Despite below average room sales, the Green Turtle Club’s prospects for the year gives cautious optimism as marina business has seen an increase through July yet Sales Manager Molly McIntosh notes that there are foreseeable challenges ahead.
Mrs. McIntosh said that while Green Turtle Club is down about 10% in the rooms, the marina business is up year to year through July. She said this is likely due to the dredging of the channel into White Sound and the addition of hosting a leg of the Bahamas Billfish Championship this year.
She said they have also noticed that there are people travelling later than usual this year. “The season used to go right through until Labor Day and had been getting shorter and shorter with schools going back so early in August(in Florida) and this year, instead of ending around August 7th, we are seeing a full island still so far and still taking reservations for August.”
Despite the positives she has been seeing, there are also several challenges she expressed concern about including cost of doing business.
“The cost of doing business is up and we are struggling to keep up,” she said. She said that the Club had to cut staffing some this year and faced several service issues as they tried to balance guests with extra staff when needed.
She added that they are very worried about VAT and increasing pricing at this point, noting that is a hard sell to send government more money when they don’t feel they are getting value for it.
Mrs. McIntosh also noted that the roads on Green Turtle Cay “are the worst they have ever been.” She said that tourists are saying they would not come back or are no longer interested in purchasing homes due to the roads. It is unbearable and tears vehicles to pieces.
She said a second home owner that lives in Green Turtle Cay full time is head of a group trying to raise money privately to get them at least graded and some fill put in.
“Of course the recurring theme of not being able to get people here at a reasonable rate is the biggest deterrent,” she said.
She said it is great to have the airport in Marsh Harbour open, but it doesn’t help Green Turtle Cay much in the North because it costs $85 for two people to get to the ferry dock each way, which adds up to at least $170 per couple to get to the Cay.