Several months ago, the beachfront, which had not properly recovered from Hurricane Georges since 1998, was rehabilitated at a cost of over US$1 million. But the new beach is still at high risk of erosion.
Morton explained that breakwaters will provide the physical protection of the beach, but they must also take into account normal recreational activities in their design and construction.
“As we speak, a study is being considered as to how to construct those breakwaters, leaving relevant openings for boats to come in, and for beach goers to move back and forth on the jet skis and stuff like that… It has to be well planned in order to satisfy the patrons,” Morton explained.
There is one other significant challenge in completing phase 2 of the Frigate Bay Beach restoration project, as the FDC managing director disclosed.
“Of course, it’s a question of funding. Just the beach refurbishment alone cost over a million dollars (US$) to create that new beach look that you see, but in order to maintain it and to sustain it, it would cost another couple million dollars for those breakwaters,” Morton said.
Meanwhile, Morton indicated that further enhancements to the Strip will be implemented shortly. This follows the installation of lighting to enhance safety and security on the entertainment beachfront area at Frigate Bay.
According to Morton, “It’s still one of the number one entertainment spots for people looking for a getaway on the weekends, so the safety mechanisms and the security were enhanced.”
He said further that a study is being reviewed that identifies several enhancement features for the Strip. “We are looking at those very closely with a view to putting them in place sometime shortly,” said Morton, who continued, “We are looking at, for instance, branding the Strip and general refurbishments in some areas to enhance the product.”
Also in the pipeline for the development of Frigate Bay is increased commercial activity in the island’s premier tourism area. According to the FDC managing director, the corporation is anticipating the need for more commercial activity as more hotels and condominiums begin operating.
“I have spoken to several investors who own commercial lands here in Frigate Bay, and they are looking at coffee shops, medical and other kinds of offices, so in terms of the commercial activity, as we increase the hotel room stock, you will need to have more of those offerings to satisfy the increased demands,” said Morton.
Under construction are several major hotels and condominium properties that include the Koi Resort and Residences, Embassy Suites by Hilton, the T-Loft hotel and condominiums and the Imperial Bay development.