to suggest to swap Southlands for Morgan's Point,” revealed Mr Christensen.

“These talks were kept strictly confidential and today we can disclose that the Government and Southlands sought to develop Morgan's Point and preserve Southlands.

“Unknown to BEST we were all working for the same outcome. We have to thank Alex Scott for his support and vision.

“The road has been long and hard, but we have always received the support of both sides of the political divide. This is unique, and greatly appreciated.

“Developed by Bermudians, supported by Bermudians for the benefit of Bermudians. This is Bermuda's project.”

Mr Dunkley said the project would bolster our tourism product, while also helping its construction and hospitality sectors.

“I am extremely encouraged by the progress we have made to date with this project [although] we still have a ways to go,” he added, pointing out that the venture will be managed in phases.

The first phase, expected to be completed by the end of 2018, will include 35 branded condominium residences, a new marina that includes 77 berths with capacity for an additional 21 mega-yachts, and a five-star, boutique, 79-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel.

“Our entire island should feel excited about the confidence that Ritz-Carlton has demonstrated in Bermuda,” Mr Dunkley said. “This has truly been a journey and we look forward to a strong, lasting and successful relationship.”

Mr Humler added: “We are deeply honoured to become members of the fibre of this great destination and to enhance the glamour of Bermuda, not only for today's most affluent travellers, but for Bermudians. I began my hospitality career in Bermuda, so this is a very special moment not only for the Ritz-Carlton, but for me personally.

“We come not just as global hoteliers presenting a stunning, five-star luxury property, but also aspiring to be active members of the local community.”

Building work begins: from left, Chris Barbe, Craig Christensen, Herve Humler, Michael Dunkley, Michael Fahy, Kenneth Bascome and Bob Richards (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Site tour: Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of Ritz-Carlton, shares his vision for the Caroline Bay project with Michael Dunkley, the Premier (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Special moment: Herve Humler, the president and chief operating officer of Ritz-Carlton Company, at the groundbreaking ceremony (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Boost for tourism: Michael Dunkley and Herve Humler shake hands in front of artist impressions of the new resort, flanked by Michael Fahy and Craig Christensen (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 18, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 18, 2016 at 10:02 am)

Groundbreaking ‘a sign of greater things’

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