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TCI: Government Signs Amended Development Agreement with Vista Development Ltd.

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#Providenciales, June 21, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has signed the Amended Development Agreement with Vista Development Ltd. for the over $100 million dollar, branded five-star resort on Grace Bay Beach.

The low density, seven storey luxury resort will be located on the 5.5 acre old Toscana site and will feature a modern contemporary design across 59 hotel rooms and 74 residential units, totaling 170 nightly rental rooms and suites, featuring breathtaking views of the ocean from every unit.  The thoughtfully designed master plan will offer guests exceptional dining choices at four restaurants and bars; health and wellness amenities at the state of the art indoor fitness facility, including an outdoor garden yoga studio and full service indoor and outdoor spa; and a full array of lifestyle options with dedicated luxury concierge services.

“As Developers, we are extremely pleased with the assistance and prompt responses of the Hon. Premier and Minister of Finance & Investment, Hon Cartwright-Robinson and her team for agreeing new timelines for the Development Agreement, which now allow us to move forward with the confidence and assurances that a development of this scope require from a local Government.  We are indeed grateful for the expertise and guidance of Ms. Rochelle Thompson, Investment Executive of Invest Turks and Caicos, who has been working with us from day one in seeing this project come this far,” said Co-Managing Director of Vista Development Ltd., Matt McDonald.

Construction of the project is set to begin in late 2018 and will emphasize the use of local contractors, providing employment for Turks and Caicos Islanders during the development phases. Set to open in 2021, the resort will also create a number of positions across many segments in the hospitality industry as they assemble their branded five-star service team.  “Pairing the built environment and superlative services, the resort is sure to raise the bar for excellence on Grace Bay Beach by many measures. We anticipate announcing the new lifestyle brand in the coming month,” said Co-Managing Director of Vista Development Ltd., Jon Siegel.

The Principal Developers, Matt McDonald and Jon Siegel, have decades of experience in successful real estate development in the TCI and the United States, and will be working with an experienced Director team of John Fair who has a 30-year track record in real estate development as a co-founder of Grace Bay Club Resort in Providenciales and local businessman Ramez Hakoura.

 

Release: Seventy Two West Ltd

 

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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