Ginn's $3.7 billion development in West End spells good news for Old Bahama Bay, a luxury residential resort community next door.

By LEDEDRA MARCHE, Senior FN Reporter

Ginn's $3.7 billion development in West End spells good news for Old Bahama Bay, a luxury residential resort community next door.

The Ginn Company will construct a mega mix resort inclusive of 4,400 condominium hotel units next to Old Bahama Bay, 870 single family residential home sites, a private airport, casino, swimming pools and water park facilities.

The project also includes two championship golf- courses and clubhouses, two large marinas, tennis complexes, beach clubs, and spas and is expected to take place over a 20-year period.

President and CEO Edward Robert Ginn III and Prime Minister Perry Christie signed the deal last December.

Old Bahama Bay Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Kramm says, first of all, the investment means that the value of individual properties will increase.

"When you have that kind of statement made worldwide there must be something going on out there. So demands increase, values increase,' he told the Rotary Club of Freeport yesterday during their weekly meeting.

Secondly, he says, the human impact will be enormous and an increased skill level will be attracted to the island.

Explaining, Mr. Kramm said there will be a number of people who will have good careers and a life-long economic opportunity.

"The growth out there that we used to talk about and wish for is really happening today. It's all there," he said.

In fact, Old Bahama Bay sold the 2,000-acre Old Sammons Estate known as Jack Tar Village to The Ginn Company and now, the CEO says the economic boom in the area is no longer a dream.

He noted that Ginn is going to spend $100 million this year just preparing the infrastructure.

But, the Old Bahama Bay executive points out, while the journey at present into the West Grand Bahama communities is not attractive, efforts are under way to improve the area.

"If you were to drive out now you'd see the beginning of a real and a significant effort to upgrade the entire experience from the time you turned right at the Bay Shore Road.

"The government is building a walled entrance with a new sign and I know there are contracts to improve the drive along Bayshore Road back to West End and into Old Bahama Bay," he added.

Old Bahama Bay, a $583 million investment itself, has partnered with The Ginn Company and the Government in the investment of millions of dollars to ensure that the improvements take place quickly.

"You'll begin to see that actually happen in the next few months," he said.

Mr. Kramm says there is a tremendous future here, the challenge is preparing the people to meet the demands and the opportunity.