A previously dilapidated boardwalk in St Lawrence Gap is now completed in time and under budget. The boardwalk –– which Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy toured this morning with other officials from the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI), the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), Member of Parliament for the area John Boyce, members of the Royal Barbados Police Force and some operators in the area –– was completed in about two months at a cost of almost $80,000.
The work, which was a collaborative effort between the BTI and the Ministry of Transport and Works, involved the removal of dangerous timber planks that were in a state of disrepair, and the construction of a concrete boardwalk.
“Some work has been done over the years on The Gap, but it was felt that we needed to address some of the troubling issues. One of the things for sure that was an accident waiting to happen was what this boardwalk had become,” Sealy explained, adding that he expected the maintenance of the walkway to be easier and accommodate “a limited amount of vending”.
“We initially anticipated that it would have cost us in the vicinity of $100,000, but it was close to $80,000 that was spent. So, that is good news [that is] sensitive to the realities.”
The Minister of Tourism also praised the private sector partners for assisting Government in its revival of The Gap. He disclosed that the principals of The Boatyard had established an “interesting sidewalk café that was growing in popularity”.
Sealy added: “Café Sol has moved and is now behind us . . . . The principals of Pisces Restaurant are in the middle of a complete refurbishment and it will now have a modern facility adjacent to this boardwalk. The Reggae Lounge has been completely refurbished and is now offering a restaurant and a small boutique hotel property offering accommodation.
“Next door, what was the Ship Inn, is now Sugar. So, we have seen the private sector respond in a very meaningful way.”
In the hotel sector, the minister revealed that Time Out In The Gap, which was effectively run by the private sector, was seeing improved occupancy levels. He also alluded to the US$65 million to be spent by Sandals Resorts on refurbishment between now and the end of the year. (BGIS/MM)