Harbor board must go by next Monday

POSTED: 08/30/12 12:32 PM

St. Maarten – Yesterday, Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Romeo Pantophlet confirmed that the board members of the Harbor Group of Companies were asked to make their positions available to the shareholder which is government in order for a new board to be installed that runs with the present administration’s vision. The meeting was held on Monday and Pantophlet said that up to yesterday morning, no response had been forthcoming from the current board. The board has up until next Monday, September 3 to comply, and the new board could be installed as early as September 15.
Renald Williams, Miguel Alexander, Joseph Richardson, Humphrey Mezas and Kelvin Bloyden are the existing board members.
“We would like to put some younger people on board with new ideas to put our country forward in a positive direction.”
The minister did not divulge the names of potential candidates but spoke on what he called the new vision for the harbor.
“We would like to secure and guarantee that there is a continuous flow of tourists coming to the port and develop and take part in having additional attractions in because this is a serious demand from the cruise liners that we cannot offer sea, sun and sand anymore. We need to work on new attractions.”
A delegation will be travelling to Miami within the coming month to discuss developments at the port.
A waterpark and a four star hotel with upscale boutiques at the port are among the plans that Pantophlet to execute.
“By April of next year we hope to do the expansion of pier 2 in order to accommodate those mega ships, at least two of them.”
The Boardwalk which is projected to extend all the way to the Great Bay Hotel will result in the Down Street area also being developed.
This will see “a whole new development in Down Street area offering shops, sights and entertainment,” Pantophlet promised.
The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority will also be tasked with developing the lagoon area. The Philipsburg area will be geared to accommodate the bigger cruise ships and the smaller cruise liners will drop anchor in the Simpson Bay area, the minister stated. Pantophlet did not say how he intends to accomplish all of these lofty plans.
The minister also announced that the government is in discussions with cross Caribbean music network Tempo TV to host its annual anniversary here. This could result in St. Maarten playing host to seven days and seven nights of celebrations at the Festival Village in November.
“We will get quite some advertisement out of that,” the minister said.
St. Maarten may also get the publicity it paid an initial sum of money for, since the producers of the Ev and Ocho reality show have indicated that all may not be lost. Minister Pantophlet confirmed that although the government did not sign a contract with the VH1 network or the celebrity couple Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada who filmed their wedding here, their handlers are trying to persuade them to reconcile and air the show.
“The former administration had already made some payments, that is why this new administration had gone ahead with the project, even though initially we were not for it.”

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