Ron Shultz addressing questions from the audience.
ANGUILLA–The Anguillian public turned out on Monday evening, June 25, to a town hall meeting to hear the final draft results of the feasibility study for the building of a super yacht marina in Anguilla. A super yacht is defined as a yacht measuring 300 feet or more in length. Funded by Anguilla’s Social Security Board, the study was conducted by Edgewater Resources. Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ron Shultz was in attendance to present the feasibility study’s findings and then answer questions and address concerns.
Claudel Romney of BDO-Anguilla, and facilitator for the meeting, welcomed all attending government officials and the public by saying, “The purpose of this town hall is to solicit your input. This is a collaborative effort for Anguilla, and I hope that as we discuss the details of this study, we can look at it from a nationalistic point of view and forget the political undertones. We want to transform Anguilla, and help it recover from the recent economic downturns and storms.” Speaking next was the Minister of Infrastructure, Curtis Richardson who asked for the public’s collective support of new ventures intended to move the national development and progress of Anguilla forward.
Shultz said, “The impetus of this study is to consider Anguilla’s involvement in the upper end of the market for mega yacht tourism. The super yacht industry is exploding at a very rapid rate. The large yachts have increased by 53 per cent in the last five years worldwide. They are looking for places to go and they currently have very few places where they can go.” He said, “Our goals for this project were to identify and quantify what can be done to increase Anguilla’s gross national product (GDP), increase jobs and identify factors that would attract yachts to Anguilla.” Shultz then talked about the need to identify the correlation between commercial development and residential community involvement.
Shultz said his team had initially looked at 11 possible site locations and then reduced the final selection to five based on a variety of environmental and engineering factors. He presented a very detailed informational synopsis on the five selected sites to include construction cost for each location as well as maximum vessel capacity by size. The five sites discussed were Sandy Ground, Blowing Point, Scrub Island, Rendezvous Bay and Little Harbour.
Feedback and questions were many and very detailed, which highlighted the attendees’ knowledge of the sites and their keen interest in and support of the initiative. It appeared that those attending the town hall meeting were supportive of the initiative and the opportunities it presented for Anguilla’s future economic growth and diversification.