Abaco’s once famous sport fishing destination, Walker’s Cay has been sold to Texas businessman and philanthropist Carl Allen who plans to redevelop the northernmost island in The Bahamas to its former glory.
Mr. Allen – a long-time visitor to The Bahamas – finalized the purchase of the island with the current owners on May 20 and announced plans to start phase one development of Walker’s Reborn 2020 soon.
“Taking on the redevelopment of Walker’s is a dream come true…,” he said in a statement released on the letterhead, Walker’s Reborn 2020.
Walker’s Cay, located in Abaco’s extreme Northern District, was closed to the public in 2004 after significant damage from several hurricanes. It is about 53 miles to the northeast of West End, Grand Bahama.
Mr. Allen considers the Bahamas a second home and recalls first travelling to Walker’s Cay as a child and continued to make frequent trips to the island over the years.
“One of my very first memories of The Bahamas was coming to Walker’s when I was 12. Walker’s Cay…was once one of the premier sports-fishing destinations in the world,” he said.
“After successive hurricanes, it was closed to the public in 2005. Since then, I’ve dreamed of working together with Bahamians to build Walker’s back to its former glory.
“This island is not just a gateway to this great country for sportsmen and visitors, but it also once provided jobs and livelihood for so many Bahamian families; we fully intend to restore it.”
The Texan businessman continues to visit the island on a regular basis with his family, which he says will play an integral part in the rebuilding effort at the island.
“I’ve spent more time in The Bahamas than anywhere else other than my own home. My wife Gigi and I, as well as our children, love this country and have been blessed and privileged to make so many friends here,” he said.
“We plan to work together with the folks here to restore Walker’s Cay and envision this rebuild as a partnership with Bahamians to create jobs – good playing and secure jobs – strengthen families and develop a lasting economic driver for future generations. Walker’s Reborn starts today, and we aren’t going to stop,” he said.
According to the statement, Mr. Allen is a successful businessman who took his family-run business from 130 jobs to nearly 1,000 creating the largest company in the industry.
He and his family have also helped communities and invested in educational institutions and environmental causes. Along with his wife, Gigi, he has been an active participant in assisting further education in both the US and The Bahamas.