South Eleutherans are preparing themselves for the opportunities that the Disney Cruise Line development at Lighthouse Point will bring, Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Sands said Thursday. He added that Eleuthera is still waiting for more information on the project.
Sands, who will be a speaker at this year’s Eleuthera Business Outlook on May 17 at Frigate’s Bar & Grill in Rock Sound, said he has seen accommodations beginning to be constructed in South Eleuthera as preparations are made for a new influx of visitors.
Sands said Disney has been as open about the project as it can be, as it works to complete its environmental impact assessment (EIA), which is required before it can move ahead with the project.
“Disney has made a number of visits,” Sands said. “They want to complete the EIA before they go full blown, but have been engaged as far as they can. We would like to see the chains taken off so that they can say more.”
As South Eleutherans prepare for Disney, Sands said the rest of Eleuthera’s economy is trending in a positive direction.
“In South Eleuthera a number of projects are in the works or under construction, and on top of that, there is the confidence that the Disney project will fall in line.
“Generally I think there is positive momentum and a positive sense of anticipation.”
Sands said the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) is now in play on the island, helping to boost the confidence of entrepreneurs.
He added that he hopes the government will create an economic empowerment zone that will encourage the more marginalized people of Eleuthera.
According to Sands, the diversity of projects on the island has been “refreshing” and has ensured that the island is not just tied to one project.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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