PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — President of the USP, Cecil Nicholas said in a press release that the United St. Maarten Party in an invited comment with regards to the discussions about the Mullet Bay property, was adamant that Mullet Bay be declared a National Treasure and zoned to accommodate one or more five star resorts.
“Expropriation is a mute-point at this stage in the game because of the time it takes to complete such an endeavor. The country cannot afford to miss this opportunity to dictate what type of development project is executed on the property. After 28 years of turmoil, indecisions and decisions that have done nothing to move the country forward, it is time for parliament to act in order to safe guard against rogue developments that do not fit within the preview of the needs of the country and its people,” said President of USP Mr. Cecil Nicholas.
Mullet Bay Resort and Casino employed over 1000 persons and was the Flag ship hotel of St. Maarten. Since its closure 1995 it has been a political collage of ideas, opinions and sound bites. The Committee commissioned in 2018 with a goal to “give mullet bay back to the people” in the opinion of the USP board is no closer to a resolution today than it was in 2018 when its members were appointed.
“The court decision to award the mullet bay property to Ennia has effectively nullified the goal of the committee, which can been seen from the recent discussions in parliament has become more bureaucratic than the 28 years of economic manipulation that stagnated any the development of the property. The NA/UP coalition seems to be moonlighting as business men and developers as opposed to legislators. They were not elected as contractors and should focus on legislating the type of development that takes place on the property with respect to what the country needs as opposed to the obvious pandering that is taking place now,” said Nicholas.
The USP board is concerned that the costly financial consequences on the country and the economy resulting from stalled reconstruction of the Princess Juliana International Airport and the new hospital will be extended to any new development of the mullet bay property if the NA/UP coalition is allowed to dictate without proper legislated parameters who or what is developed on the mullet bay property.
“We are in desperate need of one if not two five star resorts on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. The French side has La Samana and Secrets, it is only fitting that they be complemented with their equivalent on the Dutch side of the island. What better location for such an endeavor than the Mullet Bay property. It is time that we stop settling for mediocracy and open the door to employment opportunities for our people on a grander scale than what Mullet Bay provided in the past,” continued Nicholas.
The USP board referenced the new trend of condominium developments, and is adamant that the Mullet Bay property be reserved for a five star resort. They recognize the important role that condominiums play in the development of the country, but insist that there must be a balance in order to promote job creation and attract a revolving door of visitors with more spending power to the island. A five star resort that can be a flag ship for St. Maarten in the same way that Sandals is for the Bahamas. Creating a balance between cruise and stay over passengers with more spending power is their goal.
“We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the needs of the people. Our unemployment rate is over 13% and our business sector is barely surviving because there is no structured plans of approach for the economic development of the country. Conveniently highlighting the sector of our tourism product is doing well during the high season does not build investor confidence. We have to create fluidity between our cruise, stay over and marine sectors by design. That design should begin with the Mullet Bay property being declared a national treasure equivalent to the Emilio Wilson Estate, and it should be zoned and designated by government for the development of a five star resorts,” said Nicholas.
The board also raised the possibility of government using the money sitting at the world bank to purchase the Mullet Bay property under the umbrella of “building back better” and possibly resell it at a profit or a loss in order to guarantee the successful development of a world class five star resort as was done with purchase of the Emilio Wilson Estate in order to guarantee the successful development of Rain Forest Adventures.
“It is time for us to take control of our destiny and build a St. Maarten that we can all benefit from and be proud of. The people’s resiliency need to be rewarded with avenues of new opportunities to build wealth and provide for their families,” concluded Nicholas.