Albany, NEXUS enter into joint venture with BNT on Exuma Cays
Luxury development Albany and its parent company NEXUS Luxury Collection Ltd. have entered into a joint venture with the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) that will provide financial support to the management of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (ECLSP), which runs an annual deficit of $300,000, according to a press statement on the matter.
The release explained that the ECLSP’s annual operating costs are around $750,000 per year. NEXUS and Albany are expected to shoulder part of the “several million dollars” that it will take to improve the ECLSP’s headquarters at Warderick Wells Cay within the park.
“As a part of the agreement, NEXUS will invest the required capital to develop a food and beverage experience, water catchment system, a utility and general support building, and improved infrastructure to support and enhance the visitor experience to the park,” the release states.
“NEXUS will also build accommodations to support future marine biology camps and retreats. In addition, NEXUS is committed to hosting an annual gala in support of BNT park management.
“The collaboration will support necessary financing of the world’s first land and sea park, the ECLSP, the first ‘no take’ marine reserve in the wider Caribbean.”
The release adds that the BNT is pursuing several “innovative public and private partnerships across the Bahamian national park system as part of a strategy to develop sustainable finance mechanisms to support necessary national park management and protect the irreplaceable scenic venues across the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
The release notes that in addition to what Albany has pledged for Warderick Wells Cay, new buildings and laboratory space, repairs to existing structures, additional vessels and new energy and communications systems are ongoing.
This new partnership between NEXUS, Albany and the BNT will usher in a new educational component to the Warderick Wells Cay experience, according to the statement, which adds that excursions and guided tours will occur on a daily basis, and camps will also be available to local school children.
“This vital, sustainable financing will provide much-needed funds to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the park and safeguard the natural resources that it was created to protect,” the statement points out.
“The concession will have a small and light footprint on Warderick Wells Cay at the park headquarters located at the center of the 176-square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.”
BNT President Janet Johnson explained in the press release that the partnership with NEXUS will not change the way Bahamians and international visitors interact with the ECLSP.
“The partnership will allow us to enhance the visitor experience while providing valuable financing support,” she said.
The BNT, according to the statement, believes the partnership with NEXUS and Albany will broaden the support of the economy in the Exumas “through jobs and expanded services to the sustainable tourism industry”.
“Under this agreement the BNT will continue to have complete management of the park and have absolute authority at Warderick Wells Cay as it relates to resource protection, park operations, safety and security of park visitors,” the release states.
“The BNT will also retain full control of all park assets and no land will be leased, sold or made exclusively available to NEXUS under the agreement, rather the joint venture company will enter into a land use agreement for the related facilities to make Warderick Wells Cay a destination for guests to visit.”