BIG BOOM - Old Bahama Bay's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Kramm was a guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport weekly meeting yesterday, where he urged tourism industry leaders to prepare for a big boom.
From The Freeport News



Freeport News Reporter

Old Bahama Bay's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Kramm said yesterday that Grand Bahama is about to enjoy a big boom in the Tourism industry, a market that he says is very desirable and unforgiving.

Mr. Kramm, who was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport weekly meeting, told Rotarians that in order for Grand Bahama to succeed and enjoy the economic success of this boom, it needs to step up its game in what is a very competitive environment.

The Old Bahama Bay executive said that persons visiting The Bahamas to invest or vacation are spending considerable amounts of money and "they expect world class service."

"Donald Glass (Old Bahama Bay Human Resource vice-president) and I had the privilege of attending the tourism conference in Nassau in January and the theme was 'My Bahamas'," he said. "The Ministry of Tourism believes strongly that 'My Bahamas' will be what we make it."

He said that it is the responsibility of the community and business leaders in tourism to create not only opportunity, but to create a quality path along the way.

"I think we (Old Bahama Bay) are creating opportunities for Bahamians to strive in this tourism business," he said.

Presently, there are 55 rooms available at the resort and Mr. Kramm said that by October, there will be an additional 25 rooms making available 75 luxury guest rooms on the same scale as the Ritz Carlton, only slightly larger.

In an addition to the rooms, the resort will also be opening its brand-new Bonefish Foley Restaurant that will provide job opportunities for Grand Bahamians.

"Last year this time, we had about 141 people on staff at Old Bahama Bay, this year we have 158," he said adding that in the next 18 months, that number is expected to grow to 275.

Mr. Kramm said persons seeking employment at Old Bahama Bay can come in and set up an appointment to be interviewed.

He said any person seeking a job must be able to communicate well in speech and in writing and they must be willing to learn.

"In many cases we will provide a developmental programme for the individual," he said. "That education platform is called the Old Bahama Bay's Training Academy."

He explained that the educational programme caters to those persons that are qualified in some way, but lack the training.

"Our plan is to take younger people in West End and make sure they get to Old Bahama Bay one way or another," he said.

According to the resort's web site, Old Bahama Bay has a barefoot elegant ambiance with an out-island remote feel that offers an official port-of-entry marina to Grand Bahama as well as a new helipad with charter service available from Florida.

They offer a number of activities including massage services, a fitness centre, fishing, snorkelling and boating activities.