Vendors thank BSW for Arawak Cay upgrades
As the huge tents and mile-long security fencing erected for Bahamas Speed Week Revival were being dismantled yesterday, the Arawak Cay Vendors’ Association thanked organizers and government agencies for “elevating the area known as the Fish Fry to a whole new level”.
“Arawak Cay looks amazing,” said Bruno Minnis, president of the Arawak Cay Vendors’ Association. “We want to officially thank the organizers of Bahamas Speed Week for bringing such a prestigious event as Bahamas Speed Week to Arawak Cay, and for all the support they have given vendors over the four-month period leading up to the main events, involving vendors at every step of the way.”
The comments came in part in response to a vendor who complained that the staging of Speed Week on the cay hurt his business and came as a surprise to him.
“We could not believe what we were reading when we saw that in the paper,” said Bruno Minnis. “Every vendor was invited to every meeting and I believe, if I’m not mistaken, there were more than 15 of them. Even the meetings brought business to the vendors because they were all held on Arawak Cay.”
But more importantly, the association chief said, the infrastructural and health improvements to the cay as a result of staging the event, that drew some of the world’s wealthiest people, men like Rob Walton, CEO of Walmart, to Arawak Cay were a direct result of Speed Week and will last long after the last tent is down and the last piece of security fencing and bleachers stored.
“It’s like night and day, before talk of Speed Week and what the cay looks like now,” said Wellington Burrows, vice president of the Arawak Cay Vendors’ Association. “The Ministry of Public Works did a tremendous job, removing all the speed bumps and re-paving the roads that were a mess from all the heavy trucking. The entire northern strip is now fully re-paved, so patrons of restaurants have a good road to drive on and park on now, and sand has stopped blowing up onto their porches. The storage building has been re-shingled; the story-telling cottage was fixed up and painted. The Ministry of Health came in with a clean sweep to take care of – and insist the vendors take care of – any rodent-infested areas. There was paving on the western area of Arawak Cay that leads down from Chippingham Road where it was just white quarry before. There was a massive clean-up and landscaping with new palm trees. New lights were installed in parking areas.”
The association thanked the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of the Environment, BEC and BTC.
“This massive effort was the result of Bahamas Speed Week and we cannot thank the organizers enough. It breathed new life into Arawak Cay and made it better for local residents, visitors and businesses. There is a renewed sense of pride about being a vendor on the cay. We hope Speed Week returns to Arawak Cay. We know they are considering two sites, one of which is located further north on the cay and the other inland. We hope they choose the cay.”
Bahamas Speed Week Revival, which ran from November 30-December 4, brought more than 40 classic racing cars to Nassau from the U.K., the U.S., Switzerland and elsewhere and several local entries competed with top international drivers in the Fort Charlotte Hill Climb, December 3 and time trials on the final day. Sir Stirling Moss served as honorary patron and his return to the island 50 years after he won the Nassau Race Week Cup in 1961 drew massive media attention, with media passes issued to nearly 100 photographers and journalists from several countries.