One of the prevailing sentiments in Bermuda’s East End is that building new hotels and marina’s will without doubt revitalize the town and surrounding community. The problem with this strategy is that we have seen in other places on Bermuda that this strategy simply does not work. Look at the site that the new hotel will occupy, twice a hotel and twice a failure. The new condos and fractionals at Tucker’s Point and Newstead, while beautiful from the outside are empty units because people can’t afford the six figure prices or they simply do not want to come to Bermuda. So the question on everyone’s mind is why is the Park Hyatt any different? Why is the new Boutique Hotel and Marina on Todd’s Wharf any different? I fear this will be another case of outside investors coming in, not really studying the tourism and heritage landscape, throwing some very posh building up, and then they go empty. Is there any value in that?
I think that it is great that there is an interest in the East End from investors both abroad and domestic. I also think it is fantastic that these plans will attempt to avoid impacting the heritage resources on the site. But I think it is a shame that people in Bermuda are spending countless number of hours and energy on a projet that will simply not work. I am not trying to sound negative, perhaps it will work in the short-term. But in the long-run there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way that everyone approaches St. George’s and its heritage resources and its tourism landscape.
More to come on this topic, just an update…..