Concerns over the current plans that Royal Caribbean has to build a beach club resort on Paradise Island have been coming to a head lately and the voices of many locals and local businesses have been growing louder.
The project, called Royal Beach Club, has been in the works since 2020 and is estimated to cost $100 million. There have been many speed bumps and roadblocks along the way, however, the cruise line and the Bahamian government seem to have settled their land dispute and the green light has been given to move forward with the project. Prime Minister Philip Davis had been an adamant opponent of the project due to concerns about the deal being more favorable for the foreign entity than it would be for the people of the Bahamas. After coming to terms with many points of dispute, such as land distribution and equity opportunities for locals, the 17-acre project is now moving forward and looking toward a 2025 opening.
While this is a victory for the two entities, not everyone is in celebration mode. Audrey Oswell is the president of Atlantis Paradise island and she is calling for the government to take a closer look at the deal to address some significant financial and environmental concerns.
Oswell alleges that there will be a devastating impact on the coastline and beaches, as well as potential damage to the coral reef at the north sea bed. Additionally, the Atlantis cheif thinks that many downtown business owners will see diminished foot traffic and reduced revenue as a result. Rounding Owswell’s concerns are the navigational issues that the channel might see from the increased recreational traffic, and various health and safety issues such as emergency service and wastewater distribution.
As mentioned, the project is currently set to break ground as planned, but Royal Caribbean did announce that they will be commenting soon in response to Oswell’s concerns.