Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — The investment by the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) in Christophe Harbour has already begun to reap dividends for the SIDF.
Chairperson of the Board of Councillors, Dr. Hermia Morton-Anthony said SIDF’s US$16 million investment, resulting in a 30 percent stake in the property has already received quarterly returns totalling over US$2 million to the SIDF.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the docking of the first yacht, the Andromeda la dea, at the Christophe Harbour Marina Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Anthony noted that it was just six months ago marked the driving of the first pile for the construction of the super yacht marina to be completed in January 2015.
“When SIDF decided to partner with the Darby family by investing $US16 million to acquire Christophe Harbour, an investment that gave us 30% ownership, we did so, not only with the confidence that our investment would be safe, but also with the recognition of the importance of having a local stake in this luxury resort community. I am happy to report that for the past eighteen months, the project has advanced smoothly, and indications are that the development will continue to the benefit of our People and our Federation as a whole,” said Dr. Anthony.
“I am pleased to inform you that SIDF’s investment has already begun to pay dividends. To date, SIDF has received quarterly returns totalling over US$2 million. We continue to maintain the 30% equity that we negotiated,” she stated.
Noting that there were many questions and doubts about the SIDF investment in Christophe Harbour, and quite some criticism, Dr. Anthony stated the SIDF is even more convinced now of the wisdom of that decision.
“Last year was a record sales year for Christophe Harbour, and sale activity has been strong this year. It is projected that this trend will continue in 2015,” she disclosed.
According to Dr. Anthony, with the growing mega yacht market, there is a demand for new destinations.
“St. Kitts already has a reputation for alluring visitors who fall in love with our ‘island paradise.’ Secluded but not isolated, and offering sought-after services and amenities, the marina at Christophe Harbour has great potential for attracting mega yachts. With the recently launched National Yachting Policy, St. Kitts is readying itself to create a sustainable, thriving yachting tourism sector,” she said.
The SIDF Councillor used the opportunity to thank the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, specifically the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the stakeholders for the strides made in growing the tourism industry.