Business

Grand Lucayan Sold

 

By Robyn Adderley

 

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Government of The Bahamas sold the Grand Lucayan on Monday, March 2, 2020 to a partnership between Royal Caribbean International and ITM (Bahamas Port Investments Ltd.), which is expected to make a $250 million investment between the hotel and the redevelopment of the cruise port. 

 

The Heads of Agreement Signing Ceremony was held on the Great Lawn of the property, some 11 months following the signing of the Letter of Intent on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

 

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis described the day as a wonderful one, as the government’s intention was never to hold on to the   property, but initially purchased it to save jobs of Grand Bahamians and businesses. 

 

“As we stated at the time, it was our intention to privatize the property as quickly as possible. We wanted to ensure that we found the right buyer who shared our vision for the renewal of Grand Bahama. Our vision was the renewal and rebirth of Grand Bahama’s tourism sector and product as an essential element in the restoration of this island’s potential.

 

 

 

The Prime Minister also noted that discussions are currently ongoing to determine the best way to redevelop the Grand Bahama International Airport, which will require a major investment. 

 

Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, said, “I am extremely excited that the intended purchasers of this hotel are Royal Caribbean and the ITM Group. Between them, they are well funded to bring to the table a great deal of experience in the tourism sector, and have a proven track record of successful projects.”

 

The development projected for the Grand Lucayan will bring about a total transformation of the resort. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested into the property to refurbish/renovate/reconstruct 500 rooms in Phase One and another 500 rooms along with 500 villas in Phase Two. Additional features will include a new casino, a spectacular water theme park and a new shopping, restaurant and retail center. In addition, a new cruise port will be built in the Freeport Harbour to accommodate three ships in Phase One and up to seven ships in subsequent phases. As a result of the purchase, 3,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created in construction as well as in employment at the hotel and cruise port.

 

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, gave welcome remarks. Also giving remarks were Robert Shamosh, Chief Executive Officer, Holistica Destinations; Mauricio Hamui, Chief Executive Officer, ITM; and Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. 

 

Also, in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest and other Ministers of Cabinet; Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries, Senior Government Officials, representatives from the business community, taxi drivers, and straw vendors.

 

Immediately following the official ceremony, guests were treated to the pulsating sounds of a Junkanoo Rushout followed by a reception. 

 

 

 

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SIGNING CEREMONY -- The Government of The Bahamas and Bahamas Port Investments Ltd. signed a Heads of Agreement with respect to purchase of the Grand Lucayan today, March 2, 2020. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis (standing, second right) said the multi-million dollar investment "will go a long way in revitalizing Grand Bahama, with myriad economic and employment opportunities for more Grand Bahamians." Seated at left are Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley (left) and CEO of ITM Mauricio Hamui, representing the Developer; and at right, Secretary to the Cabinet Camille Johnson (second right) and Director of Investments Candia Ferguson. Standing from left: Minister Iram Lewis, Minister of State Kwasi Thompson, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, and Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar. (BIS Photo/Yontalay Bowe)

 


SLUTTY VEGAN COMING TO MIAMI SUNDAY, 02/23, FOR “GETTIN’ SLUTTY TOUR: 2020”

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Popular Vegan Food Concept and Restaurant Set to Make a Stop in Miami As Part of Fifty City Tour
 
Miami, FL – On Sunday, February 23Slutty Vegan, the 100% plant-based burger restaurant that has become a national food phenomenon, is coming to Miami for a one-day, pop-up shop/restaurant. This is part of their “Gettin’ Slutty” tour, which is now in it’s second year.
 
The popular food brand and concept, created by Pinky Cole, will be serving customers from 2pm – 8pm at Bar One Miami on 520 West Ave., Miami Beach, FL  33139.
 
“Over the past year, we have impacted Atlanta in a huge way with our fast-casual junk food that is completely plant-based,” says Founder/Owner, Pinky Cole. “Every day, people are standing in line for hours to experience the juicy goodness of our plant-based burgers and we look forward to bring the experience to Miami.”
 
Last month, Slutty Vegan celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of their brick and mortar location in Atlanta. 
 
Fans of Slutty Vegan include Tyler Perry, Will Packer, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson, Iyanla Vanzant, Keisha Lance-Bottoms, Porsha Williams, Jermaine Dupri, Meagan Goode, Cory Booker, Jidenna, Lena Waithe and more.
 
Blogging Black Miami gives a special shout out to Cole. Last year, she and another entrepreneur, Stacey Lee, collaborated to pay it forward and pay off the remaining debt for 30 students at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University. We like helping businesses that help the community so don’t miss the pop-up on Sunday. 
 
Other cities on the fifty-city trek include: Durham, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and more.

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Black Media Professionals Honored at Second Annual BOMA Awards

BOMA winners 2018
Black media professionals honored at 2018 BOMA Awards.

MIAMI – It’s not often that you’ll hear a faith-based economist quoting the rapper Drake or have the opportunity to sit in a room filled with 150 of South Florida’s most talented black media professionals, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday, September 20, at 11 a.m. when the Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) held the Second Annual BOMA Awards at Miami’s Hilton Airport Hotel.

Experts from various aspects of the industry came together to honor the multi-talented individuals who have dedicated their careers to not only authentically telling the African Diaspora’s stories, but also creating economic opportunities to build its wealth and strengthen its core.

WMBM’s Debra Toomer served as the Mistress of Ceremony and Dr. Lance McCarthy – a nationally recognized Faith-Based Economist and Investment Advisor with a specialty in Urban Development – delivered the keynote.

After giving some staggering statistics, McCarthy challenged the audience to implement the 3Cs of consciousness, currency and communications to enrich the Black community.

“We’ve had the DNA of black business owners since the beginning of time. We know black history, but not black business history. …We don’t need any more programs, we need projects. How do we put information out there continuously on black wealth? How do we create a platform to be able to move our agenda forward,” McCarthy asked.

“The sin is not being blind, the sin is not being deaf, the sin is not doing what God called you to do,” McCarthy continued, saying Drake got it right when he said “YOLO (You Only Live Once),” “God’s Plan” and “Started from the Bottom Now We’re Here.”

Honorees included: Teri Williams, President of OneUnited Bank as BOMA Champion of the Year; Bernadette Morris, Founder and Chairman of Sonshine Communications as BOMA Icon of the Year; Publix as BOMA Advocate of the Year; Sandy Walker, Publisher of The Gospel Truth, as BOMA Vanguard of the Year; Peter Webley, Publisher of Caribbean Today, as BOMA Visionary of the Year; and John Yearwood, Yearwood Media Group, as BOMA Luminary of the Year.

Award winners included:  Hip Rock Star, Marketing Firm of the Year; S.A. Nelson & Associates, PR Firm of the Year; WOW Factor, Advertising Agency of the Year; The Mosaic Group, Black Advertising Agency of the Year; Calibe Thompson, Blondie Ras Productions, Inc., Best TV Communicator of the Year; Lynda Harris, Independent Financial Advisor, Best Radio Communicator of the Year; Russell Motley, MIA Media Group, Best Print Communicator of the Year; Tracy Timberlake, Timberlake Ventures, Best Digital Communicator of the Year; LaShannon Petit, PRPL Miami, Best Social Media Communicator of the Year; David Muir, Photo/Video Journalist of the Year; and Arriale Henry, The Westside Gazette, BOMA Rising Star Award.

In addition to serving as the MC, Toomer received the President's Award for her commitment to excellent service and BOMA President Dexter Bridgeman received the first Spirit of Dexter Bridgeman Award, an annual award created in his honor as the organizing founder of BOMA.

Bridgeman said the organization was created in 2015 to address the disparity that exists in South Florida for black-owned media outlets when it comes to receiving viable economic and financial opportunities.

 


$1.1M Available to Black-Owned Businesses in Florida. Come Out Thursday, August 23 to See If Your Business Qualifies

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Thanks to a $1.1 million grant included in last year’s budget,   black-owned businesses across the state can now apply for a loan through a program administered by the Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Locally, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union will present LOANS AND LENDING FOR BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Thursday, August 23, 2018, St. Paul AME Church, V.F. Mitchell Fellowship Hall, 1866 NW 51 Terrace, Miami, FL 33142. 

“The MDCPS Office of Economic Opportunity is excited to partner with the FAMU Federal Credit Union and provide meaningful information on loans and lending to local black businesses,” said Torey Alston, head of OEO for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Learn more about the application process and requirements to access these funds. The event is FREE to attend. You may RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/introducing-florida-am-university-credit-union-tickets-48927176502. Please share this information with your networks.

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Dr. Steve Gallon III named Educator of the Year by Legacy Magazine

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Congratulations to Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III who was named the 2018 EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR by Legacy Magazine and recognized at a regal Wakanda-themed reception. Dr. Gallon is also the recipient of the National School Boards Association Council of Urban Boards of Education's (CUBE) prestigious 2017 Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award; was elected to the National School Boards Association's National Steering Committee and is president of the reactivated Miami Alliance of Black School Educators.

Congratulations to Dr. Gallon and all of the honorees of Legacy Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful & Influential Black Business Leaders of 2018.

 

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NAACP & Airbnb Partnership National Roll Out in South Florida May 19

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Learn how to make extra income on Airbnb at the Miami launch event on May 19, 2018, 11am - 2pm at the Betty T. Ferguson Complex in Miami Gardens. Airbnb Host opportunities can provide extra income while promoting travel within communities of color. It's part of a national partnership between  the NAACP and Airbnb to address discrimination faced by Airbnb users, increase workforce diversity, and support Airbnb’s supplier diversity goals.

South Florida will be the first market in a national roll out across the country. Residents throughout South Florida are invited to attend the launch to learn about opportunities to serve as ambassadors for their communities, participate in Airbnb’s local Experiences program, and have the opportunity to sign up as a Host.

 

Free RSVP at naacp-airbnb.eventbrite.com 

Saturday, May 19

11am - 2pm

Betty T. Ferguson Complex

3000 NW 199th St, Miami Gardens

For more information, email econprograms@naacpnet.org

 


Former First Lady Michelle Obama dines at Seaspice in Miami

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Last Tuesday, Seaspice Miami had the honor of accommodating former First Lady, Michelle Obama for an amazing private dining experience!

Last Tuesday, Seaspice Miami had the honor of accommodating former First Lady, Michelle Obama for an amazing private dining experience!Seated on the orchid-covered terrace that overlooks the entire Miami River and skyline, Mrs. Obama dined with a group of 11 friends and secret service.

Executive Chef Angel Leon was tasked with preparing a curated 6-course menu featuring the highlights of Seaspice’s menu including oysters and caviar, local stone crabs, 1855 prime Ribeye and appropriately ending with the bestselling tres leches. The response from the former First Lady to owners Maryam and Carlos Miranda was literally “I have to tell you every course was simply exquisite”!

Mrs. Obama and group left the restaurant at 11 p.m. almost undetected by other diners.


NAACP Releases Report Card: Florida Failing in Key Categories

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The NAACP Florida State Conference releases a statewide Economic Development Report Card upon examining the records of cities, counties, school districts and private sector organizations.

FORT LAUDERDALE— Adora Obi Nweze, President of NAACP Florida State Conference and Torey Alston, State Economic Development Chair released a statewide Economic Development Report Card after examining the records of leading public and private organizations over the last several months.

“I am excited to release this year’s Diversity Matters Report Card the records of public agencies from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys,” says Adora Obi Nweze, who also serves as a member of the National Board of the NAACP. “Diversity and inclusion continue to be a challenge in Florida and the NAACP will continue to sound the alarm for equality and fairness for all Floridians.”

The Diversity Matters Initiative examined the records of targeted cities, counties, school districts and private corporations statewide.  The NAACP Florida State Conference examined their records on employment, advertising and spending with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.  The NAACP Florida State Conference conducts this review annually, proposes recommendations and releases its findings to the public. 

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“Our Diversity Matters Report Card is an annual investigation reviewing workforce diversity, local contracting expenditures and advertising budgets in urban, rural and suburban areas,” says Torey Alston, who led this statewide effort on diversity and serves as 3rd Vice-President of the NAACP Florida State Conference. “This year’s report card continues to show cities, counties, school districts, and private companies have diversity and inclusion as the last priority.  While there are some bright spots, there is still much work to be done ensuring diversity and inclusion is reflected in all aspects of government and the private sector.”

Here is the grading scale and methodology used for the report card:

Diversity Metric /Overall Total = Grade

  • A – Excellent (25% and higher): Meets and exceeds diversity and inclusion standards
  • B – Above Average (20% to 24%): Above average performance on diversity and inclusion standards 
  • C – Average (15% to 19%): Average performance on diversity and inclusion standards
  • D – Below Average (14% to 18%): Below average performance on diversity and inclusion standards
  • F – Failing (13% and below): Does not meet diversity and inclusion standards
  • *F – Not Reported

TOTAL

GRADE

#

PERCENTAGE

A

0

0.0%

B

5

12.5%   

C

1

2.5%

D

12

30.0%

F

22

55.0%

Total

40

 

Looking closer at the report card, none of the 40 entities evaluated received a total grade of “A.” Only five entities received a total grade of “B” --- Duval County School District, Hendry County School District, Miami-Dade County School District, City of Fort Walton Beach, and Manatee County Board of Commissioners. One entity, Osceola County Board of Commissioners, received a total grade of “C.” Thirty-four, or 85% of the entities evaluated, received a total grade of “D” or “F.”

There is significant room for improvement in the categories dealing with spending and advertising & marketing. No surprise, is the abysmal failing grade in those areas as several local individuals and organizations have complained of this disparity in contracting with black businesses for many years. All the entities received an “F” in the “Small, Veteran & Minority Business Spending” category except one. Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners received a “D.”

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The NAACP releases report cards every year. Now that this report card has been released, it is crucial that organizations and individuals throughout Florida are relentless in demanding transparency and diversity in how the tax dollars in their respective communities are allocated and spent.

 


ICARE on TONIGHT's Chief Jimmy Brown Show to discuss disparity in contracting with Black businesses in Miami

 

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Tonight at 9pm EST, Eric Pettus will guest host The Chief Jimmy Brown Show on 1490 WMBM. To listen, go to the web or download the app. 

Special invited guests are Darryl Holsendolph, Larry Williams and DC Clark who will discuss diversity issues related to government contracting particularly Miami Dade County Public Schools. You don't want to miss this one!!! 

Again, tune into www.WMBM.com or download the app. Call in to ask a question or make a comment by dialing any of the following numbers 305-953-9626 or 954-525-1490 or 888-599-WMBM. 


I've Been Nominated for a BOMA Award!

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For several years I've been sharing news, information and commentary through Blogging Black Miami via several social media platforms. It is a labor of love. My mind is so blown that I have been nominated for a #BOMAAward - for Best Communicator of the Year- Digital!

Join me on Wednesday, April 26 for the 2017 BOMA Awards Luncheon! Tickets are available at https://2017bomaawards.eventbrite.com. Thank you to the Black-Owned Media Alliance for this awesome honor. Thank you to all of the readers, subscribers, contributors and supporters of Blogging Black Miami. 

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