Tenants at Walter Plantz Square prepare for upcoming 2015/2016 cruise season

Minister of Culture Hon. Rita Bourne Gumbs (2nd from left) with some of the winners from the fishing tournament for kids.

POINTE BLANCHE, Port St. Maarten – Tenants at the recently inaugurated Walter Plantz Square (WPS) at Down Street continue to prepare for the upcoming 2015-2016 cruise season which is just a few weeks away.  WPS was inaugurated almost a week ago in the presence of a large cross section of the community who came out throughout the day to experience and see what WPS is all about.

Cruise passengers will have a new venue to visit and sample the products and services at the various ginger-bread houses at the square.

Last week Saturday at the opening of the WPS included a number of activities for the entire family including the kids.

Sports and other activities organized for the day was the traditional boat race that included boats from Anguilla, namely Upsetter, Kiedro Pride, No Big Ting, R.O.B.B., Alma Gloria, Dark Shadows, De Storm and F5 Tornado. The winner of the boat race was Alma Gloria.

One of the highlights was the Kids Fishing Tournament where 14 children took part and the winners were: first place Keyron Baptise, second place Kendrick Richerson, and third place Anthoine Carty.

Several of the boats preparing for the boat race.
Several of the boats preparing for the boat race.

Port St. Maarten management was very pleased with the turnout to the opening of the Walter Plantz Square last Saturday, adding that the St. Maarten community overall, and the Down Street community in particular welcomed the new project that would attract new business and bring opportunities to that part of Philipsburg.

The Walter Plantz Square at Down Street will generate a new spirit of life into the area for locals and visitors alike.

“Once again, we would like to use this opportunity to thank everybody for coming out to the opening including Members of Parliament and the Council of Ministers as well as the William and Plantz families last week Saturday.

“The promotion of our national heritage is part of Port St. Maarten’s re-inventing cruise tourism and is essential to the new products and services to be offered to cruise and stay-over visitors.  This is very important in order for our country to maintain its position as a premiere matured cruise destination,” Port Management said on Friday.

Port St. Maarten had organized a packed program for the inauguration of the WPS last Saturday which included music from Deejays and various bands as well as performances from dance theatre groups.

The day’s events created a social media buzz where all had a fun time.  There was an activity for each member of the family from the toddler to the senior citizen.

The WPS comprises of eight small buildings constructed according to the traditional St. Maarten architectural ginger-bread design, to reflect the national heritage of the destination. The essence of the project is to bring in the heritage value of the destination by showcasing the ginger bread homes of the past.

The approximately US$2 million project entailed the construction of a square with cabanas to be used for a bar/restaurant, the selling of arts and crafts and other tourist related goods; water fountain; palm trees; toilet/bathroom facilities; lockers; the square will be disabled accessible; parking for five taxi’s; parking on the beachside and around the area; small splash pool for kids; water fountain illuminating 30 different lights at night; 24-hour security.

The square is strategically located next to the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty which connects to the boardwalk/beach promenade, Down Street and Front Street which allows for a broader distribution flow of passengers.

Photo Prizes and Plaques: Minister of Culture Hon. Rita Bourne Gumbs (2nd from left) with some of the winners from the fishing tournament for kids.