Back in July at the D23 Expo, it was announced that the Disney Cruise Line would be adding 3 new ships to its lineup, scheduled for 2021 and 2023 completion dates. for its Bahamas cruises, Disney already has a private island names “Castaway Cay” for excursions for clients on its Bahamian & Caribbean cruises. With the increased ship capacity and the limitations on ships docking at Castaway Cay, it has been rumored for a while that Disney may be shopping for a second private island getaway in the Bahamas. On May 8, a staff write, Ricardo Wells, for Tribune Media confirmed that yes, Disney is shopping in the Bahamas in an interview with the Disney Cruise Line spokeswoman, Kim Prunty.
“DISNEY Cruise Lines does have an interest in furthering its investments in the Bahamas, according to the company’s spokeswoman, Kim Prunty, who yesterday responded to speculation and concern over the sale and development of Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera.
In a statement to The Tribune yesterday, Mrs Prunty confirmed the cruise line’s interest in the Bahamas, but did not name any specific site or property shortlisted for acquisition and development.
Disney Cruise Lines has recently been at the centre of speculation, with several sources on Eleuthera naming the company as the group behind the potential acquisition and development of the Lighthouse Point site.
The 700-acre property is being advertised for sale by Bahamas Realty, and is listed on the Bahamas Real Estate Association’s website.
The area is being marketed as an “ideal setting for a grand vision, with exceptional beachfront acreage, colourful coral reefs and a breathtaking landscape.”
The realtor has also dubbed it as “the perfect locale for a vacation home, hotel and marina development.”
In her statement yesterday, Mrs Prunty said while the cruise line didn’t have “anything to share about a specific location” at this time, any project pursued by the company in the future would involve a “partnership with the community” and build on its commitment to “sustainability, protecting the environment, creating jobs and economic opportunity, and celebrating the culture and stories of the area.”
Her comments seem to directly address the current push back by residents in Eleuthera and the One Eleuthera digital campaign – Save Lighthouse Point.
The campaign has launched a website detailing the history and importance of the area, while imploring Bahamians to sign a petition to stop the sale and development of the property.
“Lighthouse Point is one of the most popular beach and recreation areas in the entire Bahamas,” the petition on change.org states. “The biodiversity of the ecosystem and the hugely important cultural and historic resources are irreplaceable and should be preserved for the enjoyment and education of the entire community and not just for a select few.”
The Tribune understands Lighthouse Point, despite its history and importance to the island of Eleuthera, sits on a privately owned property that is now listed for sale.
In March, Holly Peel, a long-time resident of Eleuthera who contacted The Tribune with concerns over how the property was being handled, called on the government to get involved and help the group pushing to keep the property.
Recently, sources have claimed Central and South Eleuthera MP Hank Johnson has used at least one party branded function to “extensively sell” residents on the pros of a potential Disney-led Lighthouse Point development.
When contacted for comment on the allegation, Mr Johnson said he could not speak directly to the claim, but did say “rumblings” were in the air about the issue.
“Yes, at this time, there is nothing I can say to you on this matter,” he said last week. “There is nothing that I can say. There are rumblings in the air, but I have nothing to say further to that.”
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