Disney Cruise Line has begun the preparation of the Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera site for its newest port destination in The Bahamas, which is expected to be completed in 2024, Disney’s Regional Public Affairs Director Joseph Gaskins said yesterday.
Gaskins, who made his remarks about the Disney project at Eleuthera Business Outlook, explained that hiring for construction will be about two times larger than had originally been anticipated. Gaskins explained that about 300 people will be employed at the height of construction, with 80 percent of that complement being Bahamian throughout the life of the build.
He added that Disney continues to work toward making employment on its private island Castaway Cay 100 percent Bahamian.
Disney promised to make its Lighthouse Point project low-density. Gaskins said the company has held firm to that promise, especially by donating 20 percent of the land it owns at Lighthouse Point to the Bahamian government.
Gaskins added that Disney intends to hold fast to its promise to allow Bahamians to continue to access the Lighthouse Point property, which is seen as one of the last unspoiled areas of the island, although for a long time the property has been privately owned, though not developed, until it was purchased by Disney.
“We have promised full access to the site for citizens and residents for non-commercial purposes,” said Gaskins.
“So the site will not be locked off to native Eleutherans or Bahamians, you will still have access to that site.”
The company has also ensured that Bahamian entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to sell locally produced goods and operate shore excursions.
“We have promised space for Bahamian vendors on the property for the sale of authentic, high-quality retail goods,” Gaskins said.
“We already support 40 port adventures throughout The Bahamas. We promote those for free on the ship. We help market them. We don’t take anything from those vendors and we push our guests to partake in those tours because we believe it’s important to support Bahamian entrepreneurs.”
Gaskins also explained that Disney has asked for no concessions outside of those already provided by the Hotels Encouragement Act.