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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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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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