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The Bight Hotel by Dream Hotel launches 66-Suite/89-Key Condo-Hotel Project Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, February 24, 2020 — On Tuesday 11th February, Grace Bay came to life with an inspired Block Party Event to celebrate the official launch of The Bight by Dream Hotel Group and their new partnership with NYC-based Dream Hotel Group, who will now serve as Manager and Operator for the 66-suite/89-hotel key project.  The event took place between Sandbox and Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty’s office with music by renowned DJ Munro spilling over to the streets and a botanical jungle theme scape that flowed throughout both venues, intertwining the buildings to one another.  If the refreshingly simple and stunningly creative ambience is anything to go by, this development is off to a progressive start. 

Site for The Bight Hotel construction

Ryan Jones and Natalie Zaidan of the EA Group are best known for the hip local coffee spot, Lemon-to-go-café and their successful landscaping company Environmental Arts, but this powerhouse couple, who have called Turks & Caicos their home for close to two decades, are lesser known for the multiple hats they wear, which include construction, real estate development and sales, art production, rum and vodka distilling and their latest food and beverage venue Sandbox, which caters to the on trend phenomenon of health conscious consuming.  No mini sliders here. EA Group is always one step ahead of the curve.  Everything from the mood, to the canapes was refreshing.  Guests dined on air fried vegetable samosas and mini chicken satay, to name a few, and quenched their thirst with coconut water housed in Turks & Caicos grown coconuts provided by local business owner, JJ Jennings of Coco Vibes.  The signature “cocktail with a Bight” was a spicy margarita with a slight bite as the name suggests. 

Between speeches guests posed amongst giant foam letters that playfully encircled the Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International office, spelling out “The Bight Hotel”.  As the night progressed and guests, hoteliers, Government officials, and friends filled the space, Ryan Jones spoke to the crowd and announced his vision and dream of bringing an authentic, experience-based condo-hotel to the Turks and Caicos that focuses on lifestyle.

“So why do you want to build a hotel?  Why do you want to be in this business?  What is the origin story of this project? Natalie and I live in the Bight. This is our home, and we love the country.  I loved it enough that I made my life here and had my kids here. We wanted to recreate the magical Turks and Caicos experience that people have when they come here for the first time and never leave.  We want to share that with people. We were looking at the market and thought the five-star market is really well-served by a whole bunch of guys who have done an amazing job. The market that really needs to be addressed is the four-star boutique market with culture, design, art, experiences, and adventure. We wanted to align what we did with our life and that’s why we decided to build a hotel here. Then it was a matter of finding the right management partner. An established, creative and inspiring team to bring our vision to life.“The Bight by Dream Hotel Group will cater to travelers and owners who share a passion for design, community, and food and beverage —all while celebrating the natural beauty and culture of the islands,” added Jeff Donnelly, Vice President of Development, Dream Hotel Group. “In our partnership with EA Group, we are committed to delivering a fresh and exciting experience to the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Following a soft launch in April 2019, the last 10 months have seen 10 reservations.  That’s an average of one reservation per month, a staggering number for an overseas jurisdiction and a new developer. Further confirmation that design- and lifestyle-driven EA Group have their finger on the pulse of the next real estate trend. 

“The Bight by Dream Hotel Group is lean, and it’s designed for short term vacation rental.  There’s no fat.  What do you say?” Joe Zahm President of Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty asked Developer Ryan Jones, “Everything you need and nothing you don’t need. I look at it with the great end in mind. It is designed for the end user from the beginning with a real hotel lobby and bar, and a real vibe and lifestyle experience attached to it. And when you factor in the connectivity, elegance and simplicity of the design, at a wonderful price point, this will well serve the market, who really want to be part of the investment class, where your return on investment is just better per square foot.  And when you add on just a great amenity set that’s going to be a part of the Bight, and you also add to that just amazingly smashing outlooks with the only elevated property and true beach access. It’s really a combination to die for.”

So what’s next for the EA Group you ask?  More sweat and hard work.  Starting with digging trenches in the Bight neighborhood to begin burying those old power lines and transforming the area to the beautiful vision Natalie and Ryan started dreaming about over seven years ago.  Look out for more information on the underground power line initiative and the beautification of this local neighborhood.

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ScotiaBank Turks & Caicos Awarded Best Consumer Digital Bank 2021

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Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Island – September 24, 2021 – Scotiabank TCI has been named the “Best Consumer Digital Bank 2021” by Global Finance (New York), which regularly selects the top performers amongst banks and financial services and is a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community.

In commenting on the award, Patricia Adams, Managing Director (Acting), Scotiabank TCI said, “Supporting our customers during the ongoing uncertainties remains our top priority and we are thrilled that our significant focus and investments in our digital banking platforms continue to yield positive results.”

“During this period, we have continuously relied on feedback from our customers about their specific personal or business needs and we remain committed to further improvements as we aim to make it easier and safer for them to conduct their banking” Adams concluded.

Some of the most recent investments include the expansion of the capabilities of the Scotiabank Mobile App, upgrades made to the Bank’s ABM network to include intelligent deposit machines and the use of digital analytics to anticipate customer needs and deliver personalized financial solutions.

Winning banks were selected based on the following criteria: strength of strategy  for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital  offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives, and web/mobile site design and functionality. Read more about the awards here.

Scotiabank TCI’s award for “Best Consumer Digital Bank” follows another recent global recognition for innovation in financial services by The Banker’s Global Innovation in Digital Banking Awards 2021. The ‘Most Innovative in Data’ award acknowledges the Bank’s investments in data and analytics, as well as its commitment to delivering a more personalized customer experience.

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COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development

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#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.

The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.

Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.

Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999

Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999

Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000

Turks and Caicos Islanders with valid business licenses are also being encouraged to submit proposals to the Public Works Department for consideration for works throughout the islands. 

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.

As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.

The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”

The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:

South Caicos 

Demolition- Queen’s Shed

Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank

Demolition- Old Clinic Building

Demolition- DECR Building

Demolition- Library Building

Repair of Water Cistern

Works for Grand Turk included:

Grand Turk 

Demolition- Blood Bank Building

Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building

Demolition- Kitchen Building

Demolition- X-ray Building

All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at tcigworks@gov.tc

Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:

Grand Turk: 

Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

Providenciales:

Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via tcigworks@gov.tc or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.

These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.

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Grandstanding at best – Hon. Jameka Williams

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#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – Response to Mr. Robert Been Jr. – People’s Democratic Movement All Island Candidate 2016 and 2021 “Where is the Wo’k you promised PNP?”

Like some of you, I have the opportunity to read the statements that has been published by Mr. Robert Been asking the government where is the work. I can only describe this as a classic case of grandstanding. The issues highlighted by Mr. Been are areas of concern in our country, however these issues did not begin yesterday nor did they became a concern seven months ago. I’d like to remind Mr. Been that these same concerns were there during his former governing party the PDM. The previous government did nothing to address these concerns in their four year tenure. Where was your voice then Mr. Been? As a matter of fact, where was your voice the four years prior?

As it relates to education, the issues with spaces in Schools has been heightened as a lot of families can not afford the cost of private institutions since the pandemic, so there is now a high demand for seats in the public schools. Our government is working closely with the private Institutions with a subsidy program to address those needs. Again, this issue existed under the former government before the pandemic but they made no attempt to address it. In addition under your former administration, schools were closed for over one year with no plan on sight for its reopening. Our children have regressed and many repeating to catch up on the year lost.

On September 1, 2021 our government announced the new protocols and measures as it relates to Covid 19. Yes, there are concerns being expressed by the citizens and business owners as it relates to the impact of those decisions. I would like to inform you to that these decisions were not made alone. Stakeholders were engaged in these conversations and I have also accompanied the Hon. Jamel Robinson to sit downs with various groups of business owners to provide feedback, listen and take recommendations.

Countries around the world are imposing stiffer penalties and measures to help with the control of Covid 19 virus and the TCI is no different. We’ve seen reports published of cancellations that we believe are flawed to bully the government into reversing the decisions made. Our government has a responsibility to protect life and livelihood. There are decisions that are sometimes tough to make but it is our responsibility to make them no matter how unpopular. In time, the people of this country will see the benefit of those decisions concerning what’s happening around the world in even more developed countries as it relates to COVID-19.

Mr. Been, I would like for you to know that the island of Grand Turk was in a state of devastation since the storm of 2017 under the tenure of your government. There was an outcry for years by its residents. The cruise industry is at a standstill. However, I’d like to inform you that during our budget debates this current government has passes 8.3 million dollars for all the islands with 3 million ring fenced for Grand Turk alone in works and cash grant injections. The Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure Development has as of September 1, 2021 rolled out its contract program for works around the islands particularly in the Nation’s Capital.

Since the closer of the cruise sector in Grand Turk, the former administration had little to no engagement with Carnival partners on a plan to jump start that industry. It is extremely commendable that our government took the initiative to host a town hall meeting with all persons involved in the cruise industry in June 2021. Additional the Premier is in constant dialogue with Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean has now expressed an internet in having Grand Turk as one of their destinations.

Mr. Been, it is widely rumored that you may have an interest in Leadership of the PDM during the next convention. You are a personal friend of mine and I wish you well on your endeavors as this is a noble profession. However, my advice to you would be to offer solution based arguments so that the electorate sees your strength and potential instead of pointing fingers and grandstanding. Admittedly you mentioned that the elections are over. But are they really for you? As a government we do not have all the answers but I assure you that the decisions made are in the best interest of all of us including you. Hold on, better days are ahead.

 

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