Quite a few changes have occurred at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the last couple of years, besides the final touches to the golf course.
“The construction of more structures is on-going,” mentioned Mr. Brian Shaver, director of Golf, who joined the resort one and a half years ago. He pointed to new buildings on top of a hill overlooking the beach.
Mr. Shaver, a native of Louisiana, is also fulfilling the duties of golf instructor as well as overseeing the beach, the spa, the pool and the activities. He usually walks around the property accompanied by his white German shepherd, Gumbeaux.
Then more recently another top executive, Mr. Richard Browning, came to The Abaco Club from Nassau to take over the position of General Manager. An English gentleman, who has supervised many resorts around the world, Mr. Browning joined The Abaco Club on Winding Bay with great enthusiasm and new projects to oversee.
As he discussed his goals, the first thing that he mentioned was his intention to curb the use of plastics as much as possible.
Drinks at the Beach Bar are now served in glasses and drinking straws are biodegradable, he explained.
“But the biggest challenge,” he deplored, “are the water bottles. So, we are promoting the sale of insulated plastic or stainless steel cups that guests can carry with them and use on the beach or on the golf course. They can be refilled at water stations throughout the resort.
To reach out to the community, the resort has been working with local entities to organize visits of locals, adults and students to the Club. They are sometimes invited to participate in sports clinics.
Students and their parents came to play tennis at the Club in March of this year; others participated in a one-day golf clinic in April; and the Superintendent of Golf, Mr. Matt Dimase, made a golf presentation at one of the local schools.
“Some seventh graders visited The Abaco Club to observe the working of the resort, a small city in itself,” stated Mr. Browning. “These children could be future chefs or engineers at the resort.”
More development is planned for the near future with a Market Place that will comprise a coffee shop, pizza place and a small food store. An Artisan Hut where craft people will be able to display their wares is also in the planning, and the existing beach cabana will start to cater to children, offering ice cream and popcorn besides bar drinks.
Further along the beach, a new beach hut and spa are forthcoming.
As construction increases, so does the labour force, explained Mr. Browning, who mentioned that most of the 200 employees presently working at the resort are locals.
Mr. Browning has the support of his Executive Assistant, Ms. Camille McDonald, a longtime employee of the resort. The Real Estate Sales Department is under the supervision of its Director, Mrs. Kristi Hull.
Both Mr. Shaver and Mr. Browning mentioned that a couple of international, professional golfers, Mr. Darren Clarke, former Ryder’s Cup Captain, and Mr. Thomas Aiken from South Africa, are property owners who enjoy playing on the golf course while at The Abaco Club.
“Things keep happening here,” was the general manager’s ending remark.