The developer of a proposed $50 million “over-water bungalow” resort in the Exumas claims that his tourism concept could “launch an influx of new tourism never before seen in this hemisphere”, if approved.
However, citing “delays, bureaucracy, and non-information”, Peter Vazquez, one of the principals behind the proposed Leaf Cay Resort, says the “deadline is fast approaching” by which he and his partners may have to reconsider their project if government approvals are not forthcoming.
Vazquez and his business partner, Robert Cardinale, have proposed to build 30 bungalows that sit on wooden pylons over the water adjacent to Leaf Cay in Exuma – a style of bungalow never before seen in The Bahamas, but very popular in resorts in countries such as Fiji, Tahiti and the Maldives.
The group has submitted an environmental impact assessment to the government, and claim to have already received approval for the on-land portion of the proposed Leaf Cay Resort, which will include private villas, town home villas and above-ground bungalows, and the 50-slip marina that would be attached. Leaf Cay is outside of the Exuma Land and Sea Park.
However, final approval for the over-water bungalows has been delayed by the fears of some members of the government despite the urgings of the prime minister, suggested Vazquez.
“Basically where we are, we are about a year and four months into it. We closed (the sale) on the cay two years ago in February, we submitted everything to the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) in May of last year. We just recently participated in a private meeting with the prime minister and Cabinet staff.
“The entire land aspect of the project is approved, the last thing is the approval of the over-water bungalows. We started with the FNM, now we’re with the PLP, we had start all over again.