(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Proprietors of businesses located in the Frigate Bay area wasted no time in assessing the damages done to their establishments and commencing the recovery and cleanup process, in an attempt to return Frigate Bay – one of the most important areas in the country as it relates to tourism development – to a state of normalcy.
As part of his post-Hurricane Maria damage assessment campaign on Wednesday (September 21), Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris visited Frigate Bay, where a number of tourist-related establishments were significantly impacted, particularly those along the Frigate Bay Strip coastline.
In giving an assessment of the damage, Managing Director of the Frigate Bay Development Corporation, Slieh Boncamper, stressed that due to the significance of the Frigate Bay area to the overall growth and development of St. Kitts’ tourism product, a speedy recovery and clean up of the area is critically important.
Speaking specifically of the Frigate Bay Strip, Mr. Boncamper said, “I expected the worst and from what I am seeing it’s not as bad as I thought it would have been. Yes, the ocean came up and met the pond, as you can tell a lot of the beach is inundated with more seaweed [and] there’s a lot of sand. The roads are passable but I decided to block it off so my crew could actually clear the passage way of the lot of sand. The businesses have a lot of sand in them, no major structural damage so we’re thankful.”
Mr. Boncamper said he expects that “De Strip” will be fully operational by this weekend to accommodate the usual influx of party goers at the restaurants and bars at what has become one of the most popular entertainment venues for both residents and visitors alike.
While talking to some of the proprietors there, Prime Minister Harris pledged that his Government will discuss ways in which it can help those businesses recover to a state where they can continue to offer the type of services that visitors and residents have become accustomed to.
The prime minister also visited the Timothy Beach Resort where he interacted with a number of guests and spoke directly with the resort’s Managing Director, Mr. Richard Boon.
During his conversation with Mr. Boon, Prime Minister Harris said he was very heartened to see there was a large number of guests at the resort, and that both the guests and staff members were safe and in good spirits following the hurricane.
He added, “Interestingly, some of them fled from Hurricane Irma from the BVI and other locations and found safe haven in St. Kitts. In the end, they are happy and they have additional experiences to share, and they feel very warm by the hospitality that has been shown to them by our people.”
The prime minister’s visit lifted the spirits of the guests, some of whom expressed their intention to return to St. Kitts and Nevis in the near future, while others expressed their intention to use some of their time here to join citizens and residents in the clean up process.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Government, after consultations with the economic and social partners, declared yesterday, Wednesday, September 20, a National Holiday and dubbed it National Clean Up Day, whereby residents and citizens were asked to remain in their communities and volunteer in cleaning up the environment to assist the country in returning to normalcy.