HOA signed for $25 mil. Sampson Cay development
Island’s existing dock, airstrip and other existing structures also being upgraded
The government signed a heads of agreement with businessman Bob Coughlin yesterday for the development of a high-end, low-impact $25 million resort on Sampson Cay in the Exumas.
Prime Minister Philip Davis, who spoke at the signing ceremony, explained that the project is self-financed by Coughlin, who intends to upgrade the island’s existing dock and airstrip and other existing structures, while impacting the surrounding environment as little as possible.
Davis contended the project will be good for the local economy.
“These enhancements will be executed exclusively by Bahamian contractors and architects, demonstrating Mr. Coughlin’s commitment to investing in the people of this nation,” said Davis.
“As a result of this significant new development, local companies will thus be patronized. Tax revenue will be generated and increased competition in the luxury market will raise our tourism product to even greater heights.
“This development is a valuable economic stimulus, but I look forward to seeing it bear fruit over the next few years. Partnerships with the private sector continue to play a key role in national development, and Samson Key is no exception.”
Coughlin is the founder of software company Paycor, which is valued at $3.1 billion. He has built a life on Exuma and has helped to create a relationship between the Cincinnati Zoo and the Moriah Harbour Cay project in the Exumas, that could create a funding mechanism for the park that comes directly from the zoo.
According to Coughlin, who delivered remarks at the signing ceremony, the Sampson Cay development is being designed by a local architect and will feature beach cottages totaling 22 rooms. He said the plan is to have the smallest build footprint on the island and the marine side as possible.
“So in doing things like building an industrial dock, we’re doing it on the backside of the island where there’s deep water, we’re not going to touch that area in the front there, we’re going to preserve that so people can snorkel off the beach and enjoy the waters in the front,” said Coughlin.
“And to me the guest experience will be that the resort will look Bahamian. It will have the kinds of roofs you expect to see in a Bahamian resort. And we’ll just create a natural experience for folks and everything flows from there.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper, who is also the member of Parliament for the Exumas, said sustainable tourism developments have become popular with tourists. He said numbers show that 70 percent of tourists have indicated their interest in sustainable developments. He added that sustainable developments, coupled with a high-end product, have shown to be a win-win in tourism.
“He’s [Coughlin] no doubt a strategist and therefore I expect that this is going to work in harmony with the local environment,” said Cooper.